Thursday, August 27, 2015

Principles of Rapid Response

This article describes the concepts of a rapid response operational model. Analysis of mission objectives enable coordinated application of pre-staged resources for adaptive actions in a dynamic situation. This relies on an organization that supports continuous training for tools, techniques and libraries of modular resources that can be quickly integrated and scheduled in accordance with the mission analysis. The key is a bottom to top commitment by members of the organzation to the principles and practices of rapid response.

It is vital that the organization leaders work with their teams daily in close quarters to create a rapid response culture. To quote an old saying, "Love from afar is for fools and cuckholds."

Create A Culture of Rapid Response

A rapid response culture:

  • Serves customers whose principles of effective rapid response are also realized through developing best practices in the face of dynamically evolving challenges. This quality is often referred to as resilience.
  • Finds and supports the best people who embrace innovation and retains only those who accept the demands to be ready and able to respond rapidly with assurance of quality and completeness within the constraints of the customer's operational needs.
  • Improves production bandwidth among teams that organize and create resources for maximum reuse and reapplication. The critical factor is in-depth understanding of the tools and how they can be applied nimbly given mission planning, requirements and constraints.
  • Leverages experience. Processes are best managed by the people doing the work when they are trained to understand deliverables and tools at the highest level of professional competence.
  • Emphasizes planning and local adaptibility. Operations are managed and measured to ensure every asset is prepared, resourced and capable but rely on local management of a dynamic environment.
  • Demands situational awareness. Situational awareness is a fundamental idea for resilient response. The local team must have access to and the competence to adjust a plan as the situation changes and new opportunities to respond effectively are realized.
  • Captures, tests and shares opportunities to improve and enhance team performance in a real-time production environment. Idea hoarding is not rewarded.
  • Trains as a team to improve organizational technical competence and ensure responses are both mission-oriented and forward-looking

Training, staged resources and effective open communication are the must-haves for organizations and individuals who anticipate needs and respond rapidly with high quality results.

Do Not Accept Mediocrity

These are three common mistakes organizations make with regard to achieving rapid response goals:
  1. It is risky to design a production system based on the requirements of a single project unless there are no other business objectives for the system.
  2. Emphasis on brute force to get a job done on schedule may be unavoidable given current conditions but to accept or institutionalize that approach will permanently damage the corporate culture and inevitably lose business to smarter competitors. Brute force does not scale. You need force multipliers.
  3. What people do often becomes habit and relying on habit over commitment to innovation and shared ideas is certain to destroy the culture of rapid response. You cannot solve in the response systems the problems that should have been solved in Human Resources.
A mediocre organization can be profitable but never great.

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