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Welcome to Cxx-level Guidance

Welcome, and thank you for showing interest in Expectations Engineering. 

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Counseling assignments of experience

Besides the experience in minimizing the effort required to develop new products and solutions, the activities are based on the results from the ImprovAbility(TM) research project, now the foundation of ISO33014, on how to do the optimization the smartest way.

Each key action area is covered by establishing

  • Why it is important, and What is needed to support it. 
  • Guidance to establish the business values
  • Examples from the industry for inspiration
  • Communication templates
  • Caveats and warning signals
  • Success indicators 

The total effort is in the range of hours, the duration is dependent on the accessibillity to key figures. 

WHY it takes dedicated leadership

In short, establishing efficient progress feedback and clear leadership ensures that the full potential of the investment in corporate performance is achieved. 

We would like to share these tips for your inspiration based on experience from what executive management have done when they where supporting similar activities, 

Coveys Quadrant explains why it takes dedicated leadership:

Improving EE competences and processes resides in the “Important – Not Urgent” square. History shows – unfortunately – that in the daily life of teams and projects, these activities are always postponed, in praxis – indefinitely. Unless they are supported by incentives and commitments that are more powerful than those driving normal activities which resides in the number 1 “Important – Urgent” square. 
 
 For improvement activities to compete with the daily urgent activities, it requires a corporate commitment and a leadership that includes
  • Strategic goals
  • Incentive structure
  • A supporting organizational structure
The purpose here is to share some experiences of what it takes to drive improvements alongside daily operation. 

Distribution of responsibility

Some of the required actions can not be delegated. See why in this 3 min video, that elaborates on the root cause of what 4 out of 5 failed improvement projects reports as a cause for failure. 

Strong improvement business case

The business case for improvement projects may appear artificial in the beginning, but it is – for the same reason – paramount for success. Please consider some of the tricks in this video.

Benefit components

  • Avoiding rework
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Predictable projects
  • Reliable roadmap
  • Reduced quality cost

Business case success indicators

You know your teams have a clear picture of the business case when they communicate that they know what the cost of postponing an improvement activity is

“If we don’t establish the traceability, we cannot handle more than 2 variants in the market, and we lose the turnover from the other 6 variants the market is demanding.”

“If we don’t improve the quality of the requirements from 6 to 8, we won’t beat the competitor on time to market due to excessive rework.”

“If we continue with the current level of quality, the revenue on the next version will be eaten up by quality issues.”

You want to hear these types of concerns being expressed besides the classic “meeting deadlines – need more resources”-concerns, because it indicates that the teams have performance ambitions for the right business reasons, and that the organisation has strategic goals that reach beyond the next release, but is leading towards better performance in 1-2 years timeframe.

Expectations Engineering cost

EE competence building cost is mainly related to the few hours a week, that the teams spend on improving their performance. These are in reality taken out of the sprints/working hours. 

Whitebox Expectations license cost can be found on the homepage. Facilitation, workshops and additional consulting can be relevant, depending on the middle management skills levels. 

You are allways welcome to call CEO Per Hartlev on +4520108040.

Counterproductive patterns

Some organizational structures are counterproductive for bringing better solutions to the market, faster, while they may support other important goals. Some patterns are a symptom of this.

“Lack of Slack” and “Decision Latency

Please consider these two counterproductive patterns and some tricks to treat them in this video

Link to the book: “Decision Latency Theory”

Incentive structures

Reward structure of product developement. 

It is very important that the incentive schemes are supporting the weakest link in the value chain. Don’t let improvement projects fight against the corporate incentive schemes. 

Please watch this video where we elaborate on this topic and some considerations of performance metrics.

Examples of metrics include

  • Expectations Quality
  • Effort spend on improvements
  • Effort spend on rework
  • Estimation accuracy
  • Change in Failure/Defect measures
  • Gate pass figures
  • Hours/size measure

With your support in place, your operational leaders are ready to drive the competence building, and Whitebox Expectations will support them all the way. 

Signs of success

When the Cxx level support is successful, you will experience an organisation that is working as a coherent team who continuously and proudly demonstrate that they bring better solutions to the market – faster. Delivering the solutions becomes more of a commodity. 

Feed back loop

Examples of what to expect Group leaders to report monthly

  • Focus areas and improvement targets for teams. Expect small improvements. One per month or two.
  • Whitebox Expectations progress. Expect at least one lesson completed for each improvement target.
  • Hours spend on improving EE. Expect an hour/teammember pr week.

Summing up

Insist on the target, but be patient and accept all measurements in the beginning. Challenge them and expect them to change as the teams get better. The measures will improve soon, but the start is known to appear artificial and imprecise.

It may be helpful to recognise that improvement actions has a lot in common with losing weight! It takes an extra effort and stamina, and deserves respect and special appreciation.