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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Action Analysis: Lead Time

Identify the issue.

Identify the desired outcome.

Analyze the decision stream:
  • How many people are involved?
  • Of the people involved, who has deep knowledge about the issue?
  • How much time will it take to navigate the people involved and the issue at hand?
  • How can that decision stream be streamlined for better effect?
  • What kind of lead time action/effort would have prevented the issue in the first place?
  • How can we implement the better decision stream and analyze that process in order to better the work next time. 
Sometimes problems get snared in a trap of inefficient discussion/decision streams. In the snare, the problem loses impact and other issues take charge. These snares slow down effective growth and change.

Last night I woke with an idea that would impact an individual positively, but as I thought of the idea, I realized that the decision stream would include about 15 people--that's a lot of people to engage with regard to one individual and one decision. To circumvent the people would mean greater complexity so that's not an option either.

What would be better is to start the school year with a day or two when educators anticipate the issues they'll face. Most big issues are not surprises to educators since previous data and observations can predict many issues to come. 

During these "anticipation" days, educators could work together with depth to create success paths, paths that include the conditions for excellence and success.

We start the school year quickly. We share information and make plans with little lead time. Perhaps the school year should start with an extended preparation time, a time that helps us to analyze well with good process and plan for deep effect. 

As the book, Intentional Interruption, points out, we often don't give problem analysis the time it deserves in education, and if we think of the school year as a "problem to solve," perhaps we will shift our schedules and give it more lead time for analysis and decision making. 

In education, systems matter, and the better we create streamlined systems that put most of our time and attention towards direct, impactful service to children, the better we'll do.