VSJ – June 2002 – Work in Progress

David Deeks, FIAP has reported on PISO before (December 2000 and July 2001). Here, he tells us about the latest developments.

The formal certification I mentioned has now been refined and extended and a full certification and licensing framework is in place. As well as supporting the range of courses in the PISO method, this includes the potential for attractive business opportunities for IAP members who currently work as consultants and/or trainers, about which more below.

To remind you, PISO is a method for improving business processes. It provides a rapid means of designing real change in the workplace, by harnessing the knowledge and creativity of employees – a sort of ‘DIY’, much more cost-effective approach to Business Process Re-engineering. Whilst it began almost by accident, it has now been used successfully in several hundred organisations, large and small. Its effects are almost always reliable, often radical – as a glance back at the ‘before and after’ diagrams in the Dec2000/Jan2001 issue will confirm. It is extremely cost-effective. In a one-week residential course last May, a team of British Telecom employees devised a means of making annual savings of several hundred thousand pounds. Another eight members of a ‘one seminar per week’ course helped South Tyneside General Hospital make significant reductions in waiting times for A&E patients with broken hips – over 80% are now attended to within an hour. To read more about the method, see ‘An Introduction to Systems Analysis Techniques’ (2nd Edition), Lejk and Deeks, Addison Wesley, 2002.

‘The PISO Project’ has become a University of Sunderland business unit, delivering PISO courses, funding research and feeding developments back into teaching. Courses are offered in a variety of modes, all based on just 7.5 hours delivery but with different levels of workshop time. All include email/telephone project support for 60 days. They assume no prior knowledge of systems analysis, and that every ‘desire for change’ brought to a course will result in a practical solution, developed by the course members as ‘employee stakeholders’. In practice, workable outcomes are often achieved in far less than 60 days. The BT team had a solution worked out by the end of their week.

Course attendees are issued with ‘PISO Techniques’ certificates. Those who complete projects can gain ‘PISO Practitioner’ certification. With relevant qualifications and experience, an applicant can upgrade to ‘PISO Trainer’ status, with their organisation becoming a ‘PISO Licensed Centre’ authorised to deliver PISO training to their own employees.

Appropriate people (probably those who currently work as systems consultants or trainers) can become ‘PISO Business Associates’ or ‘PISO Training Associates’. These require minimal investment and can prove extremely worthwhile business opportunities. A recent email typifies the level of interest and commitment that PISO courses create: ‘Regional managers are queuing up for courses – I want to PISO everything!’ The PISO team is simply not in a position to meet this enthusiastic demand and is keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in such collaboration.

If you’d like to get involved, email David at david.deeks@sunderland.ac.uk or telephone 0191 515 2666. For more information, visit www.piso.org.uk

Interesting project or development? Let us know at eo@iap.org.uk!

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