Implementation Strategy

TAC4 Solutions offers comprehensive solutions to business inefficiencies. TAC4 projects equate solving a client’s problem to a pioneer’s trek across a mountain range, with multiple ridges.  The pioneer knows where he currently is and where he wants to go.  But the exact path the pioneer will take is not known at the beginning of the trek, as the mountain has not been previously crossed.  The obstacles the pioneer will face are unknown.  The dense forests of the mountain are indistinguishable from the clearer valleys of the mountain, when looking from the ground starting point.  From the top vantage point of a ridge of the mountain range, the pioneer can more clearly see the best path to take through the next ridge.

Similarly, the core improvement team knows the problem that has given rise to the project, and they generally know the goals of the project that would solve the project’s core problem.  But the exact trek the project will take is largely unknown, as the project is exploratory in nature, trying to find the best possible solution to the problem.  Thus, TAC4 divides the project’s trek into phases, or ridges.  From the starting point, the general trek is mapped out, and the detailed trek is mapped out for the initial ridge (Investigate).  Once each ridge is completed, the core improvement team pauses for  Ridge View Session to evaluate where they have been, where they are going, what the future now looks like with their newly gained knowledge, creates a detailed map for the next ridge, and decides whether the remainder of the trek is worth the effort to continue to the goal.

Moving through the various ridges takes the pioneer to the end goal – a solution for the problem.  So moving from left to right along the trek represents progress toward the solution.  The height of each ridge represents the knowledge gained, in that ridge, regarding how to solve the problem.  The most knowledge is gained in the Analyze and Redesign ridges, and thus they are the highest points in the ridge.

Process Redesign is an iterative process which relies on progressive elaboration (the further we go in the project, the more we know about the solution).  We do not understand the causes of the problem until analysis is conducted.  This analysis is part of the project; as such, we cannot know the definitive cost estimate until analysis and redesign are fully performed.  At the top of each ridge, the terrain along the next ridge is better seen; as such, a revised (and more definitive) estimate is provided during each Ridge View Session.

Each core improvement team meeting will further refine the trek of the solution, especially during the PLAN, ANALYZE, and REDESIGN ridges.  In fact, it is the sole purpose of these ridge treks to arrive at the root causes of the problems and find the optimal solutions.  Thus, trek refinements (sometimes called scope changes) are not only expected, but the improvement team seeks after such refinements throughout the project, through the REDESIGN ridge.  Trek refinements could still even occur through the IMPLEMENT ridge, though only very minor refinements should occur beyond REDESIGN.

Trek Refinements usually do NOT mean that something was mistakenly omitted from the initial plan.  As the entire project is exploratory in nature, the core improvement team and senior management know that Trek Refinements will result from plan, analyze, and redesign sessions.  As such, conversations regarding Trek Refinements must avoid blame, and will instead be celebrated as the team approaching the improvement solution.

See more description of our Implementation Components here.