The process is a concise, high impact process designed to harvest maximum executive or management collaborative input in the shortest possible time using a structured numeric method and tool-set.
The following is an overview of the components of the Stratsnap process:
The one-on-one interviews with participants enable me to understand the business and enable me to connect with and form an initial relationship with delegates thereby ensuring that my facilitation is appropriately focussed.
2. Setting the focus questions
If you ask the wrong question you will get the wrong answer – discussion to formulate the essential focus of the Critical Concerns process and subsequent processes is a vital part of the process.
3. Scene setting presentation
The initial presentation addresses some general concepts and sets the scene for the workshop by creating context and summarizing my key findings from the interviews – this helps to stimulate creative thinking.
4. Critical Concerns
I always start the workshop with the Critical Concerns process, this gets issues of concern and frustration out on the table rather than them venting later in the workshop and frequently results in outputs of strategic importance. In some cases I may recommend ONLY doing a Critical Concerns process.
Critical Concerns is also a simple way of teaching delegates the process without having to think about more complex questions.
The Critical Concerns process takes about three hours with a group of about 7 delegates, it gets longer the more delegates there are because of the collaborative approach applied.
Subsequent processes take between one and a half and two hours each again depending on the number of delegates
Delegates brainstorm all issues relating to the focus question without discussion and “no wrong answers”. This ensures that all possible thoughts are aired and all delegates are heard in a structured environment.
6. Each person privately determines their Critical Factors
Structured facilitation to assist all delegates to privately lift out their Critical Factors – ensures that all delegates have equal opportunity to contribute and that ALL points of view are harvested in a structured non-threatening manner.
7. Group synthesis of a single set of Critical Factors
The group is facilitated collaboratively to combine ALL inputs to the Critical Factors lists to arrive at a single set of umbrella statements which are then reduced to bullet points of a few words as headings which are carried forward in the graphs and tables.
This approach ensures that ALL voices are heard equally and the resulting factors are the combined work of the entire delegate group, this is a powerful team building mechanism.
8. Privately weight the factors
The group are taken through a structured process to weight the individual Critical Factors on a relative weight basis allocating 100% of importance over the total list of factors. This again allows individual delegates to express their opinion without fear of being overridden or drowned out.
9. Group discussion of views of the Mountain
The weights are captured and view graphically and in tabular format highlighting the fact that there are ALWAYS different views around the table because people really DO see things differently.
This approach allows all points of view to be captured and made visible and provides a structured and non-threatening opportunity for delegates to express different views – it also makes it OK to have different views.
The weighting approach also allows the different viewpoints to be understood and taken into account in further planning – they also enable different parties to better understand the real and valid differences of priority around the boardroom table.
10. Exective override
It is real that there ARE different views of the mountain BUT it is highly inefficient for all parts of the organization to climb the mountain different ways – at the end of the weight discussion the sponsor of the workshop is given the opportunity to adopt either the numeric average weight OR to override with their own choice of weights.
The problem with the numeric average is that nobody owns it, accordingly I have concluded that it is preferable for the sponsor to take a view on priorities that the execution of the plan will be managed to – the sponsor MUST take ownership of the final weights.
Scores are determined from 0 = could not be worse anywhere in the world to 10 = could not be better anywhere in the world.
Scores are determined for historic, current, forecast and objective – typically for a three year planning period unless a different period is agreed.
12. Discuss scores and trends
The scores are discussed and again may evidence different points of view, the historic, current and forecast values give a score trend which may indicate that delegates consider that the situation is improving, deteriorating or stable – in some cases this can be a very important indicator of action or direction.
13. Weighted gaps
Applying the weights to the scores yields weighted scores and examination of the forecast versus objective gives a measure of the need for improvement. Application of weights can result in some factors that seem important fading into the background against those factors where the need for change is greatest. This enables the group to prioritize actions flowing from the workshop.
14. StratGap Strategic Gap Analysis Process
The StratSnap process provides the inputs to the StratGap gap analysis process which is typically undertaken by a group of personnel one level down in the organizational hierarchy from those who undertake the initial ShapShots – this process allows the organization to translate the outputs of the SnapShot process into action plans with timelines and resource requirements determined.
15. Next steps – the team for the next stage
Before closing the workshop the team agree next steps and particularly who the team is that will undertake the gap analysis process and be responsible for the practical execution of the resulting plans.
I hope that this outline has given some idea of what the StratSnap process comprises – it is a vital component of arriving at a structured, logical, results orientated, impact focused action plan
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Business Systems NOT delivering?
Call the Business Systems Specialist
Dr James A Robertson -- has been involved in the effective application of Business Information Systems, including but NOT limited to ERP, since 1987 and in the profitable and effective use of computers in Business since 1981.
Drawing on a diversity of experience, including formal military training in Quick Attack techniques at the Regimental Commander level, Dr Robertson has developed highly effective methods of investigating any sub-optimal Business Information Systems situation -- be it an established system or a stalled project or any other source of Executive frustration -- quickly and concisely diagnosing the root cause of the problem and prescribing concise practical actions that Business Executives can effectively act on see the Pulse Measurement page and also the Sample Reports page for redacted real reports.
He has also developed highly effective methods of strategically enriching systems to unlock the full potential of existing investments, see the Precision Configuration page and couples this to architecting small pieces of clever software that harness the full potential of your investment, see the Software page.
If you are having problems with your systems, your project or your IT Department, call The Business Systems Specialist
Business System Failure is RIFE -- we offer insight into why this happens AND WHAT is required to prevent it.
Failure is at epidemic levels with massive damage done to client companies -- if you are NOT aware of the extent of the problem please visit the About Failure page for a catalog of major failures running to billions of Pounds and Dollars.
All evidence indicates that the established players do NOT know how to deliver stable, reliable high value solutions that WORK.
There HAS to be a better way!
This website provides information relating to that way with a large collection of white papers, presentations, standards documents, etc that you can use to start bringing the situation under control
We also offer high level advisory services with regard to the application of the principles advocated on this website
We offer an ENGINEERING APPROACH to addressing these issues
By Engineering I mean the formal, structured, highly disciplined, highly systematic, highly practical approach that consistently delivers results in ALL areas of human endeavor where formally trained and certified engineers are the ONLY practitioners permitted to operate -- think large buildings, factories, motor vehicles, aircraft -- highly complex systems that work at a level that we take it for granted that they WILL work and where failure is all but unthinkable and, when it happens, attracts immediate public attention and rigorous investigation directed at ensuring that such failures are prevented in the future -- in fact, everything that the management consulting industry that implements complex software systems is NOT
This approach is discussed further on the Engineering Approach page.
In 2003 I undertook an in-depth analysis of all the information and experience that I had gathered with regard to the factors giving rise to Business Information System failure including ERP and general IT and classified this information into a number of categories including "The Factors Causing Failure" and "The Critical Factors for Success" based on this I developed a two day Course "The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success" which is still offered today.
Based on this I wrote the book of the same name, which is available in electronic form here for download:
James has a very detailed profile on LinkedIn should you require further information about him.
You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/DrJamesARobertsonERPDoctor
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There is a large body of white papers, articles and other content produced by Dr James Robertson available on this website
Please click here to visit the detailed listing of articles
About Dr James A Robertson PrEng -- The Business Systems Doctor -- and Other Topics
Catalogue of Major Business Information System Failures
About the Engineering Approach
James Robertson's Value Add
Attributes of a HIGH VALUE solution
Recognizing Business System Failure
The Critical Human Foundation
Old Software IS Viable
From South Africa
Competencies of Dr James A Robertson PrEng
About Professor Malcolm McDonald
Table of Contents
About my relationship with the Almighty Creator, Yah the Eternally Self-Existing
Comments relating to the Business Systems Industry and other topics
Testimonials and other positive material regarding James Robertson
List of Articles
Achieving High Value Business Information System outcomes
Executive Custody -- What is it and HOW do you get it?
The REAL Issues in Integrated Business Information System Success
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2 -- Mythology and Lack of Executive Custody
Part 3 – Strategic Alignment and Precision Configuration
Why your ERP is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
IT Project Management
CEO Anthony Lee Comments on his experience of the Pulse Measurement
No Charge Guarantee on the Pulse Measurement Service
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes
Critical questions regarding the Pulse Measurement™
The Pulse Measurement Workflow
The Critical Factors for Business System (ERP+) Investment Success in the Pulse Measurement
Indicative Pulse Measurement Durations
What is a JAR&A Pulse Measurement?
Survival of the fittest – why it makes sense to measure the pulse of your business
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes over 24 years
Sample Pulse Measurement Reports
Strategic Essence: The Missing Link in Business Information Systems
Strategic Essence: Overview
Strategic Essence: Part 1 -- Strategy Defined
Strategic Essence: Part 2 -- Differentiation
Strategic Essence: Part 3 -- The Essence IS Different
Strategic Essence: Part 4 -- The Essence should be the Point of Departure
Strategic Essence: Part 5 -- Discovering Strategic Essence
Strategy -- the Essence of the Business: What is it and how do you develop actionable strategic plans?
Simple Steps to Increase the Strategic Value of your ERP Investment
Free Strategic Snapshot Toolset and Manual
A strategy focused planning system beyond traditional budgeting
Tough IT and ERP Procurement and Contracting that Works
Robust Business Systems Procurement
Part 1 -- Introduction
Part 2 -- Bill of Services, Laboratory, Go-live Certificate, etc
Part 3 -- Executive Engagement, Bid Compliance, Adjudication and other matters
Guidance and Advisory Services
The Art of Project Leadership
Why Regular Communication with the CEO is Vital
The Business Simulation Laboratory
Precision Configuration and Strategic Business Information Architecture
Precision Configuration based on Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies
The JAR&A Cubic Business Model
Highly Structured Strategic Chart of Accounts -- a Vital Element of your Corporate Information Arsenal
The Product Catalogue -- an Essential Element of any Precision Configuration
Attributes -- answers to the questions you have NOT yet thought to ask
Case Studies of Notably Successful Projects with high value Precision Configuration
092 Doing things differently and better -- ASCO Case Study 2-- BPM Summit 2013
088 Strategic ERP Invesment -- ASCO Case Study -- Service Management Conference and Exhibition Africa
026 Information Architecture and Design of FIS for Rennies Group -- Financial Information Systems Conf
018 CRM Risk Control: Designing and Implementing an Integrated Risk Mgmt Sys -- Integrated Risk Mgmt Conf
011 V3 Consulting Eng: Benefits of MIS to Professional Practice -- SAICE 15th Ann Conf on Computers in Civil Eng
Strategically Enriching your Business Information Systems
Part 2 -- Principles of Data Engineering
Part 3 -- Steps in applying these recommendations
Simple Steps to increase the strategic information value yield from your Business Systems Investment
The Full JAR&A Taxonomy Manual
Part 1: Introduction, Problem Statement, Definitions and Examples
Part 2: Why Use JAR&A, Required Knowledge and Experience, Cubic Business Model and Chart of Accounts and Taxonomy Software
Part 3: How to do it, Case Studies and White Papers and other References
Example General Ledger Manual
Business Process -- Irrelevant, Distracting and Dangerous
The RIGHT Approach
Custom Strategic Software Design and Oversight of Construction
Standards for Custom Software Specification
What IS Software?
Critical Factors for I.T. Success
A Moral and Ethical Dilemma -- Systems that Fail
Case Studies examining Business Information System failures
The BBC Digital Media Initiative Debacle
The Bridgestone -- IBM Conflict
Speaking and Training
Showcase of Conference Presentations
Most Viewed Presentations
Briefings and Seminars
Why your ERP/BIS is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
ERP and IT Procurement that Delivers Results
The Critical Factors for IT and ERP Investment Success
Conferences and Public Presentations
Conferences 80 to 99 -- 2009 to Present
Conferences 60 to 79 -- 2005 to 2009
Conferences 40 to 59 -- 1996 to 2005
Conferences 20 to 39 -- 1994 to 1996
Conferences 01 to 19 -- 1989 to 1994
On-Line Seminars (Webinars)
Webinar on Preparing and Presenting Webinars
Contacting James A Robertson and Associates Limited