This book is about what I call “Fix it or lose it Management”. I wrote it to help you do your own turnaround inside your organization, before someone else does it for you – or your organization goes under completely. This book is a compendium of carefully selected good ideas from good books, plus my own experience in nearly 20 years as a management consultant and the 27 years of Military service that preceded it. Like my last book, I wrote it so that you could have straightforward, no-nonsense material, ready to implement. CEOs and other responsible people in leadership positions don’t always have time to do their own research. Instead, they throw themselves on the mercy of contractors, who think in terms of yearly contracts. You can do the job better.
Courses of Action Management develops courses of action (COAs) to correct identified operational or administrative gaps in organizational performance. COAs should address root causes of the gaps and put corrective equipment, procedures, documentation and/or practices are in place to preclude or mitigate future occurrences. Chapter 4 on Metrics and Measures of Effectiveness discussed the importance of both quantifying present or planned operations or processes and doing it in a way that provides nearly “dashboard-like” feedback. COAs should bring with them the metrics and controls that ensure that they are implemented, effective, and that the associated effort is commensurate with the potential risk to the mission or process. Chapter 5 on Benchmarking discussed how to identify and analyze gaps between actual and expected/required outcomes in a process or operation. Chapter 6 on Material and Non-Material Solutions leads the reader to consider how much may be done without expending limited time and funding on procuring new technology or on research and development. Chapter 7 on Synergy and Innovation discussed how the development and implementation of one course of action may improve several different areas or improve one area by an amount greater than expected. COAs should always be developed with thought to potential synergies. Chapter 8 on Cost-Benefit Analysis gives you a quick way to screen your initiatives for practicality and affordability. Chapter 9 on Risk Management showed how to identify and assess threats, criticalities, and vulnerabilities for the organization's operations and how to apply numerical values (criteria) for the assessment. The chapter went on to show how notional implementation of courses of action of COAs can predict reduced vulnerability for an operation, and therefore lowered risk Again, you can also predict no reduction or even an increase of vulnerability. That's why we model a change before actually investing time or money in it.. I made the assertion that risk assessment becomes risk management when the leadership elects to “game” one or more changes and to predict their impact prior to implementation. It is with these other discussions in mind that we now discuss in more detail the development of corrective courses of action “Corrective” courses of action means that we have formally evaluated some COAs and found them of little or no value, or having the potential to make things worse. Categories of Courses of Action Earlier we categorized solutions in to three categories: · Material · Non-Material · Realignment. I recommend that the same categories be used for the COAs, using the same/similar definitions. To review: Material COAs are technological in nature, likely requiring significant expenditures of time and funding, in the unsure and uncertain hope that they will make your organization run measurably more effectively, safely, competitively, and efficiently. Again, material COAs do not always work as designed, and when they do, it may not be to the degree that was anticipated. It is for these reasons that an organization owes it to itself when doing strategic planning to check first to see how greatly non-material COAs (singly or in combination) can work instead. It is also necessary to ensure that approved material COAs be accompanied by necessary non-material COAs. Non-material COAs are practical, actionable measures that management can take to increase the operational effectiveness, safety, and compliance of organizations without benefit of (or reliance on) cost or time-prohibitive technologies. Functional alignment COAs are a separate form of non-material solutions. Implementing them usually requires reassignment of personnel and/or responsibilities, which in turn may require concurrence and support from higher authority, or (at a minimum) significant staffing prior to implementation.
Eugene A. (Gene) Razzetti retired from the U.S. Navy as a Captain in 1992, a decorated Vietnam Veteran and having had two at-sea and two major shore commands. Since then, he has been an independent management consultant, project manager, and auditor. He became a military analyst after September 11, 2001. He coauthored MVO 8000, the Corporate Responsibility Management Standard that is contained in his first book: The Executive’s Guide to Corporate Responsibility Management and MVO 8000. He is a Certified Management Consultant with the Institute of Management Consultants, USA, and has served on many boards and committees dealing with ethics and professionalism in the practice of management consulting.