The Rhythm of Change...
Managers’ decisions and priorities can make or break a company. Many different management methodologies exist today, but even the most popular ones have limitations, especially when applied at the enterprise level.
The ongoing search for a better way to manage continues to this day.
Stream Theory was designed by bringing together specific elements from a variety of methodologies that complement each other, and by introducing new concepts critical for effective management in today's world.
What makes Stream Theory different is how it approaches prioritization. First it challenges the organization's purpose for existence and then helps structure priorities in a way that enables the fulfillment of that purpose.
Whether you apply these concepts to manage a single project or an entire organization, the end result is the same - motivated, engaged people united by a common goal, doing everything in their power to solve problems.
Who is your priority?
Is it the shareholders, as we often hear from organizational leaders? If that is the case, then the employees are often just an expense that gets optimized.
Is it the stakeholders, as suggested by the Business Roundtable just a few short years ago? In this situation nobody is the priority, reverting back to the shareholder-first mentality.
Stream Theory is built on the principle that employees should be the priority!
When you put your employees first, they produce higher quality output because they are not as stressed out. They don't burn out or "silently quit". When people are cared for, they are enabled to take pride in their work. Higher quality means less waste, greater customer satisfaction, and a greater long-term profit for an organization.
All work is done by the people, for the people. People are at the core of any product or service offered, they are at the center of any change that happens. When employees are sincerely happy, they are capable of incredible things, they innovate, and they solve real, tangible problems in the community.
To make this priority shift and achieve an organizational breakthrough, three core needs should be addressed:
Stream Theory offers a set of tools and techniques to help fulfill these needs. Many of these are well-known, some are new. Together, they offer a comprehensive framework for building an employee-centric organization.
An organization must have a clear vision of where it is headed and why. It needs to have an understanding of why it exists and what problems it solves in the larger community. This gives employees a sense of belonging to a greater purpose and serves as a critical component of effective management.
Setting the right goals that help fulfill the organization's purpose is a key prerequisite to planning and prioritizing work. Value stream and customer journey mapping help you better understand your cash generating ability, identify organizational constraint, and thoroughly understand the stakeholder experiences.
Stream Theory leverages statistical data analysis to measure organization's performance and set measurable goals. This will ensure not only effective prioritization of planned changes, but will also be used to measure the ROI.
Regardless of the type of management framework that your company uses today, Agile, SAFe, OKRs or some form of a more traditional waterfall approach, the problem of prioritization and a clear communication of direction remains.
Stream framework offers a number of algorithms that address this challenge. One of the techniques is a hybrid visualization tool that brings together elements of Agile and Theory of Constraints and effectively replaces the famous Gantt chart.
Depending on the type of change your company needs to undergo at a specific time, you can find the right tools for managing that change. Some are built for speed while others support stable continuous improvement.
Once you have given your team purpose and direction, you have set the foundation for unleashing your people's potential. Imagine if your employees were self-driven to learn, eager to teach, excited to collaborate and innovate! What would be possible in such environment?
That is exactly what Stream Theory enables - an organization where people love what they do. One of the techniques offered is gamification - a way to turn work into play. It creates a "parallel reality" in which people are encouraged to collaborate, while maintaining a healthy competition.