A Process-Management “Playbook” Spread

This post is more academic than most in that it takes a detailed look at principles that are usually more aligned with business objectives than personal goals. The ideal querent for this approach would be a hands-on administrator in any commercial or institutional venture that is process-intensive.

This spread proposes that successfully managing the development of any process can be separated into four distinct phases: 1) seeking the best avenue for improvement; 2) understanding the implications of what you find; 3) executing the actions suggested by what you learned; and 4) transcending the position you started from, thus ratcheting up the performance of the process. Each phase of the developmental arc begins with a premise (trump card), is subjected to human-factors strategies (court cards), and culminates in tactical maneuvers designed to optimize its effectiveness (pip cards).

Each phase is represented by a 5-card chain that is populated by splitting the deck into trump, court and pip sub-packs, and dealing each set in order from the inside out; I call these groups “cohorts,” and each on has a specific mission in driving positive change. The trump cards describe the origination of each phase and its underlying premise; the two court cards act as facilitators in fleshing out the strategies for implementation; and the pip cards provide the “boots on the ground” for a two-pronged tactical gambit. Depending on where the process stands at the time of the reading, this spread can be entered at any of the four origination points. It is also possible to double up the twenty positions by adding a second layer of cards to show a developmental “spiral,” either up or down, that is limited only by the fact that there are just sixteen court cards for the eight “facilitator” positions. For a new process, they can be performed one at a time in step-wise fashion as the process unfolds.

The idea behind reading this spread is to look at the relative compatibility of the cards in each chain as well as their inherent nature. Cards that are normally encouraging in their expression and well-disposed toward one another function smoothly and their cooperation spells success for that phase. Cards that are typically difficult or work at cross-purposes to one another can encumber the process and require management intervention. The key thing with the court cards is their level of maturity and whether they have their “eye on the ball” (upright) or are distracted by collateral issues (reversed). In a single-layer spread, another court card can be pulled at random to reconfigure the team by replacing the misaligned member. The pip cards can be doubled up to show the application of additional resources, which may not always have the desired effect. Reversal of any card can complicate and possibly compromise its contribution to the mission. The combined testimony of these factors will show whether there is a “weak link” in the operation that could represent a major show-stopper if left unattended. Seeing none, the outlook would be for successful implementation after any required minor tweaks are made.

Procees Management Playbook Spread.JPG

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