Blog KT

Why not teach KT skills to kids?

Kepner-Tregoe founder, Ben Tregoe, was constantly asked by the Program Leaders who were certified to teach Problem Solving & Decision Making workshops, "Why aren't they teaching these skills in our schools?” In keeping with his lifelong belief that if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime, Ben agreed. Teachers make a lasting impression on their students.  Invariably when a successful person names the most influential people in their lives, among them is a teacher or professor.

A core element in the reduction of IT related business risks

Reducing the risk in IT operations is critical to the stability of the IT Infrastructure - and the delivery of business. Reducing the time for the restoration of IT service in a structured manner, with transparent decisions being made by IT support and the business is time critical. Finding the root causes of a service interruption in a shorter time minimises the business risk from re-occurrence. Learn and practice the tools which help support staff think correctly under pressure. This course will prepare you for a life of structured and transparent Incident Management and Problem Management, and you can prove your understanding of the ITP Foundation Plus workshop by taking the ISEB Foundation Examination in KT ITSM Problem & Incident Management.

Ensure your team's in winning form for the new financial year

Don't let External Forces Slow You Down!
With slowdowns expected in the major economies around the world, the ability to navigate through these troubled times is critical to survival.
A clear mind coupled with rational thinking processes offers the best opportunity to break away from the pack and emerge a winner.

Enhanced Troubleshooting: KT and Six Sigma

Six Sigma is about “Common Cause” problems, where factors inherent to the product or the process cause deviations over time. Think of any machine—all machines produce heat and all machines vibrate.  And over time, that heat will eventually dry out and crack the seals and gaskets, and the vibration will eventually work all the bolts loose. This is just in the nature of things—inherent variation.  Six Sigma attempts to isolate those inherent sources of variation, and to reduce them.

Customer Service needs Leadership

Christoph Goldenstern, Global Vice President and Principal with Kepner-Tregoe, explores the concept of Customer Lifetime-Value a bit further

Leadership is what makes it all happen. By that I do not mean the day-to-day execution of plans, projects or budgets (that’s management), but the ability to provide a vision and then create an environment in which teams collaborate to make that vision a reality.

In this context, Service Leaders need to be able to do 3 things: Assess the Current State, Define the Future, Lead the Business Alignment

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Business Process Improvement

While most organizations take a structured approach to their BPI investment, they fail to carefully manage the steps along the way. Selecting the right BPI project and involving the right people provides a foundation for BPI success.

Continuous Improvement: Designing Step Change Intervention

When an organization needs to act quickly to ramp up production, reduce costs, or meet other extraordinary changes or goals, Kepner-Tregoe (KT) has developed a process approach for targeted, sustainable change. This effective three-phase model (diagnose—implement—sustain) is a powerful intervention that moves beyond the incremental improvements of CI to target and achieve specific, dramatic improvement

Manufacturing Excellence: When Continuous Improvement Falls Short

Kepner-Tregoe (KT) has developed both a philosophy and practical project model to enable organizations to address extraordinary threats and opportunities. This is achieved by moving beyond CI with an intervention that focuses on extraordinary, sustainable change.  KT Step Change is a robust three phase model (Diagnose — Implement — Sustain) which guides an organization through assessing the potential for improvement, selecting and scheduling the optimal project mix, and then making sustainable changes to operational practices, processes, procedures and performance expectations.

Critical Thinking Skills: Building Blocks for the Next Generation

The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report[i] identified critical thinking skills as being essential for a high-performance workplace. The report identifies a three-part skills foundation: basic literacy and computational skills, the thinking skills necessary to put knowledge to work, and the personal qualities that make workers dedicated and trustworthy. This foundation in thinking skills includes creativity, decision making, problem solving, seeing things in the mind's eye, knowing how-to-learn, and reasoning. The report states: "Today's work place puts a premium on reasoning skills and an ability and willingness to learn."

Information Transfer—The Competitive Advantage in Customer Service

As consumers, we have all experienced the customer service call that, when transferred, required repeating the details of the problem each and every time you were transferred. Nothing is more frustrating! By building a framework in your customer support function that includes a logical sequence of questions and the ability to pass the data along if the problem changes hands, organizations can make the customer support function their competitive advantage

Today's 'knowledge economy' is creating a culture of confusion.

Most people feel uncertain by the lack of technical knowledge of the system or product they support. More technical training seems the first action management reaches for. Unfortunately technical training is only valid for a certain domain and for a short period of time. Is it possible, any longer, to keep up with the speed of technology changes? Is knowledge the only driver that gives us the power and certainty. No not at all, more is needed to become more effective. Studies executed by Kepner & Tregoe showed us that good decisive actions are always preceded by clear thinking. But precisely that clear thinking is letting us down when it is equally exciting.

When multi-million Euro penalties are at stake, KT brought focused troubleshooting attention to the issue

Energy companies are merging, and the internal solutions are now a mélange of different hardware and software solutions. Recently a supplier called KT for help. Their IT consolidation project had resulted in an inability to provide contract owners with the daily energy consumption by the mandatory deadline.

Situation Appraisal and Problem Analysis were performed to unravel the reasons why the migrated application environment was not going fast enough.

Customer Service: Constructs for a Customer-Focused Culture

In an industry where the pace of change is relentless, how do you create a service culture that builds customer loyalty? Organizational culture is the ‘personality’ of an organization manifested as the behaviors, attributes, and artifacts of its members. It shapes personal and group values and attitudes including perceptions about what works and what doesn’t, what is helpful and what is not, what makes sense and what does not.

These are the seven essential constructs for building a customer-focused culture.

Case Study: Real-Time Project Management at Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto Energy America (RTEA) leadership felt that traditional training with theoretical project applications didn’t meet their world-class project management needs or time-strapped schedules. So RTEA partnered with Kepner-Tregoe (KT) project experts on a unique type of training, called “Learn and Do,” that has training participants apply real-time learning to an active project.

At RTEA’s Spring Creek Mine, “Learn and Do” participants addressed a 30-day, maintenance outage for an electric shovel that digs out 80-foot coal seams and loads coal into trucks—moving 50 cubic yards in a single scoop. RTEA worked with KT using the three phase Learn and Do process.

Life Science – An entire business is changing.Too many projects...

With a need to be innovative whilst keeping an eye on the competition, life science oraganisations have to cope with different markets simultaneously. This needs to be done quickly, frequently and efficiently in responding to changes. Related concerns and tasks require accurate planning and implementation in order to maximise the opportunities such circumstances present. Often such efforts require global coordination in executing such a plan. What organisation has the ability to easily review the numerous complex projects internally and interdisciplinary?

Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages: Part Three

A holistic framework for STO success incorporates three main phases: definition, planning, and implementation—bound together by communications. Here are examples of how Kepner-Tregoe’s systematic STO framework saves time and money while promoting future STO improvements.

Going for Gold: How Top Companies Make High Performance a Daily Discipline
Going for Gold: How Top Companies Make High Performance a Daily Discipline High performance in Operations is much more than
Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages: Part Two

A Shutdown-Turnaround-Outage (STO) is unique in that it always involves a key asset being taken offline or out of service and is complete only when this item is returned to service and performing at the desired level. STOs are uniquely complex, involving not only planned repair and upgrade activities but also emergent /unplanned work as a result of inspection of plant and processes not accessible or visible during normal operations.

Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages: Part One

A traditional view of shutdowns, turnarounds and outages (STOs) holds that they are maintenance and engineering events. Yet they command significant capital and operating budgets, attract the attention of shareholders and boards of directors, and impact inventory supply chains and customer relationships. This indicates that they are actually whole business events, not function-specific, that require exceptional planning and execution.

IT Service Delivery from a 3rd Party – Jumping from Reactive to Proactive

Problem management is often the most under used process, and is described by some as the "If we only have the time" process. In reality it is a process that if used correctly adds real value to the business, and supports all of the other service management processes. To get there, there is a need to invest both time and resource – the very things that problem managers have little of.