Continuous Improvement

This month we are joined by Adam Edwards of Eureka Process to address continuous improvement and your documentation.

ITDUG Webinar ¬ęOctober 2021¬Ľ

IT Documentation Users Group (ITDUG) is an online forum for IT professionals involved in systems and application management, process documentation, and compliance. IT Documentation Group strives to support today’s busy IT professional by providing them with a venue for sharing practical and usable information about documentation.

Video Transcript

Allen Edwards 

Hello, everybody. Welcome to IT Doug’s November. I’m sorry, October so you remember yet October’s webinar presentation, we’ve been trying to bring some content to you, every week every month to bring value to the IT Doug users group. For those of you who may be seeing us live and not inside of it, it Doug stands for it documentation users group. And we are a Facebook group, with IT professionals just sharing our information about documentation, how we document our lives, our assets and our processes. We were founded back in May 2018, by Tracy, who also runs an MSP. She originally formatted this group to co learn IT Glue. But we did quickly expand that to not only include myself as CO administrator in our whole team that you could process, but to all documentation platforms. And as you can see, we’ve been growing 1000 members at a time. So keep inviting, because more brains is more brainpower to help you solve your challenges and to provide additional tips and tricks. So for this month, we’re going to talk about me, sorry, we keep finding cooler and cooler technology, we keep pushing cool buttons. So bear with us as we try this new streaming format. So I’m an administrator of it, Doug. I’ve been in it since 1994. I’ve owned in MSP before when a few others. And then I founded Eureka process, which now runs this group to help people discover it documentation and what it can do for their business. Today, we do have a special guest, Adam and Richie actually joined our team at Eureka process just over a year, year and a half ago now. Welcome, Adam.

 

Ray Orsini 

Thanks for having me.

 

Allen Edwards 

I’m gonna let you introduce yourself and our topic for today.

 

Ray Orsini 

Sure. My name is I’m Edwards, I’m the Chief implementer. At here at Eureka process. I have been working on process development and doing process consulting with a bunch of our clients, which was a lot of fun coming from one MSP and then working for multiple MSPs, I get to see how everybody does something very similar. And it’s great to see how clients work or in different sizes. So that’s lots of fun.

 

Allen Edwards 

Outstanding, and what are we talking about today,

 

Ray Orsini 

we’re talking about continuous improvement, which might sound familiar because this is one of our core values. And it’s something that I think applies directly to documentation, because we want to make everything better every time we touch it. We do that with each other and a lot of other things that we do in our business. But specifically if your documentation, every time we touch a document, we want to make it better, even if it can be just a little bit better.

 

Allen Edwards 

Starting with the end in mind, for example, add an action item that I completed this morning to write a new SOP internally. I wrote it, I shared it with a team and an ask for feedback. Actually, even after that I fixed something that Adam you immediately responded with some additional edits as well.

 

Ray Orsini 

Yes, that’s that’s been a great part of that is we’ll share things and I’ll go into a little in detail a little bit later, as we’ll share things that we’ve done in IT Glue, it’s great to see that that history. And then we’ll go in and say, Hey, this looks good. Or we can improve this or I I ran through this process. And maybe we can improve this step here. Talk a little bit more about that later.

 

Allen Edwards 

Okay, and is today going to be focused on IT Glue or other systems as well?

 

Ray Orsini 

It can these concepts can be applied to any system. Today, I think my main focal point is about the people that are involved in your documentation. So it’s not just this system or that system, or this specific asset or this SOP, it’s everybody and how do we all work together to improve our documentation for the next person that looks at it, even if it’s me, when I look at it again, I want it to be better next time.

 

Allen Edwards 

Let’s hear more.

 

Ray Orsini 

All right. So I wanted to start with a just definition In have continuous improvement. This is one of our core values, I’ll share that with you. Now. Our core value is growth is intentional. So we want to keep getting better and doing better by enabling the same for our clients. We want all of our stakeholders to grow personally financially, their confidence, their knowledge and their confidence, and that those last two parts are going to be key. And the thing we’re talking about today is their knowledge and their confidence, because that’s what you want to instill when you write good documentation. This is all based off of, I think, a Japanese business philosophy called Kaizen, which is means change. Good. So it’s just, we want to continually improve our working processes. In some industries, they use something called incremental change. But for us, and for what we’re going to be talking about today, we’re talking about continuous improvement as a concept. Very good. So our first section we’re going to talk about is writing documentation for people. So what this means is that we want this to like make sense for the people that you’re writing it for. So our technical documentation often starts with like, some bulleted lists and general troubleshooting. And you read them. And when I find a solution, I want to post that in that document to improve it. So that’s, that’s something that how it usually starts. And we think once you find the solution, you should include that. So we want to list it in like problem solution. So if I am working with a client, I find something that the we had an original problem that we can identify, and this works for troubleshooting, like service tickets, or, you know, working on solving a processes, we have a problem. And then we want to get to a solution. And then we have a process in between. So that’s what we’re going to do is identify what the problem was and what our solution was in that documentation. So that’s, that’s how it usually starts. And then what we’re gonna do is go to the next step on how to improve that. So the next one down is templatized in your documentation. So what we like to do is create a template for a specific piece of documentation, once we’ve identified it, that it’s necessary, and it’s a repeatable process that we’re going to do, we’re going to templatized this. So the next time someone fills it out, they have some like guidelines to follow. So we have an SOP template for the templates that we write and put out on our website. So they all look the same every time. So what information do I need to plug in, I’m just gonna go in and fill those out.

 

Allen Edwards 

The other beauty of a template as well is, as you get familiar with your own template, your own processes, etc. You can skip the parts you don’t need, because you know what, what is where and speeding up your process,

 

Ray Orsini 

right. Yeah, and that’s, that’s something that over time you accomplish, and that goes in with, whenever someone says I want to automate this. Automation comes from having a good process in the first place, like you said. So in IT Glue, this might be applicable to like, flexible assets, or, you know, building a configuration the same way each time. Once you go through and do a couple of those, you can apply those to all your clients run through, and you can see them globally and see what information you do when do not have. This was great. In our case for an organization summary or a Site Summary for some of our clients. Whenever we brought on a new employee, it was really easy to show them, hey, this is information about our clients. And here’s where you find it. So we’re giving them the power to go find that documentation for themselves.

 

Allen Edwards 

Very good. And I do wanna remind our audience, we are live currently. So if you’re seeing this right now and you have questions, comments, thoughts, feel free to throw them in the comments, we will see those and try to address them as well.

 

Ray Orsini 

So I have a little bonus tip here in this last one is knowing your audience. We’ve run into this a couple of times when we were writing a document, we want to make sure we understand who we’re writing to. This happens to us a lot when we’re reviewing stuff for our website. Or if we’re writing a process internally, and we have multiple members review it, we realize we might not be writing to the correct audience. And we wanted to make sure who you know who was going to be reading it

 

Allen Edwards 

yet. The two fun stories I’ve like we’re working on the rica Process Book internally here and I’ve written entire chapters of dozens of pages and then Adam will come back. It’s like, Yeah, who’s reading this again? I’m like, Oh crap. And I have to literally rewrite the thing because it makes a difference for your audiences. And then a second example about knowing your audience’s, as Adam mentioned, we get so used to what we know, and how we do things individually, when we’re writing the SOP and for our own internal Client Onboarding SOP, I wrote it and followed it. I continuously improved it every time I followed it. The time came like, Okay, we got to really test this. So Adam II follow the process. And his response was, what the heck is this? How do I even follow this? So he spent a few Client Onboarding, improving that process as well. And running it by me getting informations like, Okay, this is much better, we pass it on to Brooke. And she’s like, I can’t even begin what the heck is this. So we had to keep going to that process to make it better and better until finally, the audience, the people who don’t think the way we do had enough information to follow that through as we brought three on board to do some more, more, more of our Client Onboarding. There’s slightly less questions each time, and we keep improving the process.

 

Ray Orsini 

Exactly. That’s kind of what kind of reminded me of this. Keeping in mind, like transitions or stopping points in a process, like when you need to hand something off to someone or you have some prerequisite that you need, make note of those. So that doesn’t trip up the next person when they’re, they’re starting that process as well. This even goes beyond something I encountered earlier in the week, I was working with one of our clients doing project scoping. And they understood that they the person writing that that process, it took them about 45 minutes to do a task. But it might take someone else who hasn’t done that before, like two hours to do that task. That’s an understanding of this person has never seen this before. And they’re they’re going to be doing it for the first time maybe, or reviewing documentation that they haven’t seen in a long time or something like that. So building in that time contingency there was is really smart, and something that I want to apply going forward.

 

Allen Edwards 

Alright, good.

 

Ray Orsini 

Our next one is champions in committees. So what we wanted to do is kind of create a culture of documentation, we always want to be referring back to a process and say, This is how we do this. So we want to document our repeatable processes, internal standards, and our technical stack, just to make it easier for everybody to find things, and they know where it’s stored. And you can keep referring back to it and improve it, it makes people feel connected to the process. And they they can know where to find things they feel empowered. So whenever they have some type of question, the focal point will be the documentation. Have you looked at the documentation? What have you tried already? What process are you following? You’re getting them back to the process back to that document every time? Have you looked at this lexical asset type it, it has a document that’s tagged and that might be helpful, check that out, you’re directing them back to the process back to the documentation source. And then if it’s not there, and you need to add it, then we have to do now we can go and write that documentation, or make sure that it’s clear in that SOP that that is needed.

 

Allen Edwards 

Look, okay. And you mentioned earlier, too, that we write processes for people. And it’s such a different task, and you say to somebody, Hey, do it this way, versus also getting people to participate in the improvement and in creation of these processes, they become more invested, they want to follow them and they’re more aware of them. It’s people said in school, and you take notes you remember better wasn’t true for me. But you know, the process of writing helps you remember them as well. So that’s more of that getting connected to the process you mentioned.

 

Ray Orsini 

Yeah, exactly. So we do have a poll that we can reference. If we want to do that now. It’s going to be related to the next thing that we talked about. So we’re just getting to that. So you can see that live data there. This is going to be at swift polling comm. You’ll go there and enter your number here at the bottom. There’s also a QR code, and you can text as well the code to enter is 14795. Or you can text at 205-883-8760. And the question is, how often do you update your documentation? Just once a year, once a month, once a week? Never. Ever? And the last question is every time you touch it. So this is a live poll. Now you can go in and enter in here. This poll was on our Facebook already. But here you can see this poll. And you can enter how Often you think you should update your documentation. While that while those results are coming in, just going to refer back to the next point is talking about our champions and committees, like this whole topic is how often do we review this. So we, we like to do two different things in relation to this poll. When I was looking at this, I’m sure that some documentation is updated whenever they have a chance. But I think in our our model, are, we follow two different ways. One of them being that we’re going to meet on a regular basis as a team. And that that, for us is weekly. So that would fall into the once a week category here. The weekly update, we review anything that’s changed. Whoo, okay, we got some, every time I touch it, that’s good. That’s gonna be our next one. So our weekly meeting is anything that’s changed. And it really is great for this, because you could see it histories and you can go back and look and see things that have actually been updated, give the person who updated a chance to update the team. Or if somebody, you don’t have this meeting, they can always go in there and see that as well. Gives it also gives the team an opportunity to review it and talk about the structure of the documentation if it needs to be improved. Or if there’s anything that they if it’s something you want to apply to all clients and then assign that workout.

 

Allen Edwards 

Right. So let’s talk. Let’s talk some details here. First of all, many documentation platforms have some sort of activity trail log or workflows, we actually use both in our IT Glue, but we have it send a update to our team channel via email, every time a document is created or updated. And during a weekly meeting, which is actually called process review, we just scroll through that channel for the first couple minutes of the meeting. And it says, hey, you know, Alan updated this document, Adam updated this document, Veronica did this document. And we asked the question, hey, when you see this, is that caused you to have a question? Like what changed? Or remind you that I made a change? And is it a significant enough change, you would like to share that with the team? We do this on Fridays, I think last Friday, we’ve been allocating 15 minutes of our one hour meeting toward this. And we use the whole 15 minutes because we’ve been really refining our processes lately. And these are processes that were updating continuously. But they were reviewing them once a week and occasionally having a challenging Wait, why’d you change that? Is this the best way and we’ll refine it right there on the spot.

 

Ray Orsini 

That’s, that’s going to be our next bonus tip. So for anybody that said, is anybody that said, every time I touch it, that is going to be the next one, many hands make slight work, we want to empower our team. So we’d like everybody to have the ability to edit the documentation and do it in real time. So like Alan was saying earlier, he posted something and immediately I was like, we need to fix this. There’s something that we can make an edit to, it had been live on IT Glue for about a minute. So I wasn’t gonna call you out. But But I think this approach is better. And Alan, you’ve mentioned this before, in this meeting, that that may not be popular to give everybody the power to do this. But we think that empowering people to, to go in and make the change themselves makes them feel more connected to the documentation. And then they they are, you know, they feel good that they are contributing to an end result of good documentation. That’s what we want is them to keep coming back to it and making it better. And there

 

Allen Edwards 

is a fear that there is a somebody who’s going to get it wrong and that somebody else is going to blindly follow it wrongly. I hope those people that would make such egregious mistakes aren’t your people. There is also typically nothing wrong with making mistakes and getting things wrong. And hopefully your team’s the type of team that will see that yo Hey, this is kind of weird. Let me let me question it. And of course, if you have this documentation review, you can see what changed and prove it yourself. Maybe you don’t have to have a stop let me evaluate this name you can be let me review as they’re changing.

 

Ray Orsini 

So that’s that’s our bonus tip there for your takeaway. Next, we’re going to talk about our goals. So goals are a part of your documentation as well, especially part of their Eureka process. We have A quarterly cadence, and that’s part of an annual cadence. So your annual goals will influence your quarterly goals, which will influence what you do week to week. So our first step here is measuring our success. It makes us feel like we’re we are working towards something, we have something to measure. And this graphic on the right here is kind of what it feels like week to week is you’re going in a circle. But what’s actually happening is you’re making progress, because over time, you’re improving things every time. You are continually working on things week to week, month to month, quarter to quarter. And throughout the year.

 

Allen Edwards 

It’s sometimes like equated to taking small steps, it feels like no progress at all, you keep doing it anyways. Next thing you know, you look back, and like, oh, I call for I have come.

 

Ray Orsini 

So in those in those quarterly goals, you’re taking small steps. But you have some destination in mind. So that’s, that’s something you want to think about when you’re writing documentation is I have an end result in mind. How do I get there. And like I mentioned earlier, the end goal is often times automation. So a great starting point to that is writing a good process in the first place. If you have a good process that you can run through these steps pretty easily. But it takes some manual work, maybe there’s some steps in there that we can automate. And then the next time around, I only have to do two of those five steps and everything else is just working on its own. But if you know your process, it’ll make that a lot easier.

 

Allen Edwards 

Process is key we, for our V screening service, we recently switched to a different software platform, got away from our ticketing platform and move to something mission built for this. And the folks who sold us the software were amazed. We had adopted the software in two days flat. And we didn’t realize what was so special about this. And it was simply that we had a written process that we’ve been following already. So now we’re like, Okay, this is our process. How do you make your software do it? Okay, this one, this one, change this piece? Alright, we’re good. Okay, that was easy. The process made all the difference, and allowed us to do all sorts of automations. Very quickly, once we had mastered the process in writing and followed manually for a while first.

 

Ray Orsini 

Our next step in goals is understanding that there are humans behind the goals that you set. So SOP is behind metrics. So if you’re setting a goal, or some destination, we want to understand the human element and understand that it will take them time, they will have challenges, planning some contingency for some extra time just in case things don’t go well. Thinking about this quarter, it’s okay. We have, you know, 12 weeks in a quarter, right? Not this quarter, at the end of the year, we might have 10 weeks, and then the other some holidays, okay, so we have even less time and then okay, maybe I need to plan in that. Say I am doing a discovery and something goes wrong in my initial action plan. Okay, I might be set back a week or two. Those are things we want to plan for and think about ahead ahead of time and not say, Okay, we’re going to cram 12 weeks of work into eight weeks. So you have to think about that and, and accurately plan out and that’s part of your predict superpower is thinking ahead about how long these things are going to take.

 

Allen Edwards 

us imagine the number of times we set a goal, and then we suddenly become surprised that oh, those Christmas holidays and vacations. How can we possibly predicted that does happen every year? We’ve experienced that before. So we should plan ahead. And Veronica, I don’t know if we can throw up the six leadership superpowers link. You mentioned our superpower, we do teach. There are six leadership superpowers predict being one of those. And so there’s more information we’ll throw up here in a moment on how that works. And if you want to find out more.

 

Ray Orsini 

Certainly, something that helped me with with this and understanding our core values is the fact that process is my superpower. So I can think about things from A to Z. Maybe not so much planning ahead or simplifying. But at least I know the process parts. So that’s good.

 

Allen Edwards 

We picked the right guy for this webinar. That’s true.

 

Ray Orsini 

Same thing with if you’re setting a goal for your documentation, if you’re setting a goal for your service teams, in relation to KPIs or in the in the in the for quarterly goals, those are more like KPIs where you have a time driven measurement of your result. so you know where you’re going and, you know how you’re, you’re planning how to get there. But understand there’s, there’s people behind those metrics. And if you’re giving someone is, especially when it comes to KPIs, if you’re giving someone a, this number represents your performance and your job, give them the purpose, the why behind that, give them an SOP related to that gauge or that report that they’re monitoring, to say, if this number is bad, go do this and empower them to have an effect on that result. And that goes with your goals as well. Once they complete that task, they know that they have completed that goals and they’ve helped the whole company move forward. And not just themselves for their personal KPIs or their team KPIs.

 

Allen Edwards 

So use that word a lot. KPIs, what is that?

 

Ray Orsini 

So a key performance indicator, and we like to say key indicator of performance, because those will be the ones that are most important to that individual or team. And when it comes to quarterly goals, it’s usually one person holding that goal and being accountable for it.

 

Allen Edwards 

And how does that vary from a KPR? Again,

 

Ray Orsini 

a KPR is, it’s usually it’s like a quarterly goal. But it’s not usually time driven, you just have a result in mind and you’re headed towards it. We like the quarterly goals being focused around a timeframe, because they say that has to be done by this time. And it makes you a lot more motivated to get to get that because you don’t want to miss your quarterly goals.

 

Allen Edwards 

And just to weigh in, you mentioned the we have a quarterly goal because we always expect things to happen, right, we can predict that something’s going to get in our way, even if we don’t know what this type this time we know it’s Christmas, American Thanksgiving for those in the US. I’m always say that, you know, even though a quarter could have up to 13 weeks in it, create a 10 week action plan that gives you three weeks of slippage if you needed or three weeks to relax, if you get it done ahead of time.

 

Ray Orsini 

That’s always a good feeling. Yeah,

 

Allen Edwards 

repetitive last quarter, we had a couple of those. As you know, as we hit month three, we started knocking off quarterly goals and allowed us to focus harder to get accomplished

 

Ray Orsini 

true. And also, if you’re meeting in a team setting, and multiple people have quarterly goals that they’re trying to meet, you might finish theirs, or help them finish theirs, because yours are all done. So help help your team out there. Don’t let them fail.

 

Allen Edwards 

Very good.

 

Ray Orsini 

The next one, this is our bonus tip is moving the goalposts when needed, and this is this is to say we’re setting a goal, and we’re going to work towards it. But if we meet this goal, do we need to move it or maintain it. So we want to understand what the goal is purposes. Whether it’s a metric, this is tell us this is how we’re doing generally, or it’s a KPI saying this is important for our team. And it will directly affect our performance for our clients, and for meeting our goals in the future. So if it’s a KPI that we want to maintain, then to meet our goal, then perfect, we want to keep maintaining that throughout the entire quarter throughout the entire year. If it’s a metric that we keep meeting, and it’s just telling us this is how we’re how we’re doing, we might want to increase that a little bit or decrease it depending on which direction is good. And say we can do better, and we can strive for better. And we’ve seen that if you continually meet some metric or KPI, you might be able to push it up a little higher or lower than you think. And then it will force you to take action to to, you know, improve your process to say, what can we do to get to this new goal, and it will motivate you and your team to to move towards that.

 

Allen Edwards 

So we’ve been asked this question before. And I’ve certainly seen some cautionary tales, is there a time to stop improving something i i can think of I have a client who has really good resolution time and they’re out this they’re hovering at one hour and and the owners like a lot more, I want more. And I have this hesitation like okay, if we do more how much effort how much pushing? How much improvement do we have to make to get a little bit more?

 

Ray Orsini 

Yeah, I was thinking that thinking that as well. I have seen some things where I’m starting with newer clients and we have a baseline and then we want to work towards some metric. But once we get there, that what do we do? So I think the the, you don’t have great leaps and bounds but now you’re maintaining a standard. And maintaining your standards is something that your clients feel, you improve your customer service. They understand that you are doing well for them. And that’s usually what our goals are centered around. But if someone is meeting their goals, they’re doing a good job. Like They’re doing their job essentially. So we don’t need to constantly improve those, there might be improvements to the process, or to that team. Or maybe it’s to say, we’re meeting our goals, we can grow. It’s not it’s not hard to meet our goals right now. So maybe we can go out there and sell some more. That’s kind of what I’m seeing when, when, if we can consistently meet something, and I’m not trying to derail a team by like, just suddenly onboarding new clients, but it does tell me that they can handle the workload and they’re doing well.

 

Allen Edwards 

You know, there’s probably a parable here or a lesson in our marketing. I don’t mind spending, you know, dozens and dozens of hours working on some sort of marketing system. But my expectation is, at some point, we get this into autopilot the first time, we launched the it dog webinar series, you knows a lot of effort getting the first one. And I’m like, Okay, how do we make this a little easier the second time, and we’re, we’re obviously still adding new tools, like we’re using stream yard to stream this live, and we’re trying to use Prezi for the presentation. And we’re finding new obstacles all the time to make to work on to make better and continuously improve. But we’re doing it and the idea is that you know, what, might have taken us 40 hours in a month to prepare, begin to take 30 and then 20. And then it gets into kind of a automated cycle. Not that we don’t keep improving it every time we touch it. But the effort and the reward level changes, and allows us to focus on other things we can go improve now.

 

Ray Orsini 

Yep, that makes it makes a lot of sense. I was trying to think of it in the terms of like a help desk. But that makes sense as well. See what else I’m gonna talk about around curious.

 

Allen Edwards 

There’s one off the wall question here that we should answer, which is, are we related?

 

Ray Orsini 

We are not related. I got asked recently, if I was your brother.

 

Allen Edwards 

On your acid, you were my child. Yeah, that’s true. How old do you think I am?

 

Ray Orsini 

I have a little bit of grain here. And I’ve yours in it. And I had the great approve it. I just it’s not, you know, so pronounced yet? No, we’re not related. Unfortunately, we did find out that I am the tallest. So

 

Allen Edwards 

last shot that day.

 

Ray Orsini 

So yeah. I usually standing in the back of photos. So before, before I started this, I asked our team, and this isn’t necessarily one of our slides, just a great conversation piece here. I asked her team what continuous improvement meant to them. So a couple exits here. So first, I’ll start with you. And I’m going to repeat back through what he said. And what I got from it. Alan said, what continuous improvement means to me is that anything we do even the things that are working well, I’m looking for incremental improvements, whether it’s to be more efficient, or more effective, more automated, some make something easier, or how can I improve everything that I touch? And and you told me this early on when I started is that what the client is asking for when they’re when they’re they have some type of need, or submit a service ticket, see if we can go just like one step beyond that. They’re asking for this, can we give them can we deliver just a little bit more? Can we make it easier for them in some way. And that’s that’s always what I wanted to do. When I was a service manager for my technicians, I wanted to make it easier for them to do their job. So if it took them less clicks, less time to get to something, they knew how to find things. Just make it easier for them to do things. Sometimes I would let just let them ask me questions and about a process. And if I could get get them there faster, with less clicks, I would try to teach them how to do it themselves.

 

Allen Edwards 

I love counting clicks.

 

Ray Orsini 

Yep. That’s the process of me. So I thought that was really cool. And, and I see it obviously, all the time here because it’s part of our core values, and we work it into everything that we do. So just making those just a little bit better each time. Really, really comes through a lot and in our onboarding. Process is a really good example. We did it a whole bunch of times. And then we had a New Audience member that said, Oh, what do I do here? And we were like, ah, we forgot this like transition moment where it transitions from one person to another. And that’s what happens when a process moves between departments even is that it You have to say stop here, and then give this to this person. Or in

 

Allen Edwards 

our case, you suddenly have departments you didn’t have before. Exactly

 

Ray Orsini 

what happens when you grow? Because you’re

 

Allen Edwards 

so added, we might be covering this next. And I’m curious how our core values actually written compared to what our thoughts were on it.

 

Ray Orsini 

Obviously, we have the chance to review our quarterly goals, every quarter, or inadequately, those are our core values every quarter. So I think they’re written pretty well, and we and we adhere to them. I think we keep asking, Hey, what does this mean to you each quarter, and you get like a little bit more every time and we refine it, and you get like new things. This is what I learned last quarter, according to this core value. So like, like I was talking about earlier, like, like Brookes takeaway of this quarter, this past quarter was knowledge and confidence, like giving people the knowledge and competence when it comes to documentation and process and anything related to what they’re doing with their teams, are they going in the right direction, just being like, hey, we have seen another MSP do what you’re doing, you’re doing a good job, you’re on track. That gives them confidence. They know that they’re doing the right thing. And they’re moving on that was one of bricks takeaways. Let me see if I can find what she said.

 

Allen Edwards 

So while you’re pulling that up, I will just read our core value as it’s currently stated, which we might continue to refine and improve continuous improvement, we want to keep getting better and doing better. By enabling the same for our clients, you want all stakeholders to grow personally, financially, their knowledge and their confidence. We want to specify a lot of things in this core value. Because we don’t always think about those things. When we say continuous improvement, we are stuck thinking about processes, or about career advancement, or whatever that that personal thing is to you know that you want to improve. And we’re just trying to remind everybody that everybody’s involved in the process, and it’s an all areas.

 

Ray Orsini 

Absolutely. All stakeholders. So that’s everybody in your company, from the bottom to the top are a part of their success. And you have to empower them and to make them feel that they’re a part of it and give them that that confidence when they’re working in their day to day, they know that they’re impacting the overall performance of the company in some way. And they know the, like performance in their area of the company will impact things and how and then how they can go make change to improve those things. I was I was listening to something earlier in the week from Jordan Peterson. And he was talking about, like, walled cities, in terms of, you know, you, you’ve heard, like people being confined in like a walled garden, but walled city is functioning, and it’s working it you’re in your routine, so you feel comfortable in your routine. And he was saying, Take solitude in that. Because if you’re working in your routine, then you can be free to innovate, and imagine it and start building things outside of it, because you’re comfortable where you are. So saying it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. But do get outside of it every once in a while. But here’s the thing, if you’re working in your routine, day to day, it will empower you to think about the process and say, Okay, I’ve done this process four or five times now, we could probably combine these two lines make this easier, maybe hand this off to someone automate this part. Go through your routine and see how you can improve it.

 

Allen Edwards 

Being aware of the routine is a big piece of that right not just not just crashing tickets as a technician even an IT documentation one little thing Adam said which was just triggered a thought for me is Adam you’re reading stuff that might not have anything to do with you know, Eureka process or it or management and that’s that helps you documentation to is seeing what other people are doing not just in the way you document things, but how is it a medical practice documenting your things? Um, you know, what are just other concepts that are even unrelated or you thought are unrelated to it documentation. And that can help you improve your life and everything you touch.

 

Ray Orsini 

That’s what’s great about working with our clients, and they are all come from different industries, even though we’re working together in a very similar niche for for it MSPs they’ll have might have come from other industries, especially if they’re their managers. They come from the auto industry that you know, they’ve come from the medical industry, maybe even hospitality. So they have similar ways of doing this. Same thing, and they might call it something different. So I was writing a technical SOP about entering ticket notes. And one of our clients was like, Oh, this is soap. And I was like, No, these are ticket notes. And he’s like, no, no, it’s soap as in like, you know, these are the what this acronym means to me. And I was like, oh, okay, so what I what I had burned into my head for how to write ticket notes. He had something else in mind. So that’s pretty interesting.

 

Allen Edwards 

I mean, we are fortunate, and it’s almost a self fulfilling prophecy for doing what we do. We meet with so many clients, and they’re teaching us to rave, we’re able to just cross pollinate with everybody to say this is working for this person, and helping expose people to other ways to improve.

 

Ray Orsini 

Absolutely. Let’s see. I’m reading Veronica’s excerpt here. And she’s probably screaming internally. But

 

Allen Edwards 

pull yourself up on video and give it live and she prefers.

 

Ray Orsini 

It’s true. I think the continuous improvement aspect here for Veronica is she was building that routine, making sure she covered her bases, so that she could build on top of that. So she’s laying a good foundation for building on top of of her existing day to day routine. And making sure she’s focusing on different areas of her life to make sure she’s showing up every day. And she’s good to go. This is a part of what templatized thing essentially is, is I repeat this process every day. This is a morning routine that I’ve been trying to get into. I’ve been waking up earlier. And I’m trying to discover what my morning routine is. And it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. And I just haven’t. So I just started setting my alarm earlier and getting up and trying to get myself ready for the day. And so far, it’s worked really well that I’ve just been getting up and getting prepared for the day and I have more energy, but I’m just building my process over time. Very good. That’s most of my notes and presentation here. We should we do have some time for just open conversation. And then I think you have information about events that are coming up. But if anybody has any questions, anything that you want to add, we have time for that now.

 

Allen Edwards 

Yep, we’re streaming on to YouTube, LinkedIn, our Facebook page, and it dug. So if you have questions on this video, you may just comment below, various platforms have a few seconds delay. So so bear with us as we go through that. While we’re waiting for questions, and Veronica Sri over here in our green room, you’re welcome to come up with conversations, anecdotes, or cool things you’ve seen regarding continuous improvement as well. But let’s go and pull up the slides that we have for our what’s coming next for it duck. It’s a I know it’s a special holiday season. We’re based in the US. So we have the Thanksgiving holiday during our next normal presentation. So we’ve opted not to have our regularly scheduled webinar for November. Similarly, Christmas falls about the same time for it like webinars. So we weren’t going to do that regularly scheduled one either going back to normal in January. But we thought what would be fun is kind of in between we’ve picked Wednesday, December 15. At 2pm. I believe that’s Eastern Time. Robot audience here, including our own team. We’re just going to have a meet and greet. No super structured agenda, we’re going to do some fun games. And we’re going to have giveaways. So just have some fun caps, a little excitement, anticipation, get to know each other, who’s posting on the group and answering questions. And maybe we’re all from different places. And we can ask about the weather cultures. Could be fun, super low pressure. We’d love to have you there. And then we’ll be back into our normal schedule come January, wherever Veronica and three have already prepared a couple of guest speakers and some cool content throughout the first quarter already. Oh, yeah. Because for the for those that don’t know, I’ve been I’m an American US citizen. I’ve been living in Canada for the last few years. So I’m in the process of applying for permanent resident status. Combine that with COVID restrictions and travel on the international borders. I can’t go to it nation connect this year, but the rest of the team can so I’m super stoked to see what they they achieve and what they learned and who they connect with it it nation. So if you’re headed to Orlando November 10 through 12th, Adam, Veronica and Brook should all be there. There’ll be roaming halls and attending classes. We have a couple of just meetups planned where if you want to say hi, we’d love to see you there. So look for them feel free to email us Rick at Eureka process comm if you want to make sure we connect with you, you can also can you register for it nation meetups at the slash events as well. Ah, so a couple of meetups we do have at it nation you can get to at Eureka process.com/events It’s also the same place, you can register for it on January 26. We’re gonna have a special guest tenacity cloud there. And as usual, when we have vendors on board, we’re going to try to prevent all the selling aspects that we can and talk about cool stuff and cool perspectives regarding documentation and process that those types of vendors can bring to the table with us. Did I miss any announcements?

 

Ray Orsini 

No, I don’t think so. I’m excited for that. Meet and Greet. We did that in our community. And it was pretty fun. It would be cool to do it here with everybody that shows up to it.

 

Allen Edwards 

Absolutely. I’m still jealous. I’m not going to it nation.

 

Ray Orsini 

We will, we’ll make sure to have fun with for you.

 

Allen Edwards 

I mean, I actually broken I selected this jacket to wear to a conference. And it arrived just before COVID shut everything down. So now this is my webinar jacket. Time I can wear to a conference

 

Ray Orsini 

still get a new side of it.

 

Allen Edwards 

But my Halloween costume is selected for the year already. Very

 

Ray Orsini 

nice. Does it? What do you think? Scared of kids in your neighborhood?

 

Allen Edwards 

Well, at least like see where to candy thief is that?

 

Ray Orsini 

Yeah, that’s true.

 

Allen Edwards 

Very fun. Um, I don’t think we have any other questions Veronica three who are in our green room and I can see that you guys want to throw some cool stuff. I really do want to pick on you guys. I know putting you on the spot. I apologize. Sir. He’s been with us for just a few months now. I would be curious three some sort of example of how you’ve seen continuous improvement done accurate process. If you’re willing to come on. I don’t see you shaking your head or vomiting. So that’s good. Oh, how convenient time for internet issues.

 

 

Hello, hello. I think I should be loud and clear now. Yep. All good. Thank you for putting me on the spot.

 

Allen Edwards 

You’re welcome.

 

 

I think it you know, I’ve across across my, the few companies I’ve been with, in my career, I’ve definitely seen companies that talk about values. But you know, it’s it’s just really something that goes on paper, you know. But I do feel that as a team, you become process definitely inculcates the continuous improvement value. And I think that’s one of the elements that has made me feel very welcome, as a newbie to the team as well. I definitely see that approach taken in helping me understand this field, which is very new to me. And appreciating the fact that, you know, I, apart from my work life, I also have a school life. And I do see that’s a very integral part of the team. Yeah.

 

Allen Edwards 

And have you seen any specific examples of continuous improvement and any stories that might can help others.

 

 

So my role is community manager role revolves. One of things that revolves around is the Eureka community website. And you know, where it is, at now, as a repository of knowledge can work. It has been working for a while, but I think we’ve chosen not let it stay there. It could be better, it can be better. And the decision making process for that was that I mean, it was almost like this is a no brainer, we it needs to keep growing. And that was that was the decision, the decision wasn’t let’s change it to a new form. You know, the decision was very long term, it was very much with sustainability. Factors factor in mind. So it was very much let’s see what its next evolving form can be. And that, to me is very much continuous improvement.

 

Allen Edwards 

So yeah, so there’s never any hesitation from anybody to Let’s improve this thing.

 

 

Yeah.

 

Allen Edwards 

What is the quote, Good is the enemy of great

 

Ray Orsini 

yeah, when I’m writing documentation, it’s, you know, perfect is the enemy about me actually starting so I just started writing, and then it could be good. And then I can improve it later and make it better.

 

Allen Edwards 

You know, you know, the reason we think that so strongly might be because of how strongly we believe in continuous improvement, creating a process, creating a document, that’s hard. But once it’s there, even if it’s just a header or a couple of bullet points, and as you mentioned earlier, all right now we have something we can improve continuously, we don’t have to aim for perfection. No, fix a spelling mistake, this time, you know, next time add a step, the third time realize you can skip a step. Just one thing at a time. Very good. Veronica, do you want to take three’s moment and spotlight any examples you have of continuous improvement you’ve seen.

 

Veronica Dunn 

Um, what I wanted to say was that, as part of our core value, my favorite aspect of our definition is that it is not focused only in business, we want to take that outside of our side and into our lives. And I’ve done that in the past, just for myself, just to make sure this is what Adam was explaining earlier, just to make sure I’m on the right track, especially if I’ve seen or I feel that I’m off track. I just check in with these five things. And I keep it five. So I haven’t on my on my hand and say, you know, am I doing well, physically, financially, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually is the last one. So I just have that always on my mind. And not that I always have to be doing amazing and any of them. But if I’m not, I know what to do to, to move forward even just a little bit.

 

Allen Edwards 

Right? Because the whole concept of continuous improvement has nothing to do with where you are, except for that you are there. Alright, it can be bad, it can be good, it can be great. But how do we make this a little bit better? You mean, even if we’re having a bad day, bad process, bad documentation? Well, what if you have bad that means you have something it’s probably a heck of a start, right? So yeah, this, let’s just make it better. When next week, you look at your document, and it’s slightly less bad. Okay, that’s improvement. And that can be celebrated. That’s why it’s a core value, because I’m okay, even with a bad document or a bad process. Because I know we’re improving it, and we live that Andronik image in the personal life, too. It’s really hard to be one way at work, and be a different way. Personally, we might do different things. But it’s hard to be two different things. So this seminar is not about core values, specifically, it’s about continuous improvement. But it’s just an example of how you know, we’re trying to be human beings that are a certain way versus just do this at workplace.

 

Ray Orsini 

Personally is is a personal improvement is in our core value. And, Alan, you have a great story about this. That’s your personal positive today. What is, you know, how has that affected you over time?

 

Allen Edwards 

Okay, um, this will be the last segment, we can make that we have to wrap up. That’s very good. And I’ll try to keep it brief. Maybe this is a separate webinar later. So I was listening to a friend complain recently, you know, work is tough, I need more work. I’m like, Okay, I really shouldn’t do both those things at the same time. I look around and go, Man, you know, my life is actually really good. I have a team that I love. Businesses growing. I love working with my clients. And, you know, I started stumbling upon words we’ve all heard heard, like, abundance, mindset, positivity, spirit of thankfulness. You know, Thanksgiving was just in Canada a few weeks ago, and it will be in the states in a few weeks as well. And I realized that the reason these things are good for me, the reason I’m saying again, the reason I have good material things friendships, you know, I love my new bicycle that I got cool computer, great, great business, I can pay my bills, is because we start every meeting we have with a positive start, we get a personal positive, hey, I’m thankful for this. I had this experience, it was wonderful. I had this bad thing happened. But I learned this thing from it. We find a positive for every meeting. And I facilitate three to seven meetings a day, five days a week that I have to give a personal positive for. And I have to hear a personal positive from everybody else in every one of those meetings as well. And the amount of positivity that surrounds me because of that and the way I view things and the way I act because I hear those things constantly reinforced to me, creates real material wealth and wealth doesn’t have to be just money. But it’s real material wealth, whether it’s the Veronica I’m not gonna get the list right. You said the five things mental, physical Spiritual, financial and social maybe? Maybe I got those right. It does start with the positive mindset. And I think continuous improvement is a big root of that personal mindset because if things can continuously improve, can’t be that that. So, that’s this month’s webinar. I hope to see you guys next month nope, month and a half now at the meet and greet for it, Doug. Adam, thank you so much for pulling this together and bringing this information here. We do check all of our social medias pretty often. So if you guys want to start a conversation in your favorite, go for it. If anybody wants to talk to the guy who has our handle on Twitter, so we don’t have to put the underscore in there. Let me know. And we’ll see you in it. Doug in the comment section, I’m sure. Thanks for coming, everybody.

IT-what?? What is ITDUG?

IT Documentation Users Group (ITDUG) is a Facebook group for sharing tips and tricks for documenting IT systems using any documentation platform recommended for IT Service providers, including internal IT departments. Join IT documentation professionals for discussions on IT documentation analysis, planning, and implementation of best practices in IT Documentation.

The group originated by Tracy Hardin, IT/MSP owner in 2018 to co-learn ITGlue‚Äč and later adapted it into a forum for all IT documentation platforms. Shortly thereafter, Eureka Process joined as co-admins. ITDUG now has over 3000 members and growing! Organized by a community of like-minded professionals united by a passion for documenting IT infrastructure and processes.

Team Eureka contributes a documentation-related webinar on the last Wednesday of every month. You can watch previous ITDUG webinars here. Share and learn the latest practices and strategies for documenting technology infrastructure, systems, policies, and procedures.

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