At the risk of stating the obvious, the Arizona Management System is a system, a combination of interrelated, interacting elements that form a collective whole. Just as your body’s circulatory system, for example, cannot function without the heart, veins and arteries each doing its job in unison, AMS works best when its various components gel.
Visual performance management by itself is good in that it can show us what’s working, but its real value lies in revealing what isn’t. By exposing gaps between actual and optimal performance, AMS enables us to implement countermeasures and rigorously solve problems.
Likewise, an agency’s employees may dabble in problem solving, but without leaders to set priorities, support disciplined analysis for getting to root causes, and coach, mentor and model desired behaviors, employees may never realize the full extent of their problemsolving ability and apply it to do the most good.
Since October 2017, AMS In Focus has examined the core elements of AMS associated with visual performance management. These elements are intended to help agencies and employees monitor performance of the core processes that most impact the agency mission and deliver customer value. Let’s now turn our attention to problem solving and leader standard behaviors.
AMS is the catalyst transforming how Arizona government thinks and does business. We want every employee at every level throughout state government to become good at basic problem solving – i.e., defining problems, identifying the root cause or causes, developing countermeasures, and designing/redesigning standard work so process improvements are sustained.
Moreover, AMS redefines the role of leaders and managers throughout the enterprise so that they see themselves and their relationship with their teams differently. In the old order, leaders and managers advanced because they were good at following the rules and solving problems themselves. In the culture of continuous improvement that AMS promotes, however, leaders and managers need to be passionate and proficient in two things: coaching for performance and developing their people to be problem solvers.
A workforce of more than 33,000 skilled problem solvers will achieve far greater results and increase value and efficiency more than what can be achieved if only the leaders and managers solve problems.