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VSM Design Step 12

Step 12:
Examine the Information Systems


Create information systems which are capable to provide real time information loops


A good information system, providing up-to-date transparency and helping to concentrate on the important information, is an alternative to authoritarian management – it can render unnecessary organizational techniques based upon excessive management involvement.

If the appropriate information is measured and feedback is used to modify the way people work, then many organizational issues take care of themselves.

This Section covers real-time information systems based on performance indicators, self-assessment using these indicators, and the generation of the alerting signals called algedonics.

12.1 Evaluate current Systems

Consider your current information systems. How do you measure what is happening within each department? How do you ensure that each department is doing the things it is supposed to do? Do you need systems that alert you when something goes wrong, or would it be immediately obvious anyway? How up-to-date is your financial information? If you started to lose money today, how long would it take for the systems to realize?

12.2 Identify Deficits

In the light of the answers to these questions, you should be able to address the crucial issue: How complete and up-to-date is the model of the operation?

12.3 Collect Information Needs

If you have qualms about the kind of information systems you currently use, it may be sensible to define and measure performance indicators daily and see how your organisation changes.

Derived from Jon Walker’s VSM Guide for co-ops and federations