From the Archives: More on Y to X Trees

A quick recap, and a look forward

This week, we’ve covered what a Y to X tree is and how to create them, as well as the difference between fixed and variable costs, and how to use the two when creating cost-focused trees. So why did we spend so much time on this?

When the year started, I really wanted to get away from the “here’s what’s wrong with HR” stuff. There is more than enough of that floating around already. Instead, I want to focus on sharing what I know and putting some tools in your kit to help you think differently about work.

When I went through black belt training, it changed my perception of the world. I no longer see things around me as “work.” I see processes and distinct workflows. I see inputs and outputs. I see waste and value. And I see how it could be better, and I see the things that hold us back. I want to share that with my HR brethren, because I know you can do great work with it.

So where do we go from here?

I have a list of topics that I want to cover. Some of them may feel very elementary to you, some may feel completely foreign. That’s ok. We are all at different levels of comfort. I’m hoping to establish a baseline of knowledge, skills and abilities that will at least get us to neutral. From there, if the feedback is positive, we can start looking at more complex tools and statistical analysis. But my focus for now will be on the basics.

Back to Y to X trees.

Yes, this is a simple tool. Yes, it takes about 5 minutes to learn. And yes, it can help keep you from choking on high level, nearly impossible goals. So why is it so powerful?  I think it’s beauty comes from simplicity.

There are plenty of complex analytical tools you can use if you want to look smart.  There are software programs that sell for hundreds of dollars that will promise to tell you the future.  I’m more interested in things we can use today, for free, to make HR successful in the trenches.

Once you know a tool like the tree, it becomes second nature to use it as needed.  You might not even realize you are using it, but the act of taking huge challenges and breaking them down into manageable chunks is the end goal, regardless of whether or not you realize you are doing it.  And the tree is a nice way to do it visually so you can collaborate with others.

What else can we use?

There are plenty of tools that are just as simple and useful, especially in a collaborative environment.  Those the tools on which I’ll focus.  I hope you will join me, and please jump in with comments or questions. I’ll try to keep it interesting for you. Thanks for reading.

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