Implementation of Lichtenberg Principle

Implementation in a smaller organisation or department

Once support at management level has been secured, specific assignments can immediately be analysed using the services of an experienced external analysis moderator.

It will then be useful to set up a small internal follow-up group to track developments in the organisation and to investigate its needs. If this reveals that there is only occasional need for such analyses, the organisation can continue to call in external assistance on an ad hoc basis. However, if the need is perceived to be greater and more or less constant, implementation can be organised in the manner set out below, simplified to suit the given contexts.

Implementation in a larger organisation

The ‘natural method’ is nowadays applied to implementation in a large organisation, i.e. the technique and the corresponding know-how are transferred in the course of the practical analysis process with a minimum of courses etc.

The most important element, apart from unstinting support from the administrative, financial and technical sides of management, is the setting up of an internal working group or project group, which, as a specific staff function, is given the responsibility for carrying out an efficient implementation process and the competence to do so.

The working group initiates the identification and tackling of a number of specific analysis tasks, principally tasks which are ongoing and already of pressing importance. It also examines which types of tasks would benefit from being tackled using this analysis technique.

Under the auspices of the working group a users’ handbook is gradually put together, setting out descriptions of the method and examples, and clarifying procedures which correlate to those used elsewhere in the organisation. Concurrently and via management, potential participants in the analysis are given more general information. During the implementation period the working group is also responsible for ongoing guidance and discussion with other interested parties.

During this period an external consultant is assigned to the job, with the following remit: (1) to assist the working group in formulating the first assignments and the groundwork for the actual analyses, (2) to act as analysis moderator in tandem with representatives of the working group during the first analyses, (3) to assist with the putting together of the users’ handbook, and (4) to pass on to the members of the working group the techniques and more detailed know-how associated with the method.

The duration of the implementation period depends very much on the intensity and capability with which both working group and management get to grips with the task. One crucial factor is when the members of the working group themselves are ready to act as moderators. This generally requires an ‘apprenticeship’ period of participating as assistant moderator in 4 to 6 analyses, depending on the nature of the tasks.

The permanent organisation

The implementation period may very well last for a year or more, depending on the size of the organisation and its internal harmony. At the end of this period a special staff function is set up to take over the functions of the working groups, including being available to act as analysis moderator and as an ‘expert’ in the event of discussions on the method itself; also to keep and update the users’ handbook and to track developments in the area. This staff function carries the specific responsibility of ensuring the quality of the analysis, and in this context of calling in external assistance when circumstances warrant. This staff function can, as in the case of L.M. Ericsson, be teamed with the function of competence centre for project management.