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The Process

The Process

Implementing Weekly Accounting is a process. Much like sausage being made, it can be painful to watch.

  • Build and Maintain Weekly Data Warehouse: It takes a few weeks to get access to all the data sources, automate the data flow and build the initial Weekly Data Warehouse.
  • Design and Refine The Rowsets: Once we start seeing the Weekly Data we make The Initial Rowset. The Initial Rowset is not The Final Rowset and the Rowset is never final.   
  • Refine and Refine: In the Rowsets we find anomalies that cause us to investigate and make changes to either how we process the data or how people do the work that creates the data, sometimes both. Over time the anomalies will move the conversation from the data and to being about the business. See Troubled, Functional Integrated and World Class.
  • How to Be: Be curious. Any reactions from senior management to the “goodness” or the “badness” of the business results implied by the data during implementation is counter productive. Progress is the product. Bugs lead to understanding, understanding leads to progress. Be curious. Observe what people say about the data, about the people, about the business system. Curiosity opens the door to understanding reality.  Understanding reality makes the business easier to run.
  • Communication: Let’s assume that the Investor/Board Member introduces Weekly Accounting to come into the company. While the process is running, Weekly Accounting will [never]1 share any information with the Investor/Board Member directly [1]. That’s the job of the CEO and that is best done in Board Meetings.
  • Past Stories. Past Stories come in the form of old budgets, old forecasts and old board presentations. Our view of the business is going to change rapidly over the next 3 months. Except for the purposes of a Harvard Business School Case Study, rehashing past stories is not a productive use of time.2 We did what we did when we had that intention and view of the business. We got what we got. The rest is yada yada yada.

[1] Limit exclusions for fraud, embezzlement and the like. All we have is our integrity.

[2] Whether HBS Case Studies is a productive use of time is a question for another time. Some HBS case studies we like include: Second Life and RentJuice. We write them more like this: Quality as the Ultimate Goal of Business and The Path of Wisdom.

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