TAR: Tear Apart and Rebuild

“Tear Apart and Rebuild or TAR, is a comprehensive methodology for improving efficiency, developing new approaches, improving quality, reducing costs, as well as providing a great variety of other benefits throughout an organization.”
Concept Summary
Within organizations all over the world it is easy to find areas which are described as “Business as Usual”. This acceptance of the status quo is not only corrosive but contagious as leaders find their attention shifting to specific areas where results can be quickly obtained. Over time the effort to reform a specific area that has been neglected becomes a barrier in and of itself, which gives a leader all the more reason to avoid it. With Objective Based TAR Planning leaders continually question how they can derive more value from functional areas, redesign the way they work, and reengineer the processes that support them. This structured process forces a leader to revisit areas on a regular basis, the rationale being that the accrued experience of TAR planning will make them more effective on each successive visit. Where previously organizational leaders might have focused on a couple of areas, TAR incentivizes leaders to look beyond their comfort zone to new areas where they can create value. This broadened focus introduces fresh ideas into stale or decayed functions and provides the chance to rebuild those functions and increase their value.
 
Displaced Perspective Imaging – Displaced Perspective Imaging allows users to visualize, both subjectively and objectively, how a situation or response may affect others in different functional areas.
Awareness – A competence defined as the ability of an individual or group to have objective or subjective knowledge, insight, or foresight into situations or responses and the effect that they may have on an organization and its activities.
Declining Value of Individual Competency– Competencies will, unless they are consistently challenged and developed, tend to naturally decline in their effectiveness and value.
Decay– The natural reduction in functional or area effectiveness over time because of outdated processes, obsolete hardware or software, etc.
Collateral Loss Due to Decay–When specific areas are allowed to decay other linked areas will also decay due to the interactions and compatibility issues that may arise. For example if a modern global HR team is forced to interact with a local HR system with obsolete systems inefficiency may occur given these incompatibilities.
New Efficiencies– Behind existing processes and functions there are new efficiencies to be found using analytical methodologies such as TAR, Six Sigma, A6, etc.
Value Added Destruction– Holds that the intentional destruction of some processes may increase value within an organization.
Intersections –Through the experience and knowledge of a diverse number of unrelated concepts, situations, and responses individuals can develop intersecting high value ideas or thoughts that are hybrids of those experiences which can be used to benefit an organization.
Barrier Removal– What type of innovation generation methodology or system would allow participants to distance themselves from the barriers inherent within an organization? How can
we encourage employees to look beyond those barriers in order to encourage them to reveal potential new ideas that may provide value to the organization?
Unintended Value Destruction– Many processes or systems in place currently within organizations unintentionally destroy value. They may be inefficient, present potential risks to quality control, or have negative effects on morale and therefore a corresponding effect on employee productivity and turnover.
 
The Situation
Over the years countless structures and methodologies have been offered up with the purpose of allowing organizations to solve problems and run more efficiently. The problem with structure is that too much of it tends to inhibit the free thinking that is necessary to develop a solution in the first place. Six Sigma is designed to allow organizations the ability to solve a problem using a structured methodical format. However the very categorization of employees or participants by degrees of belt determines a hierarchy which can threaten or diminish free thinking.
There is a disconnect between the teachings of leading business theorists and the methodologies in place within organizations. Where theorists teach chaos and freeform thinking, organizations practice structure and disciplined innovation. Where theorists teach the removal of barriers when it comes to creativity and innovation, organizations practice chain of command and defined roles. Where theorists teach that mavericks are the key to differentiation, organizations practice the repression and even removal of such individuals because of the instability they can cause.
The result is the rapid advance towards obscurity for many organizations as they lose the values they had when created  and in their infancy. Rather they mold themselves to become what they perceive as the industry standards. Older organizations entrenched in tradition and resistant to change are almost doomed to suffer an agonizing decline. Ultimately as a shadow of their former self they are bought or shut down, a victim of legacy systems, methodologies, and incompetent leadership.
What influences organizations to allow themselves to lose focus on the values that inspired their creation in the first place. Usually a new organization is born out of the desire to create something new or do something better than anybody else. Successful organizations accomplish this and grow as people are drawn to the appeal of their value proposition. At some point the desire to create something new or do something better is replaced by a desire to maintain which is natural and not to be looked upon negatively. For in order to survive organizations need to structure themselves to facilitate further growth and sacrifices must be made to define scope and provide focus, barriers are erected to ease communications, day to day priorities take precedence, and free function is replaced by structured activities and tasks. These are all necessary.
However as fresh as the organization and it’s components are when it emerges onto the market, decay inevitably will begin. Systems will become outdated and  less competitive. The value proposition of various products and services will diminish over time. Talented employees will be replaced through attrition and retirement. An organization must be able to reinvent the components with which it is made up and itself as a whole. It needs to regularly analyze each area and function with the goal of tearing them apart and then rebuilding them to provide more value whether it is to develop a new product, provide new efficiencies, lower costs, etc. This act of value added destruction will keep an organization young and vibrant through the reinvigoration of its parts, allowing it to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Functions, processes, and organizations all decay over time due to the
introduction of new technologies, attrition, and market evolution. Eventually
they become inefficient and produce diminishing value to the organization. 
The Concept
Tear Apart and Rebuild is a methodology where functional areas and their operations are analyzed and rebuilt from the ground up. This takes into account a number of factors.
The first factor holds that over time inefficiencies within a functional area become apparent. Awareness of these inefficiencies may be developed through the feedback of users, surveys, observation, etc. These inefficiencies are not able to be remedied through the use of TRCs and the use of them only provides marginal improvement. Second is that new technologies or approaches might demonstrate more efficient ways of performing tasks within a functional area. With the rapid evolution of today’s market, functional decay begins the moment an improvement project is concluded. Benchmarking may reveal changes that potentially could be made through the implementation of new technologies or operational approaches. Third, new regulations, policies, or strategies often require changes to the way certain areas function. Rather than just adding or removing processes perhaps this is a good time to revisit how the entire area operates taking these changes into consideration. For example if an organization decides to increase its international operations a change might be required within its HR function.
In a TAR project there are a set of phases, a structure of sorts that is designed in such a way that creativity and innovation are not minimized. It can be considered an open structure. Involvement for each phase varies but there is one core TAR team which plans the phases, monitors their execution, and measures the results.
The first phase consists of charting the tasks for each functional area. Each task is broken down into actions which can be independently evaluated. If a new objective is sought for a function then that should factored in the TAR plan. Can the new objective be obtained through the current tasks already in place?
The second phase requires users within a functional area to hypothetically replace or pass over each action to complete a task. If they replace the action they should show the alternative, and if they leave it alone it is because they can see no alternative that adds value. This step requires a format that is uniform and designed for analysis by the TAR team.
The third step is the analysis. When the data has been gathered the action steps should be compared against one another and determinations of Bend, Change, or Leave should be applied. Similar alternatives can be grouped to save time. Determinations of how much each proposed alternative action would increase value should be made. This can be measured between 1-3 with 1 reflecting small value and 3 representing great value.
 The fourth and final process, requires charting alternative action steps, and sees how they fit in. If one alternative is considered it should be charted for compatibility with the other steps after which implementation can start if the TAR project team determines value can be added.
TAR projects can revitalize a decayed function before it becomes inefficient,
returning it to an optimum level. 
Implementation
1. Choose an area for analysis and improvement. The larger the functional area the longer the TDR project will take, but also the more potential value it may provide.
2. Determine the TAR team. This may include functional leaders, experienced TAR practitioners, analysts, or some combination of these. The team itself will not be the true creators or innovators, they will facilitate the TAR process and analyze the results to determine what processes will be modified.
3. Tear Apart the current function being studied and divide it into tasks. Further divide those tasks into actions. For example in HR, college recruitment might be a task and supporting actions might include college visitation, selection, etc.
4. Present the tasks as divided into actions to a select group of participants. Ideally these individuals would include the users of the current function, managers, supervisors, etc. To increase the range of creativity you may wish to include some individuals from unrelated functions. The participants should be provided a uniform TAR Action sheet which would allow them to present alternatives for each individual action step for the tasks being reviewed. After a given period of time these should be collected by the TAR team for analysis.
5. Proposed alternatives should be noted and categorized. Many individuals will have the same or very similar suggested alternatives for various actions. Determine whether each alternative represents a change or a bend to the current action in place. Bend represents a slight modification that should not require compatibility analysis in order to implement. Change is a significant alternative which requires compatibility analysis.
6. Determine the value that the alternative might bring if implemented. I personally utilize a 1-3 scale to represent added value.
7. Starting with the alternative that provide the highest value, begin to analyze the task utilizing the new or modified action in the place of the previous one. Are the rest of the steps compatible with the new action?
8. Once the tasks are complete and lead to the conclusion desired, the TAR project is complete.
Luffy Notes
A. This simple representation of a TAR does not reflect how robust a system it can be for problem solving and improving efficiency. A TAR project can change the way an organization does business from a simple functional area all the way up to the organization itself.
B. While TAR project sheets that are filled out by a surveyed team should be uniform, additional documentation or support should be allowed in order to allow those participants to expand upon their suggested alternative. This can include reports, presentations, etc. Having these will assist the TAR team when analyzing the corresponding task and alternatives.
C. Championing and rewarding value added participation, i.e. not just going through the steps, will give the TAR team much more insightful data to work within the analysis stage.

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