He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
The T4 MAP is an effective team-centered performance improvement process. It recently enabled five teams in a middle market company (1200 employees) to identify and achieve operational performance improvements with an estimated annual value in excess of $2 million (EBITDA). The teams [n = 88] were comprised of a mix of knowledge and production workers. Full results were published in Performance Improvement Quarterly, January, 2015. 
The team-directed T4 MAP process integrates a 23-item survey and facilitated collaboration. Responses are collected online. Quantitative items focus on four areas: Targeting, Talking, Teaming and Timing. Qualitative items flow into three themes: do more of, do less of, and do differently. The process enables team members to regularly measure progress and realign to achieve defined goals.
The process has five phases: Ask, Analyze, Align, Act, and Assess. They are as intuitive as their labels suggest. Data are collected in the ask phase and then analyzed by leaders, team members and support personnel. Team members then align around 1-3 challenges they identify as within their circle of control and ripe for improvement. They align around their definition of success and how it will be achieved. Next they put their plan into motion in the act phase. They assess progress and adjust their approach at a frequency they identify during the align phase.
In executing the T4 process, team members apply the eight critical strategies required for performance improvement (see chart below). These strategies make the improvement process transparent and team driven. The process applies key theoretical advances in systems theory, motivation, adult learning, positive psychology, management and leadership. They work together to encourage employee learning and development.During the study, team members collaborated with team leaders and/or HR business partners. They assessed the T4 data, selected improvement opportunities, defined intended outcomes and the path of action, and specified how and when progress would be measured. Team members focused on opportunities within their area of control and forwarded potential opportunities in areas of concern (outside their area of control). Seniors leaders monitored and collaborated as appropriate.
The T4 MAP process enabled both knowledge workers and production workers to identify performance improvement opportunities and take accountability for implementing them. Improvement opportunities in both low and high scoring areas (Targeting, Talking, Teaming and Timing) demonstrated the importance of using both the quantitative and qualitative data.
The firm estimated the potential value of many incorporated improvements in the millions of dollars. Numerous implemented improvements (e.g., quarterly senior leader dialogues on objectives and progress) were seen as essential but not associated with a specific dollar value. Some significant production improvements that were instituted were impossible to value because of the lack of historical data.
The T4 MAP pilot also enabled company leaders to gain a new appreciation of employee attitudes toward improving business operations and product development. As a result, they took steps to enhance trust and engagement. A detailed description of each team’s discoveries is available here.
Opportunities for further research
Additional research with multiple teams in multiple industries over greater periods of time are required to further explore the T4’s potential to contribute to performance improvement. Truebridge Partners welcomes inquiries from interested organizations.[i][i] Join Performance Study