A Tripod DELTA Survey is a pro-active tool to measure the level of control over your business processes. Tripod DELTA Surveys differ from other, more traditional ways of establishing the state of health of organisations.
The measurement is carried out by means of questionnaires, either on paper or through an internet application. All employees (and permanent contractors) are invited to participate. This results in thorough in-depth information from your own organisation. By analysing the response data from the questionnaires, we are able to establish the level of management control. This level of control is expressed in 11 Basic Risk Factors. These factors have been determined by the Universities of Leiden and Manchester as the only dimensions of process control.
Are the survey results reliable and valid?
The survey method has been developed and field tested extensively by Leiden University. During a four year testing period the method has been refined until the reliability and validity of the results were convincingly proven to a diverse group of industrial companies. To obtain statistical reliability, the quality of the questions used in the questionnaires is crucial. During the many surveys that have been conducted up to date the questions have been refined to an optimal quality, improving the reliability and validity of surveys to a very high standard. The improvement process is enhanced by the use of one central database (DeltaBase) which serves as the source of all questions for all questionnaires. Although Tripod DELTA Surveys are conducted all over the world, the use of this central database ensures a continuous flow of feedback about the behaviour of the questions used. In case a question has lost its meaning or other critical property it is replaced immediately.
How many surveys have been conducted?
Until today close to 250 surveys have been conducted, comprising over 20,000 respondents working for over 60 different organisations. These organisations are operating in a wide diversity of professional fields. Initially Tripod DELTA Surveys have been designed to identify weaknesses in industrial organisations. In the meantime the tool has found enthusiastic users in very diverse sectors, e.g. Railways, Marine, Insurance, Banking, Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Refineries and Manufacturing.
What kind of benefits are there for clients using Tripod DELTA?
Our clients have experienced many interesting benefits.
Ineffective work process
A banking organisation conducted a Tripod DELTA Survey in their Cash Cards department. About 150 people worked in this department: 100 on one location, 20 on another location and 30 people commuted between the two locations (about 200 kilometres from each other). The Tripod DELTA report showed significantly low scores for the 30 commuters. Although management had always felt a certain dissatisfaction, they could never pinpoint the real problem. The Tripod DELTA results clearly showed that the commuters experienced these problems because of the absence of a dedicated ‘home desk’ (like their colleagues); they scored relatively low on Communication, Organisation and Incompatible Goals. After the survey results were presented to management, the problem was addressed by gathering the commuters and collecting their complaints. As a result, the department was reorganised so people did not have to commute anymore. The effectiveness of the department increased significantly within a few weeks.
Tripod shows your improvement over time
A company conducted a Tripod DELTA Survey and proved to score low on Maintenance Management. The Operations Director recognised the low score as the company’s maintenance record was not so favorable. Based on the detailed findings of the Tripod DELTA report, the company decided to improve its maintenance policy and purchased sophisticated Preventive Maintenance Software. After three years the company was surveyed again with similar results: Maintenance Management scored low. This time the Operations Director was somewhat surprised. When the results were discussed he learned that the maintenance department had not installed the expensive software yet. The process was reviewed and within a few months the software was up and running. The next Tripod DELTA Survey showed a statistically significant improvement in Maintenance Management. The hidden maintenance problem was discovered, addressed and solved.
Learning from colleagues
Tripod DELTA Surveys were conducted at different locations of a petrochemical company. Although their processes at the different locations are similar, the results showed significant differences. For each of the Basic Risk Factors, all locations received their specific detailed weaknesses to address. However, the results of the locations were also compared to each other through a Tripod Benchmark. This clearly showed where the locations could learn from each other. Regional management sessions have resulted in cross location learning. The Tripod Benchmark exercise has not only improved their local business results, but has also proven to be an effective basis to close the gap in communication between the different locations.
How is Tripod DELTA implemented?
When you decide to implement Tripod DELTA in your organisation, we take care of all preparations with your focal point. We decide together on the number of surveys, the different categories of employees (e.g. locations, function groups and disciplines) and the time schedule. The surveys are distributed through appointed ‘response managers’. When the questionnaires are returned, we complete our reliability analysis on question and respondent level. Leiden University performs a quality check. Then the reports are written and the results are presented. Our consultants are able to assist in drawing up your follow-up corrective actions. This whole process typically takes about three months.
What is the typical output?
Conducting a Tripod DELTA Survey results in a report and a (management) presentation. The report contains a Management Summary, explanation of the tool, comparison of people’s opinion and the actual situation, detailed questionnaire results with specific indicators per Basic Risk Factor and Survey Findings. Detailed score tables for each category are part of the appendices. In case of multiple surveys, a Benchmark report can be written to clearly show the similarities and differences between your locations. Feedback to respondents has proven to be an important part of conducting surveys. Therefore, the respondents of a Tripod DELTA Survey are informed of the results through a newsletter with a summary of the report. It can be distributed through mail or electronically, e.g. through e-mail, internet or on your company network.
Tripod DELTA is an effective tool to obtain information about the effectiveness of your processes, with the aid of your own employees. Although management often have a general idea of the organisation performance, our clients have experienced the added value of discovering the specific weaknesses in the different areas of their organisations. Improvement has been a natural effect of conducting a Tripod DELTA Survey.