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  What They Are Saying

New Creative Focus Toolkit a Hit

"Thanks for the great Creative Focus training experience.

I really enjoyed this class. I'm a SUPER left brainer (engineering background) and found these tools to be a great way to go way beyond the obvious ideas we get when we do traditional brainstorming. Thanks again!"

Jessica Fernandez
Senior Engineer
Beckman Coulter Inc.

What They Are Saying

Medtronic executive describes how Decision Focus Software
helped solve a difficult resource allocation problem.

"My colleagues and I have been struggling with a manpower allocation decision. Three directors share the equivalent of 1.5 full time people who are focused at enhancing our individual organization's selling skills. The full time person reports to me while the 1/2 time person reports to one of the other directors. We have been trying to resolve how to best deploy these individuals in meeting multiple needs in all of our areas. We had been discussing several approaches with little movement forward.

"Last Friday, I arrived in my office early determined to try and get my arms around this issue and find a resolution. As I thought about the situation, I remembered that the tools in Decision Focus Software could be applied to this kind of situation. Although I have not yet been able to attend the formal Decision Focus program I thought I would attempt to use the tool.

"I opened Decision Focus software, found the Decision Analysis tool, and began filling out the situation and alternatives area. With my limited knowledge of the process, I wasn't sure if this would lead me to some conclusion, however I just kept filling in the areas of information as I was prompted to do so.

"Due to the straightforward approach used in the software I was able to complete all the sections and give weights to my options etc. Once complete I found the tool to be very helpful at capturing all my thinking and the salient points from my colleagues. I felt very prepared to engage in a meaningful conversation with all involved and was confident that we would make a decision and move forward.

"Now the best part....I needed to walk everyone through the thought process to ensure that we were all in agreement, but how was I going to do this? I noticed the icon referring to a PowerPoint application, and remembered that the information from your worksheet could be exported to a PowerPoint for presentation purposes. I hit the icon, and was ecstatic about what I saw. The multislide presentation that was created was perfect for my meeting with my colleagues. This feature alone saved me at least an hour of additional work!

"I was able to accomplish all this in less than an hour with minimal training. In addition, the PowerPoint was a logical representation of the options and possible solutions to our problem. We were in fact able to resolve this issue and move forward after a review of the PowerPoint.

"Thanks for the tool and I look forward even more to attending your formal training session so I can get all the benefits of the program."

Michael Kiel
Director of Sales and Education
Medtronic Inc.

  What They Are Saying

Increasing Technical Operation's Effectiveness

"There was a requirement to enhance the problem solving and decision making skills in the technical organization by using a systematic and consistent approach. Decision Focus was chosen initially because of the reputation that the company had developed within Beckman Coulter. Ultimately, the combination of easy to use materials, software and learning approach were what tipped the balance.

"Focus Performance Systems is very impressive in its approach to business. What continues to impress me was that the application of the materials and the resultant organizational learning were as important to the principals of the company as the business itself. It was not a "one off" affair. I felt that Mary (the primary consultant on this project) was almost part of the company with her continual feedback and follow-up.

"On a personal note, I use Decision Focus continually in my role in Carlsbad. I used it recently to select suppliers to oversee a major program on site."

Clair O'Donovan
Director of Worldwide Technical Operations
Beckman Coulter Inc.

What They Are Saying

Director discusses the results gained
from Decision Focus

"The Decision Focus Tools were selected for our organization because they are easy to use, yet thorough. Our organization was in need of an objective means for decision making. Too much emotion was involved in problem solving and decision making."

"I have used the Decision Focus Tools on a number of occasions when facilitating group problem-solving meetings. For example, I was asked to facilitate a product group that was struggling with a complex issue. During the meeting I chose to use Situation Analysis to assist in sorting through the many problems that were addressed. The group was amazed at how well the tool helped them take a step back and really determine what was causing the problems to occur. About half of the members in the meeting had not attended a class yet. They were all very impressed that such a simple tool helped them clearly identify conclusions and develop resolutions."

Krista Beaudry
Director, Human Resources
Chr Hansen

What They Are Saying

Professional Development Manager
describes results gained
through Decision Focus

"ATK and its predecessors have long considered formal decision logic and problem analysis to be part of their technological back-bone. Evaluating and choosing Focus Performance Systems and their Decision Focus tools was an opportunity to generate consistent language and methods across a fast-growing enterprise in the Aerospace and Defense industry. With support from executive leadership and under direction of the company's Technology Council, several vendors were considered and Decision Focus was selected based on its ability to deliver the type and quality of training and tools that will best help ATK professionals achieve the company's long-term business strategy. Users of the Decision Focus software especially find its user-friendliness and functionality to be a key benefit of participation in the course.

"Most of the returns from this investment are obvious. Several graduates have immediately taken the concepts they learned in class and teamed-up with other subject-matter experts who then begin solving critical problems and making key decisions by applying the tools and software. For example, plans to modernize plant facilities have been shored up using Problem Prevention, choosing firms to partner long-term with ATK has been aided by the Decision Analysis tools, and critical production flaws have been investigated and corrected by applying the Problem Analysis logic.

"Participants generally show immediate enthusiasm for the processes and tools. Most importantly they take them back to their jobs and apply them to business-critical issues. They're working smarter and spending less time doing it. There's no question that ATK or any company that integrates the objective rules of Decision Focus tools into its day-to-day practices will create a climate in which employees are more collaborative and ultimately more successful in moving company goals and programs forward."

Todd Wangsgard
Manager, Professional Development

What They Are Saying

"Decision Focus has helped Starkey Laboratories establish a common method of making decisions, analyzing situations and solving problems. For many years now we have been able to focus on the real issues instead of interpreting everyone's unique methods. Decision Focus contains lasting tools. It is one of the best investments you can make for your business."

Keith Guggenberger
Senior Vice President of Operations
Starkey Laboratories, Inc.

What They Are Saying

Coordinator, Learning Support & Performance Development
describes how Decision Focus
offered the solutions they required at a lower cost.

"Our current supplier of problem solving and decision making training had raised prices of their materials and we were looking for a cost effective solution that still gave us the knowledge component we required. We had the opportunity to audit the Decision Focus course, and felt that it offered the solutions we required at a lower cost. Plus, Decision Focus includes software for each participant - our old supplier charged extra for this. It also made the decision easier to know that all sites were choosing the same option and that our Calgary office could provide the training for our Edmonton employees when the need arose.

"The Decision Focus course and tools were a huge help when we were trying to establish a new practice at Edmonton with our decision making initiative. The tools were the ones we wanted to use and have in our control rooms and meeting rooms to stimulate the decision processes. We began training all employees on the process and tools at an earlier stage of their development in the hope that a common process and understanding of the tools would improve reliability and performance at the plant site.

"I have seen many of the students of the classes use Decision Focus as part of their toolkits that travel with them from meeting to meeting. We continue to give the Decision Focus course as an element of development for all engineers, operations, and maintenance personnel."

Kim Taylor
Coordinator, Learning Support & Performance Development
Petro-Canada Edmonton Refinery

What They Are Saying

Manager, Corporate Quality Assurance
describes how Decision Analysis
played a key role in a major improvement project.

"Donaldson recently initiated a project in which a highly visible and successful product line was chosen for a significant cost reduction project, to meet customer needs. We realized that in order to penetrate specific markets with this product line, our selling price (and therefore our costs) must be more in line with what the marketplace will accept. Thus, with target volumes of 1 million products per year in this marketplace, our goal is to reduce the costs by $10 per unit, or an annual cost reduction of $10 million, while maintaining or improving product quality. The team chosen for the project included members from research, applications, product development, manufacturing development, quality, and plant engineering."

"I was asked to facilitate the team and utilize a methodology to make this happen. I chose Decision Analysis from the Decision Focus tools because I felt confident the structured nature of the tool was a good fit for this decision situation..."

To get the full story, click here. (DASucces.pdf)

Frank Tsuchiya
Manager, Corporate Quality Assurance
Donaldson Company

What They Are Saying

Employee Relations Director talks about
Decision Focus and Decision Focus Software

"A couple of years ago, I was afforded the opportunity to attend a Decision Focus workshop. The workshop was great; it provided me with the background and experience I needed to deploy and fully exploit the power of the Decision Focus processes. I was so impressed with the software that I bought my own personal copy.

"When I learned of the new Decision Focus Software, I felt compelled to purchase the upgrade. While the processes remain the same -- simple, direct, and effective, the new import and export features are extremely user-friendly. These features make it easy to share and clearly communicate discussions, outcomes, and decisions. Most recently, I've used Decision Analysis as a staffing selection tool -- it helps me ensure that I select the right candidate for the right reasons. I've also used Situation Analysis to revamp our Peer-to-Peer and Mentoring programs. I've used Problem Prevention to assist our development specialists when planning fund raising events and other major programs.

"We're now also exploring how best to provide Decision Focus training and software for our state-wide network of executive directors."

Dale Engler
Director of Employee Relations
American Cancer Society, Ohio Division

What They Are Saying

Training Industry Pioneer talks about
the Focus Performance Solutions

"I want to congratulate you on the 30th anniversary of your company. The tools that FPSI has developed over the years are invaluable for organizations and individuals that want to solve problems faster, be more decisive, become more creative, and work more effectively as teams. The software that you keep improving is an especially valuable addition to your processes. Once again, congratulations -- and may God bless your next 30 years!"

Bob Pike CSP, CPAE - Speaker's Hall of Fame
Chairman/CEO - The Bob Pike Group
Founder/Editor - The Creative Training Techniques Newsletter

What They Are Saying

E&D Manager talks about
two applications of the FocusTools

"Decision Focus has provided us with powerful additions to our corporate toolkit that are practical, easy-to-use and extremely effective. There are two applications of particular note:

  • Eighteen months ago, we used Problem Analysis to identify the root cause of a critical product quality problem. The success of the effort helped minimize the impact of the problem in terms of dollars and reputation.
  • Recently, Situation Analysis helped establish an action plan for improving our performance in the area of product development. This is an important focus as we assume a new corporate mission.
"In both cases, the tools provided us with a visible, structured process that was of tremendous value in resolving very challenging problem situations.

The value of the tools is enhanced even more by the tremendous support we have received from Focus Performance Systems Inc. (FPSI) Without question, FPSI is the most customer focused group I have ever worked with. In both problem situations I mentioned, I only had to pick up the phone to get immediate and expert advice from our FPSI Senior Consultants.

"Unlike some vendors, FPSI is genuinely interested and excited about the success of their clients. This comes across loud and clear!"

Kerry Bogle
E&D Manager
Schneider Automation

What They Are Saying

VP Of Manufacturing describes
their use of Decision Focus and the benefits they see

"We had a need to develop a consistent decision making model for our employees to speed up the decision process and have substance behind the decisions. We wanted to empower all the employees to make good, solid decisions. The Decision Focus model has a logical, engineering type approach and we are a heavy engineering driven company.

"We've used Decision Focus to decide between several strong candidates for key positions within the company, for choosing between several competent core labs for our clinical product testing and for deciding on the right contract house for subcontracting. We have also used Decision Focus to evaluate the factors impacting several business issues.

"The benefits of Decision Focus are quicker, unemotional decisions which we felt had positive outcomes in reduced time. Decisions are easier to sell to management because all are familiar with the decision process and could walk easily through the path used."

Robert J. Scott
VP, Manufacturing Operations & Information Technology
Possis Medical, Inc.

What They Are Saying

Director Of Quality talks
about the role of Decision Focus
in company's growth

"Several years ago, Donaldson Engine Group was charged with developing a strategy to increase sales and profits by creating an infrastructure around the customer, our suppliers, and our employees. This strategy included:

  1. obtaining ISO and QS certification,
  2. managing our supply base with the same stringent ISO/QS requirements imposed on ourselves,
  3. maintaining customer certifications and/or preferred supplier status, and
  4. developing a positive environment for continuous improvement and employee satisfaction.
Embedded in this strategy was the need for employees to work together in team settings that would result in meeting the objectives set by our management.

We chose Decision Focus as a key part of this strategy for several reasons:

  • Donaldson had success with FPSI (the authors of Decision Focus) in the past
  • FPSI had a solid train-the-trainer process. Four Donaldson employees were chosen to become trained trainers. Close to 100% of the Engine Group was trained in these tools.
  • FPSI had a relationship with companies who are also our customers.
  • FPSI is a local company and direct access was very good.
  • Decision Focus tools were in my opinion very simple to learn and apply, and powerful in their results

Decision Focus continues to be used to achieve our strategic and tactical goals. I am convinced that we have a more widespread understanding of problem solving especially when it comes to continuous improvement and cost reduction. Also, we in the quality profession have written into our company's quality assurance job profiles the need to understand, guide, and implement problem solving in the context of the five Focus aspects - team leadership and facilitation, problem identification, problem solving, problem prevention, and making informed decisions."

Director, Quality and Continuous Improvement
Donaldson Company

What They Are Saying

Executive Vice President talks
about his company's experiences
using Decision Focus

"Decision Focus is invaluable. We use it in so many situations to insure the successful execution of a project - Opening up a new store, meeting with a key client on a sensitive issue, addressing a key issue with a major vendor, or restructuring the organization are some of the applications where we have used this tool.

Decision Analysis helps us in a wide range of decision situations, from selecting which computers we are going to buy to which candidates fit best with our organization

Many times we think we have the problem figured out only to discover that Situation Analysis points us at the heart of the issue.

The people at FPSI know their business when it comes to problem solving. They take the decision tools and incorporate them into their daily language and habits. It's amazing to watch them informally take people in a meeting through the process without the aid of the tools.

FPSI personnel have been extremely responsive to our needs. Helping us out with advice, filling in with training requests and most importantly treating us like a valued customer."

Larry Mills
Executive Vice President HR/IT/MKT
Holt Companies

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