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Doing DILO analysis (A Day in the Life of) to increase personal power

In 1993, as I started my career with EY, I was lucky to have received a lot of training in consulting techniques – Process Improvement, Facilitation, Presentation, Change Management, Data Analysis etc. Then for more than two decades, I used that training with many companies I worked for and their clients. One of the techniques in my arsenal was A Day in the Life of (DILO) – an analysis technique which helps look at effectiveness of the work done in organizations. This technique involves observing a certain process and looking at how effective the process is executed. You are looking at various tasks involved in the process, how workers interact with those tasks and the process and various information and tools they use to execute the process. This technique allows an organization to understand what is working well with the process and what is not. A third party, such as a consultant or someone from another department can facilitate the process team and do the analysis bringing objectivity and fairness. With DILO analysis, challenges and issues with the process are identified. Then by carefully analyzing these observations, gaps in the process are identified and corrective measures get identified which will improve the process and ensure effective customer experience. It is not that DILO analysis cannot be done by the people involved in that process. You absolutely can, but there is a good chance prejudices or biases will get introduced as it is done by the people closely tied to the process. If done by an objective third party, the benefits are maximized.

I had used DILO analysis technique many times in business setting. But the more I think, I believe this technique can also be used to improve your personal effectiveness. By taking the help of a third party such as a loved one or a friend to do this analysis and observe the things you do daily, the information you use, the behaviors you demonstrate etc., one can learn a lot on things you are doing, what other things you need to do, what things you need to stop etc. By doing this analysis, you do not just improve your life and but also enhance the experience of people around you.

Each one of us strives to continuously improve ourselves. We identify the things which we are doing good, things we can improve on, things we need to stop etc. This self-improvement process although important has its limits. We typically do not objectively do this analysis. There are certain biases and prejudices we demonstrate, and we do not necessarily see that. By taking the help of a third party we can do this analysis objectively. This assessment done by a third party is not intended to hide or disguise things, but honestly identify the issues and challenges we face. Then we can take corrective actions to improve ourselves. It is important not to take the analysis done by a third party personally. We must always remember that DILO analysis is done to improve our life and nothing else. That is why we should have somebody we trust, and respect to do this. Of-course one can do the DILO analysis themselves for sure, but if done by an objective third party you get expanded benefits and mostly without any bias.

I wish I had done a DILO Analysis of my personal life before my stroke four and half years ago. But I have after my stroke, and it has helped me structure my life in a way to have the best chance to heal my mind, body, and spirit. My sincere advice to others is do not wait, do the DILO Analysis NOW – wherever you are in life today! Do it yourself or if you are comfortable, get a third party involved. The important thing is to do it!


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