Managers think they know what their problems are. But if they are running conventional command-and-control organisations the problems they think they have will not be the real problems.

To discover their real (and usually much larger) problems, managers must study their systems.

While this is often an uncomfortable experience getting knowledge is also extremely energising.

How long does it take to ‘get knowledge’ of a service? It depends on your expertise in studying, but in broad terms two to six weeks.

We describe the ‘get knowledge’ step as ‘check’ – getting knowledge of the ‘what and why’ of performance as a system.