Where to Start

A practical Guide to how to use the AP in EE

Start with a Quick Search

* please note that some links will require EE credentials to access

  1. Search EE’s Google Drive, Slack and Blogin for previous documents and blogs that relate to your decision. This might well turn up prior decisions, discussions, guidelines and APs that you can learn from. All APs are in Google Drive, and are listed here.

  2. Use the AP template, filling in the sections described below (click this link to make a copy of the template).

  3. Move the completed document into the Advice Process -> Proposals folder and share it with the people you need feedback from.

  4. Share the doc in the #ap-decisions Slack channel. You can do this before, during or after you’ve received feedback.

Note that it’s important we don’t bog ourselves down in bureaucracy. The Advice Process is only required for a decision that is useful for others to know about.

There’s no need to record decisions where the following points apply:

  • There is limited impact and limited investment, AND

  • You’re following a mature set of guidelines (e.g. training and conferences) that you agree apply to your circumstances.

For everything else, please capture your decision – at the latest after you’ve completed the Advice Process. Be sure to record the following:

Standard Advice and Conventions

After change has settled into the standard working practices it can become ‘standard advice’. Examples of this include:

  • Our policies around conferences and training

  • Expenses:

    • The typical amount people can spend on a hotel

    • What is considered a valid business expense (and what is not)

    • Entertaining clients and teams

If you’re happy working within the framework that the standard advice has created then you don’t need to raise an AP. But if you want to challenge the standard advice, you should consider creating a new AP.

You should record in your decision why you disagree with the conventional way of doing things, so we can update the “standard advice” afterwards to help the next person.

The AP Template

Proposal title: Decision headline

Impacted Business Unit(s): List which Business Units will be impacted by this decision.

What I want to do and why: Describe the what and why of your proposal.

Who is the decision maker: It’s most likely you. Yes, you! If you’ve already come up with the decision, the value is less than your BU’s threshold (£6k in UK) and the risk to EE is minimal, then it’s definitely you. This also means you’re accountable and responsible for making this decision based on the advice received. If the value is greater than your BUs threshold or there is risk to EE, then you must be appointed by the Exec team or BUL.

Then, ask yourself the following:

Who do I need feedback from: This will be a cross section of EE permanent staff and associates. Remember, we are looking for those impacted by the decision and experts in the area. Please share this document with those people, then follow up with one-to-one/one-to-few conversations with those people to explore your proposal further. Record feedback in your AP template document.

Do I need an AP Governance Group? For larger or longer running investments a Governance Group is required.

Next Steps: Outline what needs to be done in the future to progress your proposal.

Forecast the cost: Everything has a cost in time/money, so please provide a rough order of magnitude here. To help with Business Unit cost tracking, separate out the following costs as follows (excluding GST/VAT):

  • Investment in employee time: assume a fixed cost of £500 or €500/day for any UK, Germany or Portugal employee (other countries are yet to be confirmed).

  • Investment in cash: any associate/contractor time (assume the same cost of £500 or €500/day in the UK), as well as any other costs that would be invoiced to EE (e.g. travel, accommodation, shared workspace costs).

To keep things simple, opportunity cost does not need to be considered (e.g. where consultants spend time on an AP instead of being client billable).

Track the cost: Costs will be allocated to the Business Unit of the AP decision maker. Actual money spent will be tracked by the Finance team. To facilitate this, please ensure non-billable timesheets and invoices that relate to the AP are clearly linked using the AP ID. Shelagh Jones assigns AP IDs on a monthly basis in this global tracker.

At this stage, we won’t track opportunity cost nor employee time. There’s more info in the Investment Tracking Guidelines.

Define the success metrics: A significant part of the individual and organisational learning we get from a decision is through quantifying its resultant impact.

  1. What metrics will quantify the (positive) impact of this decision?

  2. What are the thresholds for success and failure?

  3. When and how will you take measurements?

Having good metrics is important, but they can be hard to define. This article on good metrics provides useful guidance and the AP Learning Group will be happy to work through the question with you (make contact with @ap-learning-group in #ap-decisions). In the future, we’ll also be providing exemplar APs to learn from.

Result: Documenting this is critical, as it’s the only way to provide transparency to the process and the only way we can collectively learn as an organisation. The decision maker is responsible for updating the result of the proposal until closed.

Learnings: Are there things we’d do again, or avoid in the future? Are there learnings to be shared across the organisation?