Process Improvement Manual Contents

Phase 1. Start-up   3

1.1 People   3
1.1.1 Select Workflow, Sponsor and Workflow Owner   3
1.1.2 Nominated, Selected and Interested People   5
1.1.3 Stakeholders, Customers and Suppliers to the Workflow   6
1.2 Training   8
1.2.1  6 Phase Model - Workflow Improvement Method   8
1.2.2  Preferred Improvement Tools   9
1.2.3 Draft Project Plan   31
1.3 Teams   32
1.3.1 Establish Roles in the Team   32
1.3.2 Agree on Team Behaviour   34
1.3.3 Establish Team Activitie   35
Phase 2. Understand As Is situation   36
2.1 Workflow   36
2.1.1 Agree Scope   36
2.1.3 Walk Through ‘A Day in the Workflow”   38
2.2 Data Collection   40
2.2.1 Collect Outcome Performance Data   40
2.2.2 Collect Workflow Performance Data   42
2.2.3 Confirm the As-Is Situation and Identify Blockages   44
2.3 Interviews   46
2.3.1 Carry Out Team Interviews of Participants in the Workflow   46
2.3.2 Interview Key Stakeholders   47
2.3.3 Identify Issues and Opportunities   48
Phase 3  Find Key Opportunities   49
3.1 Tools   49
3.1.1 Notes from Interviews   49
3.1.2 Visual Tools Such As Brainstorming, Cause and Effect, Histograms and Pie Charts   50
3.2 Measures   51
3.2.1 Identify and Verify Existing Workflow Measures & Refine Workflow Measures   51
3.2.2 Refine Workflow Measures   53
3.2.3 Identify Workflow Variability   54
3.3 Pareto   55
3.3.1 Apply 80:20 Rule (Pareto)   55
3.3.2 Conduct Benchmarking   56
3.3.3 Scope Key Areas for Improvement   57
Phase 4 Recommend the New As Is   59
4.1 Justify   59
4.1.1. Demonstrate the Need for Change   59
4.1.2 Demonstrate the Benefits of the Change   60
4.1.3 Manage the Risks Associated with the Change   61
4.2 Present   62
4.2.1Team Presentation   62
4.2.2 Audience of Stakeholders, Sponsors and Key Participants   64
4.2.3 Outline Scope, Objectives, Methodology and Finding   66
4.3 Agree   67
4.3.1 Agreement of Sponsor, Stakeholders and Key Users>   67
4.3.2 Achieve Ownership by All Participants   68
4.3.3 Deliver Draft Implementation Plan   69
Phase 5 Implement the new As Is   70
5.1  Plan   70
5.1.1. Develop Detailed Implementation Plan   70
5.1.2 Identify Resource Requirements   71
5.1.3 Confirm Against Objectives   72
5.2  Actions   73
5.2.1 Identify Actions and Responsibilities   73
5.2.2 Agree Action Plan with Participants   74
5.2.3 Sponsor to Endorse Implementation Plan   75
5.3  Complete   76
5.3.1 Monitor Progress Against Plan   76
5.3.2 Report to Sponsor   77
5.3.3 Verify Completion of Actions   78
Phase 6 Review Project and outcomes   79
6.1  Oganisation   79
6.2  Workflow   82
6.3  Advance   85
Some Key Improvement Tools    
Systems View   2
Customer Focus and Customer Centricity   4
Value Chain in a Workflow   6
Waste   8
Deployment Flow Chart   10
Root Cause Analysis   13
Pareto   14
5S – Workplace Organisation   15
Walk Through ‘A Day in the Workflow”   17
Benchmarking   19
Business Case   20

Impacts of Changes on Systems and People

Example Structure for Each Component    
1.1.1 Select Workflow Sponsor and Workflow Owner    

Aim – to have people responsible for championing the improvement, making sure the improvement team is supported and there is a clear owner to drive the recommendations and their implementation. The Sponsor will sign off on the Project Mandate and the Broad Improvement Plan to initiate the Improvement Project.

Philosophy – leadership support is an essential component of any change in an organisation –changes will not happen effectively without leadership support. Generally the sponsor is someone who is able to represent the improvement project at the most senior level to the rest of the organisation and who is often passionate about the change needed. The success of the improvement will depend on the commitment of the organisation.  Where an improvement project is centrally driven, its strategic value to the whole organisation is maximised.  The sponsor’s role is to “champion” the project at senior management level. The Sponsor is accountable and ultimately responsible for championing the successful completion of the Project, balances the organisation, user and supplier interests and owns the Business Case

Who – the sponsor will usually be the highest level role who has influence and who is accountable and ultimately responsible for the performance outcomes of the workflow under review. Often the sponsor will be the same role responsible for the entire workflow or a critical part of it, even as the workflow crosses business units. Ideally the sponsor should be one person but sometimes there will be joint workflow owners and hence sponsors (often the heads of different business units).

How – often the sponsor will be the first person to champion the need to improve a specific workflow and thus the role of sponsor will be easy to identify. Sometimes the need to improve a workflow is championed from higher up e.g. from the heads of departments, particularly where workflow crosses multiple business units. In this case the sponsor may need to be determined through a well-argued business case for buy-in which clearly pitches what is the value and benefits for the sponsor and their area of responsibility, as well as the likely benefits for the organization as a whole. It is very useful to hold a Forum of interested stakeholders including senior people to scope out the Topic and Key Strategic Improvement Needs

Tip – the business case for change and the identification of the sponsor can be done as part of the training

Warning – do not commence the improvement project unless you have secured a committed sponsor otherwise the project is doomed, or at best, only quick short term gains without meeting the needs are realised. The fallout could also result in a bad image for improvement projects next time. If there are joint workflow owners (sponsors), it is critical that the sponsor roles are clear to avoid gaps or overlaps and hence to avoid political ‘handballing’ between the multiple sponsors.

Benefits – the sponsor will be the champion and ‘sounding board’ for the improvement team and will help to set the overall agenda, provide executive feedback and outcomes and help to link the project to the strategic directions of the organisation

Background – many improvement projects have failed without an appropriate and committed sponsor who has overall responsibility of the outcomes of the workflow under review. Without a committed sponsor, the time spent and resources applied by improvement team members on the project will be constantly questioned, the merits of the project will be under continuous scrutiny, and even in the event that recommendations for improvement are ultimately made they are unlikely to be effectively implemented. Thus, without a committed sponsor the status quo is most likely to remain despite the stress and the destroying of team morale. The validity of future improvement work in the organisation would also face serious questioning.

Note – there are similar one-pagers for each item of contents and also templates for each bolded item within the text, eg Board Improvement Plan, Business Case etc

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