Facilitating Rapid Process Improvement Workshops
eBook - ePub

Facilitating Rapid Process Improvement Workshops

The Self-Study Guide for Lean Leaders

Sheilah O'Brien

  1. 222 Seiten
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Facilitating Rapid Process Improvement Workshops

The Self-Study Guide for Lean Leaders

Sheilah O'Brien

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Über dieses Buch

This is a self-study guide for facilitators of rapid process improvement workshops that helps anyone who feels like they aren't truly gaining the full results of improvement initiatives and kaizen events. They know they can do better, but don't know how. The author, an experienced facilitator in government and nonprofits, speaks to the facilitator through coaching notes and actual workshop documents and techniques so the reader can fully understand how greater results are achieved. This guide takes the reader through a step-by-step path of a newly created workshop agenda. The author has parsed the workshop path into more manageable parts, easier for both the facilitator and the team. These parts split the improvement work into two sections: "removing the unnecessary" and "smoothing out the flow." "Smoothing out the flow" is divided further into:

  • When the work is coming in

  • When the product/person is going through the process

  • How the work is performed

In addition, the author includes newly created tools and training content. For example, a data-gathering table points the facilitator to what data need to be collected when. Training for the team includes making sure they understand the structure of a process as well as to instruct them and define how a Lean process actually functions. This distinction is important because all improvements are not necessarily Lean improvements.

Several bodies of knowledge are incorporated into this guide––not only Lean and Six Sigma, but internal auditing, organizational development, and statistics.

Essentially, this guide includes tips, nuances, and original tools that are missing from the traditional training of facilitators of kaizen events. It provides enough information for the facilitator to think in a creative way.

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Chapter 1

Laying the Foundation

Welcome and Team Introductions

Say in your own words: Welcome. You are participating in a Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) workshop. A RPI can be called a Kaizen event, an Accelerated Change Process, or a Blitz. The workshop is made up of a small team of staff. It occurs over 2–5 consecutive days and is guided by a trained facilitator. The focus of the team is to fix broken processes so they may become Lean processes. This means that the services or products that come out of the process are delivered on time, and without mistakes. (Note: as you go through the manual, make sure you look at each chapter appendix to see what handouts need to be copied to be distributed to the team.)

Team Introductions

Now, let us get to introductions. Please say your name, your working title, and what you do every day. (This sharing is the first part of building a team.)

Review “What Is a Process”

(INSTRUCTIONS: Draw a simple process flow flipchart.)
Figure 1.1Simple process
Say in your own words: Let’s review what a process is. See the flipchart. Most people do their work so automatically that they do not realize it has a structure to it. Their work consists of one-time tasks, but mostly the work is made up of routine processes. A process has a supplier, input, process activities, output, and a customer. It is important that you remember this, especially the customer part. (Many times the team may not be clear about exactly what defines a process. Help them out by saying, “it is repetitive, not just a one-time task. And is made up of sequential step-to-step activities.”)

Learning Process Thinking

Say in your own words: Now we are going to do a roleplaying exercise to get us started. I need a volunteer to play one role while I play the other. (INSTRUCTIONS: Make a copy of the Handout Icebreaker from Appendix 1. Give the volunteer a copy and keep one for yourself. Stand in front of the team and begin reading aloud the facilitator part; the volunteer reading the team member part. The role-play ends.)
Figure 1.2Exercise: Icebreaker role play partial
Say in your own words: Let’s discuss this exercise. Note the dialogue around the customer. The worker did not think he had any customers. He needs to. If we do not know who our customer is and what they want from our process, it is difficult to know what to improve. Why? Because what we think is a successful output may not be what they requested or expected in the first place. Any comments on the exercise?

Review Preliminary Flowchart

Ask: “Please take out the preliminary flowchart from your packets (this is a flowchart from the specific process(es) that will be the focus of the RPI). Have this in front of you when we meet with the sponsor.” (You will have made up packets for all team members prior to the workshop. Refer to the Addendum.)

Sponsor Expectations

(INSTRUCTIONS: You have invited the sponsor to come speak to the team. He/she stands in front of the team to explain the expectations of the RPI workshop and answer any questions the team may have. [You will have coached the sponsor beforehand: the sponsor welcomes the team and expresses appreciation for ...


  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Introduction
  9. Chapter 1: Laying the Foundation
  10. Chapter 2: Understand the Current State
  11. Chapter 3: Improve: Clean Up the Current Process
  12. Chapter 4: Pause: Workshop Quality Check
  13. Chapter 5: Smooth Out the Flow: Improve the Process When the Work Comes In
  14. Chapter 6: Smooth Out the Flow: Improve the Work as It Goes Through the Process
  15. Chapter 7: Smooth Out the Flow: Improve How the Work Is Performed
  16. Chapter 8: Smooth Out the Flow: Improve the Process Supports
  17. Chapter 9: Pause: Putting It All Together
  18. Chapter 10: Report, Implementation Tracking, and Continuous Improvement
  19. Chapter 11: The End of the Story
  20. Addendum Prep Work for the RPI
  21. Index