Measure Phase
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5W and 2H

To learn more about the process steps

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To better understand each step of the process. This will make it clear whether we really need this step or not.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: During the workshop with your subject matter experts, create a current state map or a process map (seen on separate videos).

Step 2: When mapping the end-to-end process, ask the SMEs regarding the 5W and 2H questions at each process step.

  • What is the task accomplishing?

  • Why is it performed?

  • Where is the task performed?

  • When is the best time to perform the task?

  • Who is doing the task?

  • How is the task performed?

  • How much does it cost us? Is there a cheaper/better way to do this?

Step 3: If modification is necessary, make suggestions on sticky notes that will be assessed by placing them in the impact / effort matrix which will indicate the priorities for this topic.

Step 4: Add any necessary process changes to the management proposal plan. If it is a quick win, implement suggestions immediately.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: This activity as you go through the process, step by step with the SMEs.

Do: Use this tool to practice your questioning skills during workshops.

Do: Schedule more time for process mapping (using process map or current state VSM). You should add at least 1-2 more hours to the workshop.

 

Don’t: Forget that you can print the questions and post them on the wall. This will help everyone move quickly through the questions as you build your process steps.

Don´t: Forget to mark the areas of the process where you will have modifications.

Don´t: Put your SMEs under pressure if they are unable to provide you with an answer right away. If they are not sure, you can always use the parking lot (see a separate video about this tool). This will give them time to find an answer.

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8 Wastes

To eliminate the non-value-added steps

 

Why to use this tool?

To identify areas in our end-to-end process where employees invest their time and effort in performing steps that no value.  Once we know what they are, we can come up with ideas for improvement.

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 2: Go through the process step by step and ask everyone if they can find any of the 8 types of waste in each of these process steps.

Step 3: If anyone notices some type of waste, write it down on the flipchart or in the MUDA template (see video).

Step 4: Once all MUDAs have been identified, brainstorm with your project team all improvement ideas/suggestions for each of these waste types, so they can be removed from the process.

 

Another Option:

Step 1: Create 8 flipcharts and write 1 waste type in the title of each slide.

Step 2: Together with your project team members go to the 1st flip chart and brainstorm if that certain type of waste exists in the process. Write them all down on a flipchart.

Step 3: Mark the areas in your end-to-end VSM or process map that contain this waste.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all other flipcharts until you have covered all 8 MUDAs.

Step 5: Brainstorm with your project team all improvement ideas/suggestions for each of these waste types so we can remove them from the process.

                         

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: This activity in the form of a workshop or 1-1 meeting with each SME. If you have the possibility, the best choice will be a workshop scenario.

Do: Give all your SMEs a brief training / introduction on MUDA. This way, they will have a much better understanding of the context right from the start.

Do: Provide your SMEs with some examples for each MUDA.

 

Don’t: Forget that you can also conduct this workshop in digital form.

Don´t: Forget that you should also think about the causes before you go to the solutions. This way, you won't come up with bad solutions.

Don´t: Exclude any of the 8 MUDAs.

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15 Words / Elevator Speech

To get project members on the same side

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To improve communication within the project team and ensure that everyone communicates in the same way about project status. It is also important that all members of the project team convey the same message about the project. This is a good message to everyone else that the design team is well aligned as they are on the same side.

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Together with the project team, create a standardized communication that everyone can use. It should be short and concise.

Step 2: Everyone should agree to one perfect sentence describing the project.

Step 3: Make sure everyone knows how to formulate the current status of the project, which can be aligned at the end of each status meeting.

Step 4: Verify with everyone that they can describe the project objective in one short sentence to ensure mutual understanding.

Step 5: Depending on the status of the project, ask everyone if there is anything they might need from management. If yes, you can agree with the team what the question will be if any of the team members comes across the decision makers. In parallel, you should have a status meeting planned with the manager in case there is no chance of meeting him by chance.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

You can create the first “15 words message” with the project team during the measure phase and have this topic active in all upcoming phases. You never know when we will have to use this tool in a project.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Put together a sentence of 15 words after receiving information from all participants in the project.

Do: Update these 15 words as needed throughout the project life cycle.

Do: Make sure we have important questions for management ready. If they are not that urgent, it is best to wait for the next status meeting with them.

 

Don’t: Use this tool if you think you do not need it. This tool is typically used in very critical projects where everyone (including management) categorizes the topic as very important.

Don´t: Don't forget to inform team members who were absent from the status meeting of the updated sentence (applies only if sentence has changed).

Don´t: Need an elevator to give an elevator speech. This can also be used when you meet key stakeholders in the hallway, in the cafeteria, or when both of you start a video call early.

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Affinity Diagram

Identifying subgroups

 

Why to use this tool?

 

After a brainstorming session, you may have so many ideas and topics that it will be challenging to know where to start. The affinity diagram will help reduce clutter by creating subgroups. This will provide more clarity on the major topics emerged from the brainstorming session.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Finalize your brainstorming session (see separate video on brainstorming).

Step 2: Ask participants to explain their ideas that were written on the sticky notes. If brainstorming session has been done in digital form, you can ask each participant to take over the digital board and explain their points.

Step 3: Each time one item is presented, the participant places it on the board (either the physical or a digital board).  Inform everyone to place related ideas in the same area. In case there is another idea related to a different topic, they should place it in a different area of the board.

Step 4: Have all workshop participants follow the same process and, in the end, it will create a “subgroups” image, meaning you will have a grouping of ideas on one side and a different set of topics on the other side of the board. You can even have 3-8 clusters. All topics (post-it notes) in each cluster are related to the same type of topic. For example: topic, communication or topic management or topic process, etc.

Step 5: Circle the group of sticky notes and ask the team to provide the ideal name for the cluster. Write this name at the top of this cluster.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Use this tool right after your brainstorming session.

Do: This on flipchart or brown paper placed on the wall. This will give you enough space to focus everyone’s ideas, then draw a circle around the cluster and write down the name of that cluster.

Do: Use this tool with a digital whiteboard in case you need to do this event remotely.

 

Don’t: Allow anyone to reject or criticize the topics presented by project team members. At this stage of the workshop, you only create clusters and subgroups. Inform them that the discussion and evaluation will take place at a different time.  

Don´t: Have a fixed set of clusters. Leave the cluster ideas open.

Don´t: Do the clustering yourself. You can ask each participant to do so while explaining their post-it notes after the brainstorming session.

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Brainstorming

To generate great ideas together

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To get the best answers from the subject matter experts. By bringing many heads together, we can all create innovative ways how to solve problems.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Prepare the right questions for your brainstorming session. For example:

  • What are the main issues with the process?

  • Where are the longest waiting times?

  • What is the root cause of this problem?

  • What is the solution to this root cause?

  • Which of the 8 wastes is the most common in the end-to-end process?

  • What are our “preventive” alternatives?

Step 2: Invite your project team members to the workshop.

Step 3: Explain the principles of the brainstorming.

  • How many minutes will they have to generate ideas for each question

  • Will they have opportunity to present their ideas

  • Ideas will not be evaluated while colleagues are presenting (it will take place later).

Step 4: Decide whether you want to collect their ideas, or everyone should write down their ideas on post-it notes. From experience, it is better to let everyone write down their own ideas, as this will not allow the group to influence you to go in a certain direction during the brainstorming session. Like this, everyone will have a chance to free their thoughts.

Step 5: Have everyone present their ideas.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

During the measure, analyze and improve phases.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Give everyone enough time to write down all their ideas. The more ideas the better as we focus on quantity here.

Do: An ice breaker before the brainstorming session. People need a nice, relaxed environment to be creative and innovative.

Do: Praise everyone for coming up with all the ideas.

 

Don’t: Forget to bring enough post-it notes for everyone at the workshop.

Don´t: Allow other participants evaluate or discuss points given by other team members. The evaluation part comes later.

Don´t: Forget that there are many types of brainstorming techniques. For example, “Reverse-brainstorming” is another great technique.

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Capability Test

To see what your process is capable of!

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To measure your current process performance according to the voice of the customer (VOC) as well as predict future performance.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Use the data you collected on “Y”, which is your defect definition and place them all in one column.

Step 1: You should have at least 30 data points.

Step 2: If you have a continuous “Y” value, then in Minitab select: Stat > Quality Tools > Capability Analysis > Normal (in the case if you have normal distributed data).

Step 3: In “Single Column” choose your “Y” if you have a one subgroup of data, then put “1” under “Subgroup size”. Enter the lower specification limit (LSL) given by the customer as well as the upper specification limit (USL).

Step 4: Select “OK” and put the results into your project presentation. The “Z” value also represents Sigma.

Note: In case you have discrete data you might also find it easier to use the Sigma formula in the excel worksheet, which looks like: =NORMSINV(1-(B3 /B4))+1.5.

In Excel cell “B3” you will enter the number of defects, and under the “B4” column you will enter the number of opportunities.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

Capability Test should be applied at the beginning of the project (measure phase), to find out what the current process performance is, and then again at the end of the project (control phase) to check the new process performance. These two measures will be placed side by side to show the “before and after” results in the final project documentation.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Ensure that you have a stable process and normal distributed data for accurate capability test results at the end of the project.

Do: Collect over 30 data points.

Do: USL and LSL must come directly from the customer and not from anyone else.

 

Don´t: Forget to take into consideration if your Sigma Values are with or without the Sigma Shift. Long-term Sigma (Zlt) subtracted 1.5 Sigma from the current process capability measurement, which is the short-term Sigma (Zst).

Don´t: Forget to perform the Run Chart before doing the Capability Test.

Don´t: Forget to do the Graphical Summary (Normality Test) before doing the Capability Test.

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Continuous Data

It will help you perform various statistical tests

 

Why to use this tool?

 

It is not really a “tool” as it is a type of data. It is important to know how to identify continuous data so that you can:

  • Perform normality test, stability test and capability test

  • Better assess center and spread of the process

  • Know what kind of tests to run

  • Create visual graphs from statistical results.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Listen to VOC and VOB.

Step 2: Define what is the CTQ (critical to quality) that is linked to the VOC and VOB.

Step 3: Link it to an existing KPI or create a new KPI.

Step 4: Make sure the KPI has the continuous type of data.

Step 5: Use the hypothesis testing decision tree to select the correct tests in Minitab (see short video).

When to use this tool?

While performing the Normality Test, Stability Test and Capability Test in the measure phase.

The test for means, spread and regression is done in the analyze phase.

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: For your Y choose continuous data instead of discrete data.

Do: Make sure your data is reliable and accurate.

Do: Collect more than 30 data points (the more the better).

 

Don’t: Forget to verify your data source with your subject matter experts (SMEs).

Don´t: Forget that you can create discrete data from continuous data if needed.

Don´t: Manipulate your data ;-)

 
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Cost of Poor Quality

Calculate how much your process really costs

Why to use this tool?

 

To find out what the true cost of our process is. This enables us to:

  • Set prices for our products and services for our customer.

  • Verify whether we need to improve the process.

  • Calculate the potential savings (forecast) in case we decide to set-up a LSS project.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Calculate your process entitlement costs (how much the process should cost when everything is running optimally)

Step 2: Calculate the running costs of the process taking into account all rework loops, inspections, emails, 8 wastes, etc.

Step 3: Subtract the running total costs from the entitlement costs. The negative number is your cost of poor quality (COPQ).

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

During the measure phase to create a forecast and again at the end of the project to calculate the results. This will help you calculate the total impact of your project.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Calculate hard and soft savings.

Do: Verify the accuracy of your calculations with your project champion / sponsor and SME.

Do: Compare COPQ at the end of your project to COPQ at the beginning of the project. This should be highlighted as financial impact.

 

Don’t: Avoid putting COPQ forecast in your project charter at the start of your project. You can always adjust your forecast during the project and learn more about the process.

Don´t: Forget to verify the numbers with finance. Some companies require sign-off by finance department at the beginning and/or end of the project.

Don´t: Forget that some companies calculate COPQ from 12-, 24- and 36-month perspectives. Depending on the project, some might even go up to 5 years. Make sure you are using the correct calculations by selecting the correct time frame that is used in your organization.

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Critical to Quality

To learn more about VOC / VOB

 

Why to use this tool?

By knowing the critical to quality (CTQ), you will be able to identify what exactly the customer´s pain point / focus point is. This will enable us to find the right metrics (KPIs) and then find improvement.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Perform VOC / VOB analysis.

Step 2: Identify what is important for VOC / VOB, go the into details and decide if the importance for the customer is in fulfilment, accuracy, process lead time or in the treatment (FACT model can be used here).

 Step 3: Link the existing KPI to CTQ. If no metrics or KPI´s exist, a data collection plan will need to be created.

Step 4: Add upper and lower control and specification limits (UCL, LCL, USL, LSL).

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

CTQ should be performed in the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Get information directly from VOC / VOB.

Do: Use the FACT model for an easier drill-down from the VOC to the CTQ.

Do: Create a data collection plan in case the data does not exist and start collecting data to see where the process is now.

 

Don’t: Forget to use the WAVE template for easier understanding of the drill-down from VOC to CTQ to KPI to specification limits.

Don´t: Try to solve the VOC / VOB in one project. You might have to complete some smaller projects until the customer feels the difference. For example, one project might focus on accuracy (quality) and another on cycle time (speed).

Don´t: Forget that you can collect VOC from different sources within the company. An active way of collecting data would be to directly ask the customer.

 
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Current State VSM

To better understand the process

Why to use this tool?

 

So that everyone understands how the end-to-end process is going today to be able to come up with new ideas for improvement.

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Invite subject matter experts (SMEs) to the workshop.

Step 2: Place a large brown paper on the wall, or use a digital whiteboard, in case you facilitate the workshop remotely.

Step 3: Start by placing an icon that looks like a factory at the top of the page and name it “customer”. This person is the one who receives the outputs of the process.

Step 4: Draw a line between the customer icon and the first step of the process on the brown paper (starting from the left). If the information between customer and our process is physical, it should be a straight line. If the interaction between our customer and our process takes place electronically, the line should appear as a lightning bolt (see video).

Step 5: List all the major steps that occur in the process from left to right on the screen or brown paper.

Step 6: For each step:

  • give the name of the task

  • provide the number of FTE working on that step

  • (optional) write down the role or the names of these people. In some cases, such as when implementing projects in Germany, the works council does not allowed names to be listed on the VSM.

  • Write down if there are any subtasks linked to this main task.

  • Highlight the time needed to process these subtasks.

Step 7: Below each major step, write down the total time it takes to complete that step.

Step 8: In between each of the major steps, write down the waiting time (time elapsed between one step and the next).

Step 9: Add up all the cycle times plus all waiting times, then get your total lead time (TLT) for the process.

Step 10: Identify pain points and areas for improvement in the current process using various tools, for example: 8 wastes and 5W & 2H (both seen in separate videos).

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

This tool should be used in the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Invite the subject matter experts (SMEs) for the end-to-end process so that everyone has the understanding how the entire process works.

Do: Encourage everyone to interact. Many times, it may be the first time people from other departments speak with other colleagues who are in the same end-to-end process. Sometimes many ideas for process improvement can be identified when each person knows what the other person needs to keep the process running smoothly.

Do: Prepare an action plan template (see separate video on this tool). That way, whenever improvement ideas arise, you can put actions on the list. This would be the best time to identify the owner of that action.

 

Don’t: Need to do the process map level 1,2 and 3 in your project in case you are doing VSM. The same applies the other way around.

Don´t: Forget that the completed current state VSM should be verified by doing the GEMBA walk. This will not only verify that we have not forgotten anything, but also give us a clue as to whether the cycle time and waiting time are accurate and representative.

Don´t: Forget that you have many other metrics that you can use when working with VSM tool. You can find them in a separate video called “Lean Performance Measures”.

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Data Types

There are continuous and discrete data

 

Why to use this (tool)?

 

It is not really a “tool” because you need to know that there are 2 types of data. This is important because by knowing these types of data you can:

  • Perform specific tests in the measure phase

  • Build the right kind of data collection plan

  • Select the appropriate tests in the analyze phase

  • Better interpret the results of your statistics

  • Create a control plan

  • Establish the right KPIs.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Whenever you need to deal with data, first ask yourself what kind of data you are looking at.

Step 2: Once you know whether you have continuous or discrete data, you will know which tests to run in your statistical software by using the hypothesis testing decision tree. 

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

This will come up in the measure phase when you are assessing process performance. You can use a WAVE template to clearly define what types of data you will be focusing on from the very beginning of the project.

You will need to know about data types during analyze phase and again during the control phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Define whether your Y is continuous or not.

Do: For your Y choose continuous data over discrete data.

Do: Collect more than 30 data points (the more the better).

 

Don’t: Forget to verify your data source with your subject matter experts (SMEs).

Don´t: Forget that you can create discrete data from continuous data if needed.

Don´t: Forget: If you have continuous Y, you should try to have some Xs that are discrete and some Xs that are continuous. This way you can undergo various statistical tests.

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Discrete Data

Is usually easier to collect

 

Why to use this tool?

 

It is not really a “tool” as it is a type of data. It is important to know how to identify discrete data to be able to:

  • Perform capability test

  • Know what tests to run.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Listen to VOC and VOB.

Step 2: Define what is the CTQ (critical to quality) that is linked to the VOC and VOB.

Step 3: Link it to an existing KPI or create a new KPI.

Step 4: Make sure the KPI contains discrete type of data.

Step 5: Use a hypothesis testing decision tree to select the appropriate tests in Minitab (see short video).

 

When to use this tool?

 

If your project is about discrete data, you'll be using it in all 5 phases.

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: For your Y select discrete data in case there is no possibility to use continuous data.

Do: Make sure your data is reliable and accurate.

Do: Collect more than 30 data points (the more the better).

 

Don’t: Forget to verify your data source with your subject matter experts (SMEs).

Don´t: Forget to use Gage R&R for testing the reliability of your discrete data.

Don´t: Manipulate your data ;-)

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Estimated Resources Required

To know what the baseline should look like

 

Why to use this tool?

 

If we want to offer our clients the best price for services and products, we need to know how much this process will cost the company. One of the key cost blocks is resources. Therefore, this tool will allow us to calculate the total head count required when everything works without any problems. It will be our so-called: baseline.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Find out where your process begins and ends. This way you get a comprehensive view of your value chain.

Step 2: Calculate the total cycle time of the end-to-end process.

Step 3: Calculate your takt time (see video on calculating takt time).

Step 4: Divide total cycle time by the takt time.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In measure phase. This also helps us when we calculate the COPQ.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: The Gemba walk (go to where the process is being performed) to better calculate the cycle times per process step.

Do: Look at historical data and future estimates when calculating customer demand (in volumes).

Do: Check the credibility and accuracy of your data.

 

Don’t: Forget that this estimate should not be used to put a buffer in real life. For example, if someone goes on holidays or is absent due to a training, workshop or sick leave.

Don´t: Use this as a tool to put pressure on the team.

Don´t: If you happen to have more employees that estimated in the calculation, do not reduce the headcount before making process improvements.

 
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Fishbone Diagram

Ishikawa-Diagram / cause-and-effect diagram

Why to use this tool?

 

To identify potential root causes Xs that may affect the quality of our process output. These Xs will be examined in the analyze phase so that we can find the vital few.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

This tool is used in brainstorming sessions together with the subject matter experts (SMEs).

Step 1: Start with any bone of the fish and ask questions. For example, if we start with the bone called “Process” then we ask the question, “What issues with the process we are having today that could be causing defects (the problem statement)?

Step 2:  After each answer, ask “why” at least 3 times until you come to a measurable potential root cause.

Step 3: Continue to brainstorm ideas for that same bone. Once no further ideas are given by the project team, then move to the next major bone of the fish and start the same procedure as for the previous bone.

Step 4: Complete the brainstorming for all 6 major fish bones.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In some companies, fishbone is used as the last tool in the measure phase. Other companies use the fishbone as the first tool in the analyze phase. Regardless of which phase you want to use the Ishikawa in, it is important to use it after process mapping and MSA. It is also important to use the FMEA directly after fishbone to make sure we prioritize all Xs before creating a data collection plan.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Use all 6 bones of the fish.

Do: Drill down the high-level topics using the 5-Why method (ask why, why, why).

Do: Find the lowest level bone that will be measurable (so we can create a data collection plan).

 

Don´t: Make the fishbone too large. It should fit on one page.

Don´t: Forget that the head of your fishbone is the same problem statement (defect definition) as in the project charter.

Don´t: Rename the major fish bones.

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Ice Breaker

To create a better atmosphere

 

Why to use this tool?

 

When people attend a workshop and don’t know all the participants, some people might feel tense. The ice breaker is there to ease that tension. It is also used to encourage everyone to return from the break before continuing with the workshop.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

There are many kinds of ice breakers. The one we are going to cover here is an ice breaker we used a lot with our clients.

Step 1: At the beginning of the workshop, after everyone has introduced themselves and their expectations, hand over a package of yellow post-it notes.

Step 2: Tell everyone to take only 1 post-it note and write down 3 bullet points. They should come up with 2 truths about themselves and 1 lie. The order does not matter.

Here is an example of a sticky note with 3 bullet points.

  • I love to play golf wearing my lucky hat

  • I love bungee jumping

  • I won a chess tournament in Russia.

Step 3: Gather notes from everyone.

Step 4: Randomly take 2 post-it notes and read the first one out loud.

Step 5: Make everyone guess who this note may belong to.

Step 6: Once we have identified who it belongs to, have everyone guess what the lie is and what the 2 truths are.

Step 7: Check with the person that your guess is correct and start a short discussion about their truths.

Step 8: Do the same with other post-it notes.

Step 9: Calculate the number of workshop days and breaks you will have. Make sure you have 1 post-it note for each day. You can also use them when everyone comes back from the break time.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase at the beginning of the workshop and again after each workshop break.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Join the game with your own sticky note ;-)

Do: Tell people the story doesn't have to be a business-related topic. It can come from their private life and from any time in the past.

Do: Start a short conversation about truths as this will give everyone the opportunity to get to know their colleagues better. The conversation should only last a few minutes.

 

Don’t: Keep track of how many people got it right or wrong. Having fun is important here.

Don´t: Be too serious and don’t forget to smile during the ice breakers.

Don´t: Forget to thank the participants for sharing their 2 truths with everyone.

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In Frame - Out of Frame

To better understand scope of the project

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To better identify the scope of the project together with the project team members. Here we will define together what is in scope and what is out of scope.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Schedule a meeting with subject matter experts and sponsor.

Step 2: Show them the image (or flip chart) of the in frame / out frame (see video).

Step 3: Ask your first brainstorming question: what is out of scope for this project?

Step 4: Gather their ideas and place them on the outside frame.

Step 5: Ask the second brainstorming question: what is in scope for this project?

Step 6: Collect their ideas and place them on the inside frame.

Step 7: Make sure everyone agrees with the topics inside and outside of the box.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

This tool should be used in the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Start this brainstorming with your project sponsor and optionally with your SMEs in the 1st workshop.

Do: Align with the project sponsor and make sure he/she agrees with the in/out scope topics.

Do: Get back to SMEs in case there are any updates or changes given by the project sponsor. Sometimes the sponsor might have different expectations.

 

Don’t: Forget to update the information on the project charter (scope).

Don´t: Forget that the project charter is a living document and one can always go back and adjust it throughout the project.

Don´t: Forget to align with the project sponsor in case you adjust the project scope throughout the duration of the project. Occasionally, the project team comes across topics that may trigger changes in the project scope definition.

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Is – Is Not

To better understand what the project is about

 

Why to use this tool?

 

Once we start to refine the project charter and we start collecting data on the Y, it is important to define what the project is about. This tool explains to all participants what we will focus on in the project. Thanks to this tool, we will have a razor-sharp understanding of the project. It is very similar to finding the scope of the project.  

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Schedule a meeting with subject matter experts and sponsor.

Step 2: Show them the image (or flipchart) of the frame and explain the following: the outside frame represents everything the project is NOT about, and the inside frame represents everything this project is about (see video).

Step 3: Ask your first brainstorming question: what is this project NOT about?

Step 4: Gather their ideas and place them in the outside frame.

Step 5: Ask the second brainstorming question: what is this project about?

Step 6: Collect their ideas and place them in the inside frame.

Step 7: Make sure everyone agrees with the topics inside and outside of the box.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the define and measure phase of the project when you finalize the project charter.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: This brainstorming with your project sponsor and process owner.

Do: Use the outcome of this activity so you can fill-in the project charter with additional information.

Do: Use this information to fine tune your project scope if needed.

 

Don’t: Forget that the project charter is a living document, and you can always refer to it and adjust it throughout the project.

Don´t: Need to use this tool if it is already clear what the project is about and if you have a very good scope.

Don´t: Forget that you can always update the content of these frames throughout the duration of the project.

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Lean Performance Measures

To have interesting KPIs

 

Why to use this tool?

 

Once you know what the lean performance measures are to your disposal, you can choose the ones that fit best to your project. This will help you take a snapshot of the current state of the process. Now you will be able to set measurable goals.

           

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Make sure you have defined your end-to-end process

Step 2: Select the metrics you want to use for your project:

  • Cycle time – time needed to complete a process task

  • Total Cycle time – summarizes up all cycle times in the end-to-end process

  • Waiting Time – time that elapses between one process step and the next

  • Total waiting time – sums up all the waiting times in the end-to-end process

  • Lead time / Total Lead Time (TLT) – add up total cycle time and total waiting time

  • Value Added Time (VAT) – total time in the end-to-end process that adds value to the customer

  • Value Added Ratio – Value Added Time (VAT) divided by Total Lead time (TLT)

  • Non-Value Added – total time in the end-to-end process that does not add value to the customer

  • Work in progress – number of activities in progress or (in) waiting for each operation / step in the process

  • On Time In Full (OTIF) – OTIF is also known as customer service. It is the % of tasks performed in accordance with the customer’s time requirements

  • Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE) – divide VA time by NVA time

  • Exit Rate (Throughput) – the amount of work (product/service/transaction) performed in each period. The exit rate should be equal to the demand of customers at the specified time

  • First Time Yield / First Pass Yield (FTY) – FTY is like the exit rate. FTY is unit sensitive, which means it does not take into account whether the output unit is defective or not. It is calculated by dividing the number of units produced in the process by its inputs. It does not capture how many defects were found and repaired within a single unit.

  • Capacity – maximum volume that the process can deliver over a continuous period of time. For example, a kitchen in a restaurant with a capacity to serve 500 meals a week

  • Bottlenecks – a bottleneck (or constraint) is a process congestion point that occurs when workloads appear too quickly for the production process to handle. The bottleneck affects the level of production capacity that a company can reach each month.

Step 3: Collect data and record the current performance.

Step 4: Set a goal for those performance measures.

Step 5: Verify if your project made the process reach the target performance.

 

           

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase and then again in the control phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Validate the accuracy and validity of your measurement system with MSA (Measurement System Analysis).

Do: Compare the before and after results at the end of the project.

Do: Include graphs. It is always great to use visual illustrations that correlate with your data.

 

Don’t: Do the project in case you find out that the process is not doing that bad. Sometimes we instinctively feel that something is working below our expectations, but once we measure it, we may be pleasantly surprised and realize that we do not need to do a project.

Don´t: Rely on data if you do not have sufficient data points. Make sure you have collected at least 30 data points.

Don´t: Need to use all the metrics mentioned above. Sometimes it is sufficient to choose the top 5 metrics.

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Monitor Change Management Progress

To ensure we are on track

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To be able to track progress of our change initiative.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Finalize your project charter.

Step 2: Use the template provided by WAVE (see video).

Step 3: On the left of the vertical axis, write down the 3 major categories:

  • Desired indicators of success

  • Potential red flags

  • Measure and/or means to track.

Step 4: At the top of the horizontal axis write down the 6 stages:

  • Leadership and project selection

  • Team start up

  • Shared need and vision

  • Mobilize commitment

  • Monitor progress

  • Systems and structures.

Step 5: Enter the desired success factors for all 6 stages.

Step 6: Fill out potential red flags for all 6 stages.

Step 7: Complete measures and or means to track progress for all these 6 stages.

Step 8: Use the 2nd part of the template to place the blue circles in the corresponding fulfilment %.

Step 9: Keep doing this throughout your project until all stages are 100%.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

During measure, analyze, improve, and control phases.

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

Do: Use this tool for change management projects or other types of projects and initiatives you might be working on.

Do: Use this tool for critical topics, especially on a complex topic that could lead to political issues.

Do: Inform your project sponsor when you encounter red flags.

 

Don’t: Need to use this tool if you work on a simple lean project or KAIZEN topic.

Don´t: Forget to regularly show your project team the progress by using template on page 2 (see also video).

Don´t: Set the fulfilment percentages yourself. It is a great activity to do with your project team.

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Gage Repeatability & Reproducibility

It is a MSA (Measurement System Analysis) tool

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To assess the accuracy and precision of a measurement system as the data is collected, we need to make sure that it is reliable.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: In Minitab, create a single column called “Attribute”. Select the desired measurement results from the data collecting team.

Step 2: Select at least 35 questions and put the right answers in the “Attribute” column.

Step 3: Ask questions of at least 3 data collectors and write their answers in separate columns called, Operator 1 Trial 1, Operator 2 Trial 1 and Operator 3 Trial 1.

Step 4: A few days later, ask the same data collectors the same questions again, but in a different order, and write the answers in additional columns called, Operator 1 Trial 2, Operator 2 Trial 2, Operator 3 Trial 2.

Step 5: In Minitab, select: Stat > Quality Tools > Attribute Agreement Analysis…

Step 6: Click “Multiple Columns” and select all 3 operators for trial 1 and trial 2.

Step 7: Under “number of appraisers” enter 3.

Step 8: Under “number of trials” enter 2.

Step 9: Under “known standard/attribute”, double-click the attribute column (where you have the correct answers).

Step 10: Select “OK” and include the results into your project documentation.

Step 11: If your score for “Between Appraisers” and “All Appraisers vs. Standard“ is below 90%, you will need to optimize the measurement system before proceeding with the project. When the score reaches 90% or more, you can continue with the project.

Note: “Between Appraisers” gives us the score on the “repeatability” of the answers given by our operators, while “All Appraisers vs. Standard” is the score that compares their input to the “Attribute” column, containing the right answers.

           

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase, before you validate all the statistics and again in the analyze phase. We use the MSA principle one last time in the control phase to make sure the measurement system continues to perform well after modifying the process.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Select at least 3 operators / systems / data collectors.

Do: Perform at least 2 trials for each data collector.

Do: Find the root causes and make improvements to the measurement system in case you have a score below 90%.

 

Don’t: Skip doing the MSA!

Don´t: Forget to re-check the stability and accuracy of the measurement system after making any improvements to the process. Sometimes the newly optimized process can affect the performance of the measurement system.

Don´t: Skip the MSA if you cannot apply the Gage R&R tool to your project. There are other creative ways to verify the accuracy of your measurement system ;-)

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Normality Test

Also known as “Graphical Summary”

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To find out whether your data is normally distributed.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

If you want to check whether your Y has a normal distribution of data, you must have a Y with continuous data.

Step 1: Collect at least 30 data points for your Y and place them in one column in Minitab.

Step 2:  Select: Basic Statistics > Graphical Summary…

Step 3: In the “Variables” double-click the column that contains the Y data.

Step 4: Select “OK” and view the results. If your P-Value is greater than 0.05, you accept your null hypothesis and conclude that there is no issue with date distribution. If the P-value is below 0.05, you reject the null-hypothesis and conclude that you do not have a normal distribution in your data.

Note: You can also look at other results obtained in this test. For example, the mean and standard deviation can also be an important outcome to include in your project documentation.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

During the measure phase and then again during the control phase. The reason it is done again in the control phase is to compare the “before and after” results.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Verify if your data is reliable.

Do: Collect at least 30 data points.

Do: Include the results in your project documentation.

 

Don´t: Forget to interpret the P-Value results in your project documentation.

Don´t: Forget that these test results are important for the “Test for Equal Variances” because you must first know if your data is normally distributed in order to decide which P-value results to choose (Levene, Bartlett, F-Test, etc.).

Don´t: Forget to repeat the Normality Test at the end of the project to compare the results with the first Normality Test performed at the beginning of the project.

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Pareto Chart

Usually known for the 80-20 rule

 

Why to use this tool?

 

Pareto charts show the frequency of counting data in a form of a bar graph. The largest data count is shown on the left and then the smallest data count (smallest bar) is on the right. You will also see a line representing the cumulative data from the first bar until the last bar, which always ends with a cumulative value of 100%.

Pareto charts are used to identify areas to focus on in process improvement initiatives.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Collect at least 30 discrete data points and place them in one column in Minitab.

Step 2: Select: Quality Tools > Pareto Chart…

Step 3: In the “Defects or attribute data in” section, double-click the column containing the discrete data.

Step 4: Select “OK” and view the results that you can include in your project documentation.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

During the measure phase and then (optional) again during the control phase. The reason why it is done again in the control phase is to compare the “before and after” results.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Verify if your data is reliable.

Do: Collect at least 30 data points.

Do: Include the results in your project documentation.

 

Don´t: Forget to interpret Pareto results in your documentation.

Don´t: Forget to focus on the area with the highest potential for improvement, which in most cases (depending on how the data was collected) is the leftmost bar on the Pareto chart.

Don´t: Forget to verify the improvements made at the end of the project by doing another Pareto and putting the “before and after” results next to each other.

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Parking Lot

To stay on track

 

Why to use this tool?

 

For 2 main reasons:

a) if there is something you are not able to clarify during the workshop, it is good to place that topic in the parking lot. This will give you (or anyone else) time to come back with an answer at the next workshop or status meeting.

b) to keep the workshop (or meeting) on track. Sometimes participants deviate from the topic of the workshop because they start speaking about other issues. Place these topics in the parking lot so that they do not get lost.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Designate a place in the workshop room to hang a flipchart with the title “parking lot”.

Step 2: On one side of the parking lot, you can write: “topics related to the subject of the workshop” and on the other side “other topics”.

Step 3: During your workshop, if you notice that people are deviating from the topic because they are talking about other things, ask them to write these down in post-its so that they can be discussed at a later point of time. Inform everyone that for now we need to keep up with the agenda and we will come back to other topics during the next meeting or workshop.

Step 4: If you or someone in the workshop cannot answer a question, you can write it on a post-it and place it in the parking lot. This way it will not be forgotten and there will be enough time to come up an answer before the next meeting or workshop. In case there is no further meeting, you can send an email with the answers.

 

 

When to use this tool?

This tool should be used during measure, analyze, and improve phases (anytime you conduct a workshop in each of these phases).

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Use this tool also in digital workshops. You can always have it on the digital board and let the participants know what it is for at the beginning of the meeting.

Do: Take a photo of the parking lot at the end of the meeting. Many times, it gets lost after the meeting, or the post-it notes fall off, or it is misplaced or thrown away by mistake with other flipchart papers. A photo is great to have because you can also get rid of the post-its.  

Do: Reuse the flip chart with the parking lot drawing / writing. This way you do not need to create a new one for each meeting or workshop. All you need to do is remove the old post-its.

 

Don’t: Let the team to drift away from the topic for too long. If you have a tight agenda, you can put their (drifted) topics in the parking lot. It is important for them to see that everything discussed in the workshops will not be forgotten.

Don´t: Forget to follow up on the open questions in the parking lot.

Don´t: Forget to place other important topics on the agenda of the next status meeting or workshop. If it is an issue that needs management attention as it may be a future project, you can invite your manager to the meeting.

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Process Map Level 1

To have a high-level view of your end-to-end process

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To be clear what the end-to-end process looks like in high-level view (non-detailed view).

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Find out where the process starts.

Step 2: Find out where the process ends.

Step 3: Create high-level steps that belong in the middle (between start point and end point).

Step 4: Try to stick between 4-8 high level steps.

Step 5: The first word of each major process step should start with a verb (an action).

Step 6: Below each major process step, write a short text below the box describing what happens in that step (see example template in the video).

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

The process map level 1 is created in the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Stick to 4-8 major process steps.

Do: Write a short description of what happens at each major step in the process.

Do: Use this level of process mapping for your “P” in the SIPOC tool. The only difference: you will need to make the horizontal view of the process map into a vertical view for the SIPOC.

 

Don’t: Just try to illustrate the process from your department. Focus on the end-to-end process that usually goes through various areas of the organization (from the beginning to the end of the process).

Don´t: Rely on existing process maps as they may be out of date. You need to find out how the process works today.

Don´t: Use decision boxes in process map level 1.

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Process Map Level 2

Understand the behavior of your end-to-end process

 

Why to use this tool?

 

By going from level 1 of the process map to level 2, you will drill down into the details of the process. By doing this, you will understand how the process behaves and where we have areas that are problematic. By doing this activity together with the subject matter experts (SMEs) from different departments, they will understand how the process works from start to the end.

One of the main reasons for a PML 2 is to identify areas of process improvement and then propose these improvements to management for approval.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Make sure that you will address each major step that comes from your process map level 1 and go through the process with your project team.

Step 2: Use process steps, decision boxes and any other symbols to illustrate your process.

Step 3: Use all the features of the process map while working on it with the project team. For example:

  • Enter the volumes of the process

  • Include rework loops (in case something does not run correctly)

  • Put the COPQ next to the rework loops

  • Visualize the value-added and non-value-added process steps

  • Make it clear where you have the hand-off by creating “swim lanes”. Here you will be able to visualize what is happening in each department

  • Include the sigma value at the end of the process

  • Show whether the process steps are manual or automated

  • Visualize areas where systems, documents, macros, or templates are used

  • Include control points / checkpoints

Step 4: Verify the current process with the SME´s (see an example process map in the video).

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

Process map level 2 is created at the end of the measure phase.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Create the link between process map level 1 and level 2.

Do: Establish the process map level 2 with the subject matter experts, who represent each department or phase of the process.

Do: Create a current process map for your project, whether the process map already exists. They are often outdated or do not contain all the features we need.

 

Don’t: Forget to include the checkpoints / inspection points.

Don´t: Forget to add the percentages (distribution) that flow from your decision boxes. For example: from the total volume that flows into the process each month, which % goes through “yes” and “no” in each decision box.

Don´t: Forget to do a quick GEMBA walk through the real process while following the process map. This ensures that we have not forgotten anything and can make small adjustments to the process map if needed.

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Process Map Level 3

To go to the most detailed level possible

 

Why to use this tool?

 

If you find a problematic area of the process, you can dive deeper into that area of the process by using the level 3 map to identify pain points and areas for improvement.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Create process map level 1.

Step 2: Create process map level 2.

Step 3: If a problem area has been identified in PML2 and we believe we need to dive deeper into that area, we can optionally create a process map level 3.

Step 4: Make sure we find the link between process map level 2 and level 3.

Step 5: Visualize PML3 the same way you used PML2. Only here we will go deeper into detail for each of the process steps derived from PML2.

Step 6: If necessary, take a short GEMBA walk to verify the completeness of the PML3.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

Process map level 3 can be done optionally. It should be done at the end of measure phase when you are done with process map level 2.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Go into as much detail as possible.

Do: Connect PML3 to each of the steps mentioned in PML 2.

Do: Use all features as in PML 2.

 

Don’t: Make a level 3 process map for the entire end-to-end process if not necessary. You should only pick one problem area from PML2 and then delve into that area.

Don´t: Create a PML 3 if you have everything you need in PML 2.

Don´t: Forget to ask your project sponsor or LSS deployment champion if your company uses specific process mapping software. If there are no standards in place, use the software that your IT security allow

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RACI Analysis

To clarify who does what

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To know exactly who is responsible for what in the process. It also gives understanding in the process of who should consult whom and who needs to inform whom.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: List all process steps vertically on brown paper (if you are in a meeting room with participants) or in an Excel sheet (if you are running a meeting digitally).

Step 2: At the top of the list (horizontally), name all roles/functions involved in the end-to-end process.

Step 3: Look at how things are running today. Determine who is responsible and accountable at each step.

Step 4: Create a future state RACI.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase, around the same time that the process map or value stream is created.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Inform those who absolutely need to be informed. Try to eliminate informing everyone about everything. The rule here is: Inform as little as possible, but as much as needed.

Do: Create the RACI status quo to see how things are running today.

Do: Build a future state RACI to create an optimized version. Use the action plan (separate video for the action plan tool) to transition from the current RACI state to the future RACI state and make sure it is communicated to everyone.

 

Don’t: Write down the names of the employees. Just enter the name of the function, role, or job title.

Don´t: Have more than 1 person accountable for each step of the process.

Don´t: Have too many “R” for responsible.

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Selection - Vote N3

To efficiently select important topics

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To select topics that shorten decision-making time, and which are most important to the project team.

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Brainstorm with the project team (see separate video on how to brainstorm).

Step 2: Count the number of ideas/topics you have collected and divide them by 3. This will be the number of stickers you will give to each participant.

Step 3: Instruct everybody that they have a few minutes to place the stickers on the topics with the highest importance. The only rule: do not put more than one sticker on the same topic. They must use all the stickers received.

Step 4: Sort the topics according to the ones with the most stickers to the fewest stickers.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

During the workshop sessions in the measure phase.

 

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

Do: Make sure you have enough stickers for all the participants.

Do: Recheck that everyone understood the instructions.

Do: Create the “high, medium, low” priorities at the end of N3 activity.

 

Don’t: Worry if you run a digital workshop session. This tool can also be used in a digital workshop. Just make sure that everyone understands how many “dots” they need to distribute on the screen when selecting important topics.

Don´t: Have them place more than one sticker per post-it/topic.

Don´t: Forget to praise the group for participating in the N3 activity as this will motivate them to take part in future activities as well. Let the group know how nicely and quickly we were able to make progress in prioritizing by using this simple tool.

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Setting up a Vision

To know what the end result looks like

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To ensure that the project goal is clear for all team members. The clearer the picture of what the end-result will look like, the better we will be able to link everyone’s actions to the end goal.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Do this activity with your project team members during the kick-off session or the 1st workshop session.

Step 2: After explaining the goal of the project, ask everyone to imagine a moment in the future when the project becomes very successful. Ask them what they see and put these comments on the flipchart.

Step 3: Ask everyone to find words to describe what they would see, hear, feel as they watched the new changed state. Collect these comments and place them on the flipchart.

Step 4: Once we have created this shared vision, ask everyone if they are clear about this vision. You can do this through a multiple-choice questionnaire where the answers are in the range: 10% - 100%.

 

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase, during the kick-off session or the 1st workshop.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Revise some of the comments from the participants in case they are not in line with the objectives of the project or if it is something that is considered “out of scope”.

Do: Schedule it in the agenda as a brainstorming session.

Do: Make it clear to everyone that we must achieve consensus on the final vision.

 

Don’t: Disagree with someone else’s vision. If it does not fit to the perfect picture, ask them to brainstorm further and guide them with tips or tricks to steer them in the right direction.

Don´t: Agree to the vision (just to avoid conflict) that you do not think is part of the project.

Don´t: Restrict the team in case they start dreaming big. You can encourage them and say that this project will be a step towards that “bigger” vision in the future.

table.jpg
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Sigma Level and Sigma Shift

Understanding Zlt and Zst

 

Why to use this tool?

 

Sigma level is a performance indicator that is directly linked to the voice of the customer (VOC). The higher the Sigma level, the better our clients experience with our service and products. The Sigma shift was created as a buffer between the performance we have today (called Zst for short term Sigma) and our long-term process performance (called Zlt for long term Sigma). Experience has shown that processes lose their quality levels over time. Therefore, every time you calculate your process Sigma today, 1.5 Sigma will be subtracted from your current Sigma value so that a long-term Sigma forecast can be made.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Identify what is VOC (voice of the customer).

Step 2: Make a clear and measurable definition of "defect".

Step 3: Make a clear and measurable definition of "opportunity“.

Step 4: Count the number of defects you have multiplied by 1.000.000 divided by the number of opportunities. This gives you the DPMO (defects per million opportunities).

Step 5: Using the DPMO table, you can find the corresponding Sigma value.

 

Note: Most DPMO tables already have the 1.5 Sigma shift included in the calculations.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

This is done in the measure phase when we measure the performance of the process. At the end of the project, in the control phase, we will recalculate the Sigma value to see the new level of performance and compare the “before and after” results.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Obtain the defects from VOC (voice of the customer) or VOB (voice of the business).

Do: Verify your measurement system to see if it provides reliable data.

Do: Collect more than 30 data points.

 

Don’t: Make assumptions about what a VOC might be. Here you need to collect VOC directly from the source.

Don´t: Need to use the DPMO table. You can also use the Sigma calculator, which can be found on the Internet, or use Excel or Minitab to do Sigma calculations.

Don´t: Forget that the Sigma shift (1.5) is already included in most tables and calculators. Therefore, it is best to double-check if the shift is included or not.

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Stability Test

Run chart to assess process stability

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To check whether your process is running stable.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

If you have continuous “Y” data and want to know if the process is running steadily, you need to collect data in the same order in which it is collected. For example, if you collect the cycle time of the 1st call, the data point should be placed in the first position in the column. For the cycle time of the 2nd call, this data point should be second in the column, and so on.

Step 1: Collect at least 30 data points for your “Y” and place them in one column in Minitab.

Step 2:  Select: Quality Tools > Run Chart…

Step 3: In the “Single Column” double-click your column that contains the “Y” data. In the “Subgroup size” field, put “1” in case you collected the data as one subgroup.  

Step 4: Select “OK” and view the 4 results (Cluster, Mixture, Trend, Oscillation). If your P-Value is greater than 0.05, you accept your null hypothesis and conclude that there is no issue with any of these stability factors. If the P-value is below 0.05, you reject the null hypothesis and conclude that you do not have instability in one of these 4 categories.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

During the measure phase and then again during the control phase. The reason this is done again in the control phase is to compare the “before and after” results.

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Verify if your data is reliable.

Do: Collect 30 data points or more.

Do: Include the results in your project documentation.

 

Don´t: Forget to interpret the P-Value results in your project documentation.

Don´t: Close the project in case one of the P-Values is lower than 0.05 because you need to make sure that the process is stable before finalizing the project. Once you can show that you have improved the Sigma value of your process, you need to prove that this level of performance is a stable.

Don´t: Forget to repeat the Stability Test at the end of the project to compare the results with the first Stability Test performed at the beginning of the project.

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Takt Time

To understand customer demand (volumes)

 

Why to use this tool?

 

To know the rate required to meet customer’s quantitative requirements in each time interval. It answers the questions:

  • can we handle the volumes and peaks?

  • do we have a buffer time?

  • do we have bottlenecks in a specific area?

  • do we need to balance our end-to-end process?

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Map out the end-to-end process with a current state value stream map (VSM) – see video on VSM.

Step 2: Calculate the total number of hours available to work on the process in given time interval.

Step 3: Calculate the number of units (volumes given by the client) required for the time interval (for example, 0.5-day, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, etc.).

Step 4: Divide the total number of hours available to work on the process by the number of units required. This equals your takt time.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase after creating the VSM.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Calculate only the available hours for the process. For example: if you have 1 employee working 8 hours a day, you need to subtract:

  • 1 hour lunch time

  • 1 hour team meeting

  • 2 hours workshop

  • 1 hour external meeting

  • 0.5 hour data collection

  • 1 hour for various phone calls

Total: 6,5 hours are subtracted from the total 8 hours

= 1,5 hour is now available for handling process tasks.

Do: Think about the intervals. Depending on your business, define the ideal interval. For example: In a call center, you will have a difference in volume (demand) at lunchtime and after-hours. Therefore, you have different intervals over the course of 1 day. In the finance department, on the other hand, you can have the same interval throughout the month, except at the end of the month when you have more work, which means it will be a different interval. Each time the average takt time changes due to customer demand, you have a different interval.

At the coffee shop you will have a different volume (demand) early in the morning before customers go to work. Then the volumes go down until lunchtime. After lunch, volumes usually drop until 15:00. Then at 16:00 and at 18:00 you might have 2 further peaks during the day which means you will have different intervals.

Do: Use the takt time as an indicator of how fast each step of the process must be to avoid bottlenecks during that time interval.

 

Don’t: Forget to validate the accuracy and stability of your measurement system when collecting data for your takt time calculations.

Don´t: Need to use the takt time tool for every project. For example, if you are looking at improving the quality of your product, you do not need to deal with “cycle time” metrics. If your project focuses of improving delivery time of products and services, then in that case you can use the takt time calculation for your project.

Don´t: Just calculate the takt time, now show everyone in the end-to-end process what the takt time calculation is and how it compares the current state VSM. Illustrate whether each major step of the process is above or below the required takt time. If the operating process time is longer than the takt time, then action steps need to be defined in the “action plan.”

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Workshop Introduction and Expectations

To initiate the workshop session

 

Why to use this tool?

 

For 3 main reasons:

a) that the participants of the workshops know who the other participants are

b) for the facilitator (you) to write down the expectations and

c) serves as an ice breaker when participants mention their hobby.

 

 

How to use this tool?

 

Step 1: Begin the workshop (or meeting) by introducing yourself and greeting everyone. Thank them for taking the time.

Step 2: Step 2: Tell the group that you would like to do a short introductory round (in case some participants do not know each other). Show them a flipchart with points you would like to hear about them. For example: name, job title, how long they have been with the company, expectations for this session and hobbies.

Step 3:  Prepare a flipchart titled “Expectations”. Here you can write down all expectations.

Step 4: After collecting information from everyone, you can proceed with the workshop agenda.

 

 

When to use this tool?

 

In the measure phase, during the first workshop.

 

 

3 Do´s and 3 Don’ts:

 

Do: Ask them about their expectations first, and while you are writing them down, they can start talking about their hobbies. Now you can delve into their hobbies by asking 1-2 questions.

Do: Place a box symbol in front of each expectation. At the end of the session, you can go back and place a check mark on all the expectations that have been covered. Explain why some of the expectations did not get a check mark. Perhaps you can place them in the parking lot for a future session.

Do: Spend the same amount of time with everyone.

 

Don’t: Forget, in case you want to add one more icebreaker, give them the 2 truths and 1 lie game (separate video called “Icebreaker”).

Don´t: Choose who will start. To be fair, just start from the right or left side of the room and move to the other side. Participants should not feel that you have preferences.

Don´t: Forget to speak up if someone has completely wrong expectations of the workshop. For example: your workshop is about improving the billing process and someone’s expectation is to improve the sales process. If you notice that the expectation is not met at your current workshop, you need to let them know. It is good to manage expectations from the beginning, not to fall into conflict at the end of the workshop session.

Image by Pawel Czerwinski
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