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Whether you’re just starting your Lean Six Sigma journey, or you’re in the middle of improving a process, guidance from Experts can help make your efforts easier – and more successful! In this Expert Excerpt, we interview Dorsey Sherman who shares key insights to being successful with Lean leadership.

Dorsey is the Founder and Principal of Modèle Consulting. She teaches and coaches organizations to reach their full potential by practicing scientific thinking and strategy deployment.

With over fifteen years of experience, Dorsey has worked across a wide spectrum of environments including manufacturing, schools, nonprofit agencies, inpatient hospitals, acute rehab units, physician offices, and behavioral health settings. Dorsey has spent hundreds of hours coaching and teaching staff, managers and executives using a combination of deliberate practice and scientific thinking.

She has a bachelor’s in economics from Michigan State University and a master’s in health management and policy from the University of Michigan. Dorsey got her start at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit as a management engineer.

Most recently, Dorsey was a Senior Consultant at Mercy Health where she helped design and implement one of the most successful healthcare kata systems in Michigan.

What advice do you have for someone who is getting started mastering Lean leadership?

Lean leadership starts with you. Start by thinking through why want to become a Lean leader. What does it mean to you? If you want to be a Lean leader because someone else (your boss/organization) said you should, be sure to recognize that since it will not serve as a great motivator in the long term. Clearly articulate your version of an ideal Lean leader. For me Lean leadership means: humility (I don’t have all the answers), curiosity (I wonder why this is done that way?), hope (I know there is a better way), and compassion (I love my team).

What is your definition? From there consider, where you are now. What are the thoughts, behaviors, values and beliefs that drive you every day? How are you perceived? What’s working for you as a leader? What isn’t? Identify obstacles between you and your target, and then craft a learning agenda and commit to experimenting with your own behavior to get different results.

What are some common mistakes you see people making trying to lead Continuous Improvement efforts?

They want everyone else to change, but don’t want to change themselves. Workers need to follow standard work, improve processes, focus on process, facts, and data, but what are you going to do differently? A core function of Lean leadership is developing and growing the capability of your team, so how are you going to work/interact/lead differently in order to develop the skills of your team?

Do you have any pet peeves related to Lean leadership?

I don’t see enough Lean leaders focused on developing their teams. They see their role as helping workers add more value by removing barriers and solving problems, but not as empowering a team to solve their own problems.

Is there anyone who has significantly influenced you over the years?

Mike Rother (Toyota Kata author) and the work of Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee, Melvin Smith, Daniel Goleman (Resonant Leadership and Primal Leadership) have greatly influenced my thinking on leadership, coaching, improvement and how we develop teams.

Why do you do what you do? (What motivates you?)

I love helping people solve problems and achieve goals!

What’s something exciting that you’re currently working on?

I’m becoming certified Executive Coach with a focus in Emotional Intelligence (EI). I am so excited to talk about how EI crosses over with Lean and Toyota Kata.

What’s your favorite application of Lean Leadership in your personal life (away from work)?

“Don’t Be So Sure.” At KataCon5 in Savannah earlier this year, every participant was given this quote on a sticker. The sticker is a reminder that you can’t trust your own assumptions and that all ideas must be tested. Our brains jump to conclusions even in the absence of facts or data. Scientific thinking tells us to ‘go and see’ and to validate. I love applying this same concept to my thoughts.

We all have an internal narrator that is making judgements (often negative) about the neutral facts around us including other people – ‘she is resistant to change,’ ‘he doesn’t like me,’ ‘he hasn’t responded because they don’t want to hire me.’ I strive to pause and recognize these thoughts and then tell myself – “Don’t be so sure.” Is it really true? Is that guy really a jerk? They didn’t email you back, but don’t be so sure they don’t want to hire you. When you start questioning your thoughts (which create emotion and then action) you can see where those assumptions are holding you back.

Have a question for Dorsey? Please feel free to ask in the comments below.

The post Expert Excerpts: Dorsey Sherman on Lean Leadership appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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With all the superhero movies out in theaters, that got us thinking about our fabulous Wonder Women of Quality. Where are they? What are they up to? We wanted to know!

We wrote to last year’s Wonder Women of Quality and asked them to pick one of the questions below and email us their response:

  • What are your reflections on the past year? What is your biggest learning(s)?
  • What is something unexpected that happened last year and what did you take away from it?
  • What will you experiment with in the coming year?
  • Do you have any specific goals for the coming year that you’d like to share?

Here’s what we heard:

“In reflecting on 2018 and in planning for 2019, I find my thoughts turning often to challenge. Did I challenge myself enough in 2018…did I really push myself out of my comfort zone…in actions and thinking…And for 2019, what will I do to ensure that I am constantly challenging myself…to help more people, think more creatively, work on different ways to teach people to work more effectively and efficiently and create a kinder world.

So, here are the challenges I’ve set for myself this year so far: create new ways to more deeply connect with people I’m helping, start a foundation for my love and kindness work, and design and sew all the clothing I wear to speaking events to improve my personal creativity.

Challenging myself in these ways will help me do more than I ever thought I could do, and be more than I ever thought I could be. And have empathy for those I challenge. I’ll end with a couple of questions for readers: Did you challenge yourself enough last year? How will you challenge yourself more this year?”


Karyn Ross What will you experiment with in the coming year?

“This year I am experimenting with ways to facilitate generative behaviors in Governance activities. In infrequent encounters and dense agendas how will we draw on strengths, skills, experience and passion to ignite insightful, informed queries and imagining.”


Ann Colbourne What will you experiment with in the coming year?

“My team and I are moving into business process automation! We’re so excited to be a part of helping colleagues identifying waste in their processes and, where we can’t find a way to eliminate these non-value-adding tasks, automating them with software robots to take the burden off our people until we can eliminate the tasks from needing to be done at all.”


Leslie Henckler What will you experiment with in the coming year?

“My big focus when working with clients on Lean transformations is to focus on developing the leaders, both positional and influential leaders. Humble inquiry (leadership) is widely popular in the Lean space. Given the trend (a trend I hope sticks around forever) of making work more human, and conscious biases, I want to experiment with conscious leadership.

I will begin, of course, by personally putting these skills into practice and reflecting on my experience. Then I will follow with how to best implement these principles with my clients.”


Crystal Davis What will you experiment with in the coming year?

“A goal for this year is to increase the engagement of our property level Lean Six Sigma leaders. One area in which we are experimenting in is how to invigorate grassroots innovation. I would love to benchmark with anyone who has a great success story in utilizing tools/processes to stimulate ideas in small work groups that are a blend of trained Lean Six Sigma leaders and Subject Matter Experts.”


Sally Toister What are your reflections on the past year? What is your biggest learning(s)?

“2018 was an amazing year for me. I spent the first 6 months in learning to become a coach, through King County’s Coaching Program. Hands down the best learning experience I have ever had. The program entails 60 hours of classes, 5 observed coaching sessions, and getting coached by a mentor coach and coaching clients (40+ hours), etc.

First off, I learned so much about who I am as a person and how I show up. My self-reflection and learning helped me to become a better listener and to develop a keen awareness of others. It also taught me to become more patient and empathetic.

Next, the conversations I had with my clients taught me the value of connecting to others at a deeper level that is not common in our daily lives. These experiences helped me become a better version of myself and value the humanity within each of us. Coaching leaders opened my eyes for common struggles and blind spots we have as leaders.

I am thrilled that I am able to serve as an internal coach in my role. I learned the value of listening with curiosity to learn instead of telling, being present and supportive while I struggle through changes, and the joy of watching my clients go through their A-ha moments. I also bring coaching skills and mindsets to conversations with my team members which helps me be a better leader.”


Eunjoo Greenhouse

The post Wonder Women of Quality: Reflections Roundup appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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Center for Nonprofit Resources (C4NPR) partnered with GoLeanSixSigma.com to run a FastPitch Workshop that made the inner workings of Lean Six Sigma and continuous improvement accessible to their local nonprofit and government community!

There’s no better way to learn than by doing. The level of engagement our FastPitch Workshop generated was amazing! In the photos below, check out how teams blazed through the day lowering cycle time, removing defects and delighting customers.

They participated in hands-on process mapping, charts building and problem solving. Engaged and enlightened, these individuals are ready to take their learnings back to the job.

 

The post Center for Nonprofit Resources Runs FastPitch Workshop to Introduce Lean Six Sigma appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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GoLeanSixSigma.com is honored to support the 2019 OPEX Summer Business Transformation Leaders Summit!

At the OPEX Summer Business Transformation Leaders Summit, taking place on August 26-29, 2019 at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego, California, attendees can learn from the best to build and execute a world class operational excellence and business transformation strategy.

About the OPEX Summer Business Transformation Leaders Summit

OPEX & Business Transformation Leaders summer edition gives Operational Excellence and Business Transformation leaders the opportunity to go beyond surface level presentation and get hands on, practical takeaways to enable their own successful, business-wide transformations. Engaging 200+ leaders for those handling seismic business change, our leading event provides an in-depth look into process excellence, continuous improvement, change, leadership, BPM and RPA, and the challenges that leading industry professionals are overcoming, both on a macro and micro level.

This event strives to showcase experiences, case studies and knowhow for businesses to revolutionize their operations through people, process and technology, all with a customer-centric focus.

Core Themes for OPEX Summer Business Transformation Leaders Summit
  • Increasing business value and sustainable improvement through customer-centric OpEx strategies
  • Design thinking to inspire a different way of working, and drive innovation
  • Drive increased efficiency and speed through technology adoption and enhancing digital capability
  • Engage and empower: Developing and sustaining a high performance culture
  • Leadership and its importance to inspire continuous improvement, and sustain new ways of working

At OPEX Summer 2019, you will hear from 60+ inspirational speakers from the worlds leading brands. From both big brands and innovative companies, you get the opportunity to learn how they are enhancing customer experiences through their OPEX program.

Learn more and register here!

The post Event: OPEX Summer Business Transformation Leaders Summit 2019 appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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Brevard County is a local government that has been implementing Lean Six Sigma since October 2015. From the start of their journey, team members of the county have been working together to improve customer experience and operational processes to positively impact the experience of their customers—both internal and external.

Katherine Wall, Special Projects Coordinator for the County Manager’s Office, has led the charge for Lean Six Sigma projects throughout the county. While Brevard County isn’t new to process improvement initiatives, their goal has changed. They now strive to become a “self-correcting” organization with a dedicated team that is empowered with the right tools and skills needed for professional development and continuous improvement.

With over 8 projects completed and results worth boasting about, Brevard County Manager, Frank Abbate, couldn’t be happier. “It’s really this simple: Lean Six Sigma helps us trim the fat in processes that bog down the delivery of County services. It empowers employees who listen to the voice of our customers, map out our processes, identify waste, inefficiencies and duplication, and then make recommendations of solutions to those processes to benefit our customers.”

Read more at Space Coast Daily.

The post Brevard County Improves Internal Processes With Lean Six Sigma appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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Join us for this 1-hour Leadership webinar where we provide an overview for executives and leaders who want to know why Lean Six Sigma should be an initiative they support in their organization.   Webinar Level Leadership Date & Time…
To access this post, you must purchase Go-Getter Membership.

The post Webinar: Executive Overview: The Power of Lean Six Sigma appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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How do other problem-solvers deal with adversity? What’s the best way to schedule improvement work? What do people want in a Continuous Improvement leader? We took a few polls so you could find out for yourself!

Check out how people like you navigate the Lean Six Sigma world and what kinds of tools and techniques help the most. And please check back often as we add new polls regularly!

Current Poll
  • What is your favorite Lean Six Sigma phase?*
    • Define: Determining which problem to solve
    • Measure: Collecting process data about the problem
    • Analyze: Determining the root cause of the problem
    • Improve: Solving the problem
    • Control: Building structures to hold on to the gains
    *Please select one answer
I’m interested in Lean Six Sigma to…

What is the biggest obstacle to your Lean Six Sigma effort?

What do you value most in a leader?

What is your preferred method of making time for process improvement?

What is your greatest challenge to completing online training & certification?

Who is your continuous improvement coach?

What do you value most in a coach?

How long does it usually take you to complete a Black Belt project?

How long does it usually take you to complete a Green Belt project?

How are process problems treated in your organization?

What’s your favorite way to learn?

Which of our podcast segments do you like the most?

What is your most effective method of managing the “people side” of process change?

What do you find to be the most prevalent of the 8 Wastes?

What is the nature of your process?

We make it easy to achieve your goals using Lean Six Sigma. If you’re ready to begin transforming your organization, check out our free Lean Six Sigma resources, visit our blog (Success Stories, Application Tips, Thought Leadership and more!), and view our online courses!

The post Survey Says: What Goes Wrong & How to Fix It appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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SUCCESS STORY: Improving a Hiring Process at LA County With Meghan Taylor - YouTube

Find out how Meghan Taylor creatively streamlined the hiring process for Election Operations Support. Watch this 30 minute success story to see how the LA County Registrar Recorder/ County Clerk is implementing process improvement.

Meghan Taylor is a Senior Clerk at LA County’s Election Operations Center (EOC), and the primary focus of her role has become Lean Six Sigma Consulting. After 73% of her new election hires didn’t show up for training, Meghan found her new improvement project: the Hiring Process.

The Challenge

Every election, the Election Operations Center hires over 1,000 temporary employees to help with election functions. All new hires must go through two related hiring processes—one for HR and one for the EOC. Both processes have a combined total of 30 steps that a new hire must complete, and this is all for a 1-3 days assignment. Yikes!

The Discovery

After mapping these processes and looking for areas of improvement, Meghan identified numerous opportunities from the length of applications to their payment method. It looked like the entire process needed to be redone, but Meghan’s team was able to brainstorm and implement all their solutions in under 4 months!

The Improvements

Meghan and her team started by changing the position title of their most common role from “Swamper” to Check-In Center Loading Assistant to better align with the position’s responsibilities. Next, they reduced the size of the application to just one page. They utilized the state’s minimum hiring requirements to increase the number of completed applications and reduce the number of hires being turned down for forgetting the usual hiring paperwork. The team also checked-in with their hires more frequently—3 times prior to election day versus just once. Lastly, they changed their payment structure to a stipend model.

The results?

  • They met their recruitment goal in 4 weeks vs. 4 months
  • Employee turn-out on Election Night was 83% vs. 56% for the previous election
  • Application processing time reduced from 10 days to just minutes
  • Total process reduced from 30 to 22 steps
  • Payroll processing reduced from 5 days to 1 day
  • Employees earning overtime reduced from 40 people to just 11 people

All said and done, Election Day ran smoother than ever and everyone on Meghan’s team, as well as the County’s HR department, enjoyed a simpler, easier hiring process.

We look forward to seeing what process Meghan will set her eyes on next!

Register for Your Green Belt Training & Certification! Plus, get $84 in bonus content for FREE with purchase.
View Slides

Success Story Transcript

Tracy: OK. Hello and welcome to another Project Presentation Webinar hosted by GoLeanSixSigma.com. Project Presentation Webinars are where we share stories about successful Lean Six Sigma projects because this is where the rubber meets the road.

I’m Tracy O’Rourke, Managing Partner for GoLeanSixSigma.com. And today, we are highlighting Meghan Taylor and her project presentation is titled – well, we titled it Improving the Hiring Process at LA County. But she’s going to tell you more specifically what the project really is about.

So Meghan, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Meghan: First of all, Tracy, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. I’ve been with the Registrar Recorder for almost four years now. I started off with Photo Records and got promoted last year to Senior Clerk to the Election Operations Center. And my main function is LSS consulting and I’ve become really passionate about it and I love my job. I love process improvement and I love empowering the staff here.

Tracy: Nice. LSS being Lean Six Sigma, right?

Meghan: Exactly, yes.

Tracy: Wonderful. And what’s a little interesting fact about you, Meghan?

Meghan: Well, I love Chelsea Football which is English soccer and I actually met my husband through watching that. And as he says, it’s a little bit different when you met your wife at a pub at 4:00 o’clock in the morning when they’re not even serving anything.

Tracy: Yeah, it’s a little different. Very nice. OK. Wonderful. So, I’m going to let you go ahead and tell us a little bit about what your project is about here at LA County.

Check-In-Center Loading Assistants

Meghan: Well, just a little bit more background for our audience here. We have various functions at Election Operation Center, mostly to distribute the material. So, a couple of weeks before the election, we get all that material out with the help of truck drivers and what was formally called Swampers which we are calling our loading assistants which you can see here.

Tracy: I was wondering what Swampers meant.

Meghan: Yeah. We’ll get to that in a little bit because really, no one knows what that means. And so they’re our main – they’re kind of the lifeblood of the election. Without them getting everything out at the backend, nothing else would happen.

So, they are really critical and we’ve had an issue with shortages because of various issues within the hiring process and just – it’s a short-term assignment. It’s hard to get people to commit to that. So that’s a little bit of background as far as what this whole thing is about.

Tracy: What the problem was that you were going to solve.

Meghan: Yeah.

Tracy: OK. Very nice.

Background

Meghan: So Human Resources itself has various other positions that they’re hiring for, not just for us as at the Election Operations Center. They’re hiring for ballot inspection, they’re hiring for canvass which are various other election-related activities.

Actually, in a discussion yesterday, we found out we hired the most temporary employees out of any department in LA County because of election functions.

Tracy: I bet especially with the last election I bet.

Meghan: Yes. I mean they were hiring people almost on the spot in the lobby because we were just so short of how many people we needed to hire for last election.

Tracy: Yes.

Meghan: So because of that, there are multiple assignments. People from various sections which are what we call kind of our little mini departments here are competing against each other trying – sometimes trying to hire the same people. And that one position which I previously mentioned is the Swamper position, and they’re responsible mainly for loading and unloading the trucks that are going out to our ISP locations which is our inspector ticket the weekend or so or two weeks before the election. And then also, they’re taking those same materials and loading them back on to the truck on election night. So, that’s the main position we’re focusing on here.

Operational Definitions

So just a little bit more operational definition especially on elections we’re going to have quite a few of those. So I already kind of mentioned the Check-In-Centers, that’s the same location that we use on inspector pick-up weekend and then on election night, we dropped off those.

A regional distribution center is also at that same location but they are dispatch out at 4:30 in the morning and they stay there all day just in case something happens, someone needs emergency equipment. And one of our troubleshooters which are reps that are just stationed all throughout LA County just in case something happens in an emergency situation, they can go there and get extra equipment.

Truck driver obviously is one of our drivers who is driving our trucks. And then we also have CIC, Chiefs and Clerks that are assigned at those ISP locations as well as on election night that are in charge of the actual management of that location.

Ten days prior to the election is when we actually have them pick up their supplies and then we also have ePAR which is a personal request. It’s our electronic personal request that we have as well as a stipend which is what we call our pre-set payment amount that’s basically how co-workers right now get paid. It’s a little bit different than a payroll. It’s just a pre-set amount based on the assignment.

Problem (Defect)

So in June especially, we started having a really large issue with hiring because of the large – make sure this election especially the attention that it was getting, we needed a lot of people to help us. But on training itself, we had 73% of the people that we thought we’re going to be coming for this position not even show up.

Tracy: Oh my gosh!

Meghan: And then election night, 44% of those people didn’t show up either.

Tracy: That’s scary.

Meghan: Yes, very much so especially when you’re scrambling around trying to get these people to help at that critical moment. And what we found is that this is a very short-term assignment. This is normally just one day plus training or three days plus training that requires them to go through all of the regular processes of regular employment.

Swamper Recruitment Process (HR) and Swamper Recruitment Process (EOC)

So here’s how our process map specifically for the Human Resources process. There were two different areas; Human Resources and then my area, Election Operations Center, that worked together to get these people hired. So there’s process map as well as our process map in Election Operations Center.

Human Resources has 14 steps and we had 16 steps. And there are two different segmented parts of the process.

Tracy: So they have to go through both processes.

Meghan: Yeah.

Tracy: OK.

Meghan: They basically kind of intersect at some point but there are two different parts to it because there’s the hiring process and then there’s also the assignment process.

Tracy: I see.

Impact

Meghan: So based on this lengthy assignment, we had various impacts. The turnout rate as I mentioned for election night, so the people who actually showed up was only 56%. We actually had to recruit from other areas here in Norwalk, at our headquarters. We actually got 19 different people to just – who never driven or been a Swamper before just coming to help us.

Tracy: Just begging basically like, “Please help us.”

Meghan: Something I should have mentioned before, which we’ll go into more detail in a little bit is that the Swampers and the truck drivers are intricately related to each other. So the dispatch time because we were doing more emergency recruitment for driver shortages which would then drips down into our Swampers, we were out an hour later than usual as compared to normally when we get our first trucks out to our North County assignments which are for those of you that are in Southern California, it takes at least two hours without traffic sometimes especially those trucks to get there.

As I said, we had 19 from headquarters, but then we also had 40 of our RDC drivers which were those drivers that were dispatched at 4:30 in the morning who could be potentially working up to 24 hours. Because when we don’t have anyone else to go to, that’s who we can ask to see if they’re willing to work those extra hours so that we can get all that equipment in.

Tracy: Not 24 hours in a row.

Meghan: Yeah, in a row.

Tracy: Wow! OK.

Meghan: And then because of the later dispatch time that affects our closing. So not only are those people getting them later but also, the people who are at our Election Operations Center manning the phones, helping with the closing, and everyone taking in the equipment. That just trickles down further.

So as I mentioned, it was an extensive hiring process for only about 1 to 3-day assignment. They have to go through the Livescan, the I9 Compliance, which a lot of these people don’t have the original documents that it would take off time work to go get an original passport or their birth certificate.

The application itself on the website is pretty lengthy and sometimes they don’t phrase it perfectly to meet the requirements of the position. And as they are running around last minute getting all these documents, sometimes they don’t turn them in until the day of training or maybe the day of the actual assignment itself. And if they show up without it then they’re not able to work.

And the part itself which is that request from Human Resources for the position, if you don’t meet that fulfillment of those positions to begin with, you have to go back and fill out another one. So there’s not any way to hold a spot. If you – if someone is not able to fulfill the requirements of the position to begin with, you got to go back and do another one. So that’s just delays the process even further.

The drivers and the swampers were actually signing in in the same line. And drivers themselves have more requirements because they have to have the H6 document which is basically your DMV record from the last three years. So some of them were turning those in and they’re delaying the line for these swampers who don’t have some of the requirements.

Payroll itself can take quite a long time for just this small amount of position. And then also, you’re pressed to go into overtime as well because of these lengthy assignments not just for our swampers and drivers but also for anyone who had to assist us from the headquarters as well.

Solution

So, here goes your question about Swampers. No one really knows where that term came from. And I actually found out that it’s a county-wide term. So we decided since we’re going to be taking over this process, it’s our opportunity to change the name. So, we came up with the name that really fits the assignment which is CIC Loading Assistant because that is really what they are doing.

Tracy: Yeah, because when I think about swamper, I think like black lagoon stuff.

Meghan: Exactly.

Tracy: A picture from the black lagoon. And so, I don’t know if I want to be called a swamper. So, I really like that idea.

Meghan: So, by taking over this hiring process, we’re actually end up recruiting ourselves as the EOC. And instead of an hourly rate, we are talking the same model that has been used for pollworkers for CIC Chiefs and Clerks called Stipend Model.

So, they are paid for that. And then we also take responsibility for tracking the attendants and any payroll as well. So we’re taking that burden off of Human Resources as well for up to 200 people per election.

Timeline

So we got this. This assignment was related to our Emerging Leaders program here.

Tracy: The Green Belt Project you mean?

Meghan: Yes.

Tracy: OK.

Meghan: So this project was primarily from Emerging Leaders. I’m going to be a taking on to my – to be my Black Belt project actually. But because of the assignment and the nature of it and also how close the election is, we wanted to include a timeline just to show you how quickly we were able to achieve those results because we got this assignment in August and basically had to had everything rolled out ready to go by the end of October.

So in August, we were able to identify the problem and then from there, assembled the project team and so on. Finally named it CIC Loading Assistant in late September, began recruitment in mid-October, finished in just a few weeks from late October and then confirmed attendance for election day for November and then started and finished payroll by December.

So we had a very short timeline in order to get everything done and actually was able to accomplish that, which I’m very proud of them for.

Tracy: Wow! Yeah, you looked at all the maps and everything in early August and like start mapping it at that time saying, “Wow! We really need to make a change in getting some buy-in around that.”

Meghan: Yes. And we were able to get the buy-in right to begin with and then for our executive team here to OK the Stipend Model for this position and then just get rolling with the recruitment because that’s the most labor-intensive part of any project that was like this is trying to get a hold of all those people.

Tracy: Right.

Solution

Meghan: So part of my team, Marissa and Mike got with our data scientist here, Benjamin Uminsky, and he crunched some numbers for us based on the actual assignment itself and past elections. And due to there being no taxes taken out from this model, they went with about 85% pay because they’re not going to have that deduction.

So our final recommendation for the 3-day stipend was $575 and then our 1-day stipend went from – to $195 and that’s for our election night only and then the other is for our people who are also working on that weekend before the election for an inspector pick-up.

And that puts us below the threshold for 1099 tax reporting. So hopefully, our – and as long as our recruits don’t do any other type of 1099 work then that keeps them under that threshold for reporting.

Tracy: OK.

Benefit

Meghan: So it was a huge benefit with us taking over this. Our turnout rate for – was 83% for election night compared to 56% again in that June election. We streamlined the signing process so they didn’t have to go in the driver lane, we were able to just sign in our loading assistants on their own and we were able to dispatch them one hour earlier than we did in June.

Our turnout rate for – was 83% for election night compared to 56% again in that June election.

Our RDC drivers, because again, everything is intricately related here in this position, so drivers not as much as we usually are. But because we had more loading assistants to go to to say, “Hey, do you want to go out driving?” we had more people able to step up to that position and then we had less RDC drivers who are working up to that 24-hour shift. So we only had 11 in November compared to the 40 that we had in June.

And because of that, safety increased. There are less people out there driving after working that long.

Tracy: Yes, that’s great.

Meghan: So we also – by taking ownership of this, we really focused on customer service. We spoke with these recruits at least three times as opposed to one time. And I understand with Human Resources having to recruit for multiple other positions, they’re not able to speak with these people as much not because this was the only people we were recruiting, we touch base with them as much as possible.

And instead of recruiting so far ahead of time, we were able to meet our recruitment goal in four weeks.

Tracy: Instead of four months.

Meghan: Exactly.

Tracy: Wow! That’s great.

Meghan: At training itself, we had an amazing turnout rate of 96%, so almost everyone that we talked to begin with showed up. And the application went from – up around 10 days to just a few minutes. It’s just a one page application.

At training itself, we had an amazing turnout rate of 96%, so almost everyone that we talked to begin with showed up. And the application went from – up around 10 days to just a few minutes.

Tracy: Really? Ten days to a few minutes?

Meghan: Yup. The only requirement is for you to fill out an application and to be a registered voter or a legal permanent resident. That’s it.

Tracy: Wow!

Meghan: And we also found because of this job that applicants were sharing their job within their personal and social network and we were getting a lot of calls to begin with and we were cutting down the amount of people we had to call in the first place. So, social media really helped us out with this as well.

Tracy: That’s great.

Meghan: So payroll itself in the prior model could take around five days. Here, just one day. We use our – the same system that we already have been using and it just requires putting them in the system. So this time, it took maybe a little bit longer because those people were not in the system yet. At this election, probably it will be even faster.

And the training itself, we were able to divide the line based on what they had. So if they were missing certain documentation, they went to one lane. If they had everything, they went to an express lane. Just turn in there. They didn’t even have to sign anything. They just turn the paper. Sit down. If they have more questions, they can meet with the computer so I could look at the information that we had on our Excel file and it answers their questions specifically. So we streamlined that process greatly.

The process itself was finished 45 minutes faster as opposed to the drivers who were in line. And we didn’t have a sign-out process. We just had them turn in their stipend cards, which was the model of how we’re paying them. So we just had their information, their signature just like that, that’s it. That’s how we confirm that they were there in the entire time.

Tracy: Wow!

Swamper Recruitment Process – New Progress

Meghan: So here’s our new process map. It combined both of those recruitment processes from HR as well as our process at EOC into just one process map. And we went from 30 steps to 22. It doesn’t sound..

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Today’s special features a woman who left a job at MIT and used big data to launch a farm-to-table food delivery service. Tune in to hear Elisabeth’s interview with Erin Baumgartner, CEO of Family Dinner!

For our Survey Says segment, we get some unexpected results from our “invisible process” poll and for the Printed Page, we’re going back to a Malcolm Gladwell classic to appreciate his techniques for digging to root cause. And for Q&A we’ll answer a forum question about the need for software changes. All this from the GoLeanSixSigma.com Farm to your table!

Also Listen On:
Timeline
  • 2:00 Survey Says

Poll Time!
  • What is your favorite Lean Six Sigma phase?*
    • Define: Determining which problem to solve
    • Measure: Collecting process data about the problem
    • Analyze: Determining the root cause of the problem
    • Improve: Solving the problem
    • Control: Building structures to hold on to the gains
    *Please select one answer
Thanks for Listening! Listen to more podcasts.

The post Podcast: Just-In-Time Cafe, Episode 55 – Removing Waste and Delivering Fresh Farm Food With Big Data, Featuring Erin Baumgartner appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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Lean Six Sigma solves problems by applying tools through a specific process—DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control). This process is not simply a way of organizing the work, but a way to connect the use of the tools to achieve successful results. I call this “connecting the dots” and below illustrates the critical dots and how to connect them. Meet the Dots

The “dots” are specific deliverables—what you create as part of your process documentation. Dots are connected through a thought process that leads from one dot to the next—the output of one dot helps define the way the next dot works. While we can think of every DMAIC deliverable as a dot, I’ll be focusing on the major ones:

  1. Goal Statement
  2. Data Collection Plan
  3. Baseline Performance
  4. Root Cause Identification
  5. Root Cause Confirmation
  6. Solutions to Address Root Cause
  7. Verification of Improvement
  8. Monitoring & Response Plan
Goal Statement

This isn’t simply a declaration of what we are trying to achieve—it drives how we apply the tools. Each of the ensuing dots are driven by the Goal Statement, as well as by previous dots. It clarifies the direction of improvement, along with “from” and “to” values and a target date.

Data Collection Plan

We collect data for two purposes:

  1. To establish (or confirm) baseline performance
  2. To find clues to possible causes

The Data Collection Plan should always measure the performance in terms of the Goal Statement metric. Consider what conditions might make performance vary—by shift, location, day of the week or transaction type. We call these stratification factors and record them as we gather our data. Later we analyze the data to determine which of them makes a difference—differences become clues to root causes. We can collect other information of interest, but process performance over a time period is essential to building the baseline.

Baseline Performance

The process performance is plotted in a Run Chart to show the process performance over time. We normally expect to see a random pattern. Any non-random features, such as trends, cycling, clustering, shifts or extreme high and low points suggest that some cause is acting upon the process. Digging deeper into these patterns can often surface clues to root causes.

If we collected stratification factors, we can sort the data to find performance differences. These can be seen by plotting Box Plots for each value or using an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).

Root Cause Identification

Analysis of the Baseline Performance will often give us clues to potential root causes. We dig deeper to find what’s behind the data clues. Those clues are not root causes but may signal that they’re nearby. For instance, if you find that there is a difference between the day shift and the night shift, we cannot conclude that the shift is a root cause! Our process is not smart enough to misbehave on certain shifts. Rather, there is something different happening on different shifts—perhaps a somewhat different process. Those differences are either a root cause, or close to it.

Root Cause Confirmation

We work to confirm suspected root causes, either through process observation or data analysis. If the problem we are trying to solve has been around awhile, chances are that others have already tried to solve it—some with great confidence. Long-standing problems, sometimes called hardy perennials, persist because people assumed they knew the cause, but missed the true root cause. We have to confirm the suspected root causes in order to develop solutions with confidence.

To confirm a root cause, we intervene in the process and either temporarily remove the root cause or do something to neutralize its effect. We then run the process for a short time and measure the performance. If it is clearly better, we have confirmed the root cause. If not, we keep looking further.

Solutions

Once we confirm a root cause, we should consider how to act on what we have learned. Our solutions should always include some action to neutralize a root cause. While we can add anything that makes sense, at least one of the solutions has to be based on a confirmed root cause.

Verification

If our solutions are effective, the process performance should prove it. We continue to monitor process performance, extending the the Run Chart from the baseline performance past our solution implementation. Once again, we are measuring the metric targeted in the Goal Statement, and we fully expect to see a favorable shift in performance.

Monitoring and Response Plan

Once we confirm improvement, we need to be sure it lasts, so we continue to measure the performance. We set triggers points—levels to “go no higher than” or “go no lower than”—and take corrective action when the process fails to perform as expected. We should also track leading indicators—input measures or upstream process measures—that signal a problem before it emerges. Acting on leading indicators helps us respond in time to prevent poor process performance.

Summary

By keeping the connections between the dots in mind, we can ensure we are using the DMAIC tools to efficiently solve a problem. It also helps us tell our story convincingly with our Storyboard. I look for these when reviewing Storyboards, and often find a few missing “dots.”

The secret to building a successful Storyboard is simple: connect the dots!

The post Build a Better Storyboard by Connecting the Dots appeared first on GoLeanSixSigma.com.

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