All initial decisions in a project are based on the collective experience of the Steering Committee, which in our records is correct 90% of the time. Before further investment is committed however, assumptions must be confirmed with real data, which we capture. The findings may alter the challenge statement, which is good. This ensures the resulting solution will be focused on the root cause of the constraint and be more likely to actually improve the challenge situation.
A Concept document is prepared for each solution. It encapsulates all of the thinking from the Steering Committee and Solution Sub Team. This one page document contains the following sections: Background, Process Improvement Challenge, Solution, Rationale, Measures of Success and Milestones. It is an important tool for chartering implementation teams and rolling the solution out to the various stakeholders.
Understanding the process is necessary, but this alone is not enough to achieve improvement. It is essential to define constraint within process. It has been our experience that solutions which do not relieve bottlenecks or constraint will not generate satisfactory results.
Process Improvement Challenges
Areas of constraint indicate where effort should be applied. To address this, we start with the result we wish to achieve. In the Simplex methodology this is stated in the “how might we?” format. This phrasing allows participants to look beyond the blockage and better define goals and end state results.
The report card is used to monitor performance and impact of change. It is a 1 page document which contains the following sections: metric, rationale for the metric, capture method and frequency, baseline performance, current performance and target performance. Implementation is not complete until the target performance is achieved and confirmed via the report card.