On June 21st, a Lean workshop, led by Human Resources, was held for University of Waterloo employees. The third Lean workshop on campus this year took employees through practical steps that will allow them to improve processes and reduce inefficiencies in their own departments.
“What happens when we reach a point where we’re just trying to get through things without thinking about whether we’re working as efficiently as possible?” asked Shona Dunseith, HR Process Manager. During the workshop, Dunseith suggested visually laying out the steps to complete a task.
When your process is mapped out visually, it becomes easier to see discrepancies and identify inefficiencies or wastes. Wastes are anything that does not directly add value to the final result, and removing them is an important part of Lean methodology.
The next step, is to create a future-state or desired-state map. This involves laying out the process again, but this time optimizing every step and removing the steps that don’t add value. Following is an action plan that will tackle closing the gap between current and future state. Visual tools were shared with workshop attendees to help them problem solve and lay out the steps involved in closing the gap.
“Consulting with stakeholders is key. Everyone the process touches should be involved and we should keep the customer or end user in mind to ensure poor processes do not affect their experience,” said Kimberley Snage, Director HR Projects & Technology. Analyzing steps to complete a task takes time up-front and requires collaboration, but it can be empowering for employees to be involved in shaping the processes that directly affect their roles.
Additional Lean workshops for Waterloo employees will be available throughout the rest of 2018. If you have any questions, please contact Kimberley Snage, Director, HR Projects, Technology & Analytics, or Raghda Sabry, HR Project Coordinator.