Business Center

Rapid Improvement Event (RIE)

Read a full article here Download

Additional article: Go/ No-Go Checklist for Lean Rapid Improvement Event (RIE)

Designed for process improvement project team members, this Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) Survival Guide helps the Team during that week-long workshop. This is a must-have document for anyone who' is going to be involved in an RIE (courtesy of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and LeanOhio).

“All of these changes require a fundamental shift in the culture of government, and we have no more important partner in this effort than our state employees. Making government more effective, efficient, and elegant means listening to our state employees and learning from them how we can do better.” – Governor John Hickenlooper

DAY 1
  • Introductions
  • Scope
  • Training
  • Level-Setting
  • Current State
DAY 2
  • Current State
  • Waste Identification
  • Brainstorming
DAY 3
  • Analysis
  • Future State Development
DAY 4
  • Implementation Planning
  • Details
  • Metrics
DAY 5
  • Refine Plans and Projections
  • Report-Out Presentation

Ground Rules

Everyone participates Open, honest dialogue Respect opinions Consensus Leave rank at the door

Housekeeping

Silence your cell phones Minimize interruptions Be on time Stand and stretch It is always snack time Dress in casual clothes

Expectations

A transformed process Resource savings Customers served faster Less waste in process Hard work Post-It Notes Change (for the better)

This is what transformation looks like!

Lean RIE transformation
After a Rapid Improvement event, this redesigned process has 183 fewer steps (80% reduction), 52 fewer decision points (84% reduction), and 11 fewer delays (61%). The fully streamlined process will move 1.5 months faster.

Words you’ll hear (and use) during Rapid Improvement Events

Consensus 

Agreement in which all members of the group publicly state that they will actively support the decision, even if it might not be the first choice for some in the group.

Cycle time

The length of time, on average, that it takes to complete a step or set of steps within a process. Sometimes referred to as touch time.

5S / 6S

A method for creating and maintaining an organized, high-performance workplace. 5S stands for sort, s3t-in-order, shine, standardize, sustain. We have a 6th “S” at CDOT: safety.

Lead time

The average time it takes to meet a customer request or demand – from the very start of the process to the end. This includes the time when the unit is being actively worked on, plus wasted time due to delays, loopbacks, rework, and others forms of waste. (See WORMPIIT) Also known as throughput time or turnaround time.

Pareto Principle

The observation that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Also known as the law of the vital few.

Mistake proofing

Any effort to eliminate the root causes of defects, so that rework-generating problems don’t occur in the first place. Also known as defect prevention or error-proofing. Often used for form development.

Round-robin

Getting the comment from everyone in a group, with one person speaking, then the next, and then the next – until all voices are heard.

SIPOC

Stands for suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, and customers. You obtain inputs from suppliers, add value through your process, and provide an output that meets or exceeds customer requirements.

Swimlanes

Separate rows on a process map that indicate separate functions.

WORMPIIT

Acronym used to remember the eight forms of waste:

  • Waiting
  • Overproduction
  • Rework
  • Motion
  • Processing
  • Inventory
  • Intellect
  • Transportation

Value-added, or VA

Work activities that transform information into services and products the customer is willing to accept.
To qualify as value-added, an activity must meet these three requirements:
(1) Done right the first time, with no defects.
(2) Transformational in that it adds form or function.
(3) The customer is willing to pay for it. Typically, just 1-5% of a process is value-added.

non-value-added, or NVA: Consumes resources, does not contribute directly to service and is not important to the customer.
non-value-added but necessary, or NVAN: Not important to the customer, but the work activities/steps are required by statute or law.

Waste

Any activity that uses resources but does not create value for the customer. (See WORMPIIT)

“That is why we initiated the Lean program in almost every state agency, where employee teams are now actively identifying waste and inefficiency to create savings.” – Governor John Hickenlooper

SIPOC

SUPPLIERS

Who provides inputs that are needed to make this process work?
Can include people, other offices, agencies, organizations, etc.

INPUTS

What resources do you need to perform this process?
Can include materials, supplies, information, authorization, services, etc.

PROCESS

What are the 5-7 major milestones that make up this process?

OUTPUTS

What is produced by this process?
Can include services, products, information, decisions, etc.

CUSTOMERS

Who benefits from this process?

sipoc in action

Example: SIPOC in action

SIPOC stands for suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, and customers. In one of the first steps of every Rapid Improvement Event, the team develops a SIPOC to establish a common understanding of the big picture. The SIPOC shown here was created during a Rapid Improvement Event at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Lead more about SIPOC   Click

PROCESS MAPPING

Process Mapping is all about making the invisible visible. By creating a process map, you will:

  • Get a clear and detailed visual of what is occurring in the process
  • Create a common understanding
  • Identify all stakeholders involved in the process
  • Identify process handoffs and loopbacks
  • Identify waste and value-added activities

Process map key:

function shape
Different functional areas of process
begin shape
Beginning and end points of the process
task shape
Any activity where work is performed in the process
inspect shape
Decision point: Steps in the process where information is checked against established standards and a decision is made on what to do next (must have two or more different paths)
delay shape
Delay: Any time information is waiting before the next task or decision occurs in the process (examples: in-baskets, batching, multiple approvals)
Connects tasks performed by the same person or area, but without any physical movement occurring
box-arrow
Indicates physical movement of information, items, etc. from one person or function to another
jagged arrow shape
Indicates electronic movement of information from one person or function to another

Process mapping tips:

  • One voice
  • Write tasks in “one noun, one verb” format, or “one verb, one noun”
  • Stay at a consistent level
  • Start by identifying the functional area that starts the process
  • Detail the tasks, decisions, and delays in each functional area
  • Follow a “swim lane” model
  • Draw in your swim lane lines
  • Connect steps with arrows

Process mapping questions:

  • Who starts this process?
  • How does the process start?
  • And then what…?
  • What happens next…?
  • Are we in the weeds?
  • If I am the customer, I do…?

 Notes: This is a great source of information about all things relating to Lean, Rapid Improvement Events, and Six Sigma in Colorado state government!

While you and your colleagues are developing the current-state process map, you will likely come up with ideas for improvement. Write these below so you will have them ready later in the Rapid Improvement Event.

Lead more about Process Mapping   Click

WORMPIIT

Example of WORMPIIT: Improving the Functionality and User-Friendliness of Our Lean Everyday Ideas Database

WAITING

  • Nonproductive time
  • Waiting for:
    • copier
    • scanner
    • delivery
    • catchup
    • person upstream
    • mail/shipper
    • computer

OVERPRODUCTION

  • Making too many
  • Making in advance of requests
  • Throwing away the excess
  • Things getting outdated
  • “We have to be ready”
  • Not cautious, but wasteful

REWORK

  • Mistakes
  • Broken
  • Inaccurate
  • Can’t read
  • Can’t understand
  • Wasted materials
  • Returned

MOTION

  • Inter-office movement
  • Office to office
  • Cubicle to cubicle
  • Going to the copier or scanner
  • Going to the fax
  • Going to the storeroom
  • Reaching
  • Bending

PROCESSING

  • Adding things that nobody wants
  • Report that nobody reads
  • “Gold plating”
  • The best
  • Better than good enough
  • Beyond meeting customer expectations

INFORMATION, INVENTORY

  • Finished product
  • Storage
  • Printed in advance
  • Work in process
  • In the warehouse
  • Requiring unnecessary info on a form

INTELLECT

  • Employees
  • Talent
  • Office space
  • Technology
  • Equipment

TRANSPORTATION

  • Transport from office to office
  • Transport from floor to floor
  • Transport from building to building
  • Other transportation and travel

IMPACT-CONTROL MATRIX

1
 Write down all of your improvement ideas.
impact control step 1
2
 All ideas are collected.
impact control step 2
3
 The ideas are discussed and placed on the impact-control matrix.
impact control step 3
4
The result will look like this, with the ideas sorted and the group moving closer to clean-sheet redesign.
impact control step 4

CLEAN-SHEET REDESIGN

MAKE IT
TRANSFORMATIONAL

better process
Create a new process that is significantly better than the old one
reduce cost
Reduce process steps, costs, and time by at least 50%
delight customer
Delight the customers

Tips for designing a new and transformed process:

1
Design process around value-adding activities
2
Ensure that work is performed where it makes the most sense
3
Provide a single point of contact for customers and suppliers
4
If the inputs coming into the process naturally cluster, create a separate process for each cluster
5
Ensure a continuous flow of the “main sequence”
6
Reduce waiting, moving, and rework time
7
Reduce or eliminate batching
8
Reduce checks and reviews
9
Push decision-making down to the lowest reasonable level
10
Build in quality in order to reduce inspection and rework

Example: Clean-sheet redesign in action

clean sheet example

In the photo, a discussion is underway regarding a newly created redesign of the process. This subgroup is one of three subgroups (from the Ohio Department of Insurance) that are working simultaneously, each developing a separate clean-sheet redesign.

Below are three clean-sheet redesigns from a Rapid Improvement Event at the Ohio Development Services Agency.

clean sheet example of team 1

Clean Sheet Example of Team 1

clean sheet example of team 2

Clean Sheet Example of Team 2

clean sheet example of team 3

Clean Sheet Example of Team 3

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

Time-based process measures

  • Lead time (beginning to end)
  • Cycle time (touch time)
  • Waiting time
  • Time to complete the form
  • Motion, travel time

Count-based process measures

  • Process steps
  • Handoffs
  • Decision points
  • Loopbacks
  • Delays
  • Customer complaints
  • Number of forms
  • Inventory quantity
  • Backlog

Outcome measures

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Redirected work hours due to gains in efficiency
  • Direct cost savings $
  • Customer cost savings $
    Cost savings can accrue from reductions in:
    • Imaging, scanning
    • Paper, forms
    • Printing
    • Postage, shipping
    • Storage, inventory
    • Fuel usage
    • Other supplies
    • Travel
    • Overtime
    • Etc.

Examples: Measurement in action

measure in action 1 measure in action 2

DASHBOARD

measure in action 6
measure in action 3 measure in action 4

Example of RoadX Success Measures: Click

ACTION REGISTERS

WHAT

What task or objective needs to be accomplished?

WHO

Who will take the lead to ensure that the team accomplishes it?

WHEN

When will the task begin, and when it will be completed?

action register

Example: Action Registers
In a Rapid Improvement Event with the Ohio Board of Nursing, the team developed action registers for IT, consumer information, complaint processing, training, communication, and more.

action register example

AFTER THE RAPID IMPROVEMENT EVENT...

 Use this action register to write down your own action steps.

WHAT

What action steps are you responsible for?

WHO ELSE

Who else (if anyone) will you involve?

WHEN

When will you begin and complete this activity?

10 WAYS YOU CAN MAGNIFY THE MOMENTUM

1
Follow through and begin implementing your action items.
2
If there is a briefing for staff about the Rapid Improvement Event, be sure to attend. Serve as a presenter if you have the opportunity.
3
If you have co-workers who were not on the Rapid Improvement team, fill them in. Over time, involve them in the change process.
4
If you hear comments from colleagues that suggest they are unclear or mistaken about changes that will result from the Rapid Improvement Event, kindly provide the correct information.
5
When there are meetings relating to your Rapid Improvement project, attend and participate.
6
Also, attend the more formal update meetings to check implementation progress and clarify the next round of action steps. Update meetings typically occur 30, 60, and 90 days after the event.
7
Resist slipping back to your old way of doing things. Go with the new way, knowing that change will be challenging in the short term but better for everyone in the long term.
8
Exercise patience and persistence. After the fast-moving Rapid Improvement Event, things at work might seem a bit slow by comparison. Do not lose your focus. You have a plan – now work the plan.
9
If you see that key actions are not being implemented – actions you are not responsible for but you know to be important – bring it up with the appropriate person and offer to help.
10
Be thoughtfully flexible as implementation unfolds. Keep an open mind and willingness to make a good project even better.

QUICK-VIEW REFERENCE

KEY TERMS:

Consensus 

All team members state that they will actively support the decision, even if it might not be the first choice for some.

Lead time

Average time from the start of the process to the finish.

Pareto Principle

Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Mistake proofing

Any effort to eliminate the root causes of defects, so that rework-generating problems don’t occur in the first place.

Swimlanes

Separate rows on a process map that indicate separate functions.

Value-added, or VA

Work activities that transform information into services and products the customer is willing to accept.
To qualify as value-added, an activity must meet these three requirements:
(1) Done right the first time, with no defects.
(2) Transformational in that it adds form or function.
(3) The customer is willing to pay for it.

Waste

Any activity that uses resources but does not create value for the customer. (See WORMPIIT)

SIPOC:

SUPPLIERS
Who provides inputs that are needed to make this process work?
Can include people, other offices, agencies, organizations, etc
INPUTS
What resources do you need to perform this process?
Can include materials, supplies, information, authorization, services, etc.
PROCESS
What are the 5-7 major milestones that make up this process?
OUTPUTS
What is produced by this process?
Can include services, products, information, decisions, etc.
CUSTOMERS
Who benefits from this process?

PROCESS MAP KEY:

function shape
Different functional areas of process
begin shape
Beginning and end points of the process
task shape
Any activity where work is performed in the process
inspect shape
Decision point: Steps in the process where information is checked against established standards and a decision is made on what to do next (must have two or more different paths)
delay shape
Delay: Any time information is waiting before the next task or decision occurs in the process (examples: in-baskets, batching, multiple approvals)
Connects tasks performed by the same person or area, but without any physical movement occurring
box arrow shape
Indicates physical movement of information, items, etc. from one person or function to another
Indicates electronic movement of information from one person or function to another
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”– Albert Einstein

ACTION REGISTER:

WHAT

What task or objective needs to be accomplished?

WHO

Who will take the lead to ensure that the team accomplishes it?

WHEN

When will the task begin, and when it will be completed?

WORMPIIT:

Waiting
Overproduction
Rework
Motion
Processing
Inventory
Intellect
Transportation

IMPACT-CONTROL:

impact control step 3

MEASURES:

Time-based measures
  • Lead time
  • Cycle time
  • Waiting time
  • Time to complete the form
  • Motion, travel time
Count-based measures
  • Process steps
  • Handoffs
  • Decision points
  • Loopbacks
  • Delays
  • Customer complaints
  • Number of forms
  • Inventory quantity
  • Backlog
Outcome measures
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Redirected work hours
  • Direct cost savings $
  • Customer cost savings $

A special thank you to the Ohio Department of Transportation and LEAN Ohio for the content provided for this CDOT Rapid Improvement Survival Guide (lean.ohio.gov)

Go/No-Go Checklist For Rapid Improvement Events

Download

This checklist covers the major elements that are necessary to get a Lean Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) set up for success.

1. SCOPE: Is the Project’s Charter complete and is the scope appropriately sized?
___ Is the Project scoped well, or is the scope too large to achieve success? (Don’t try to boil the ocean.)
___ Is the Project scoped well, or is the scope so small that success will not be transformational? (Don’t spend this kind of time and energy unless you can achieve significant results -- at least 50% improvement.)
___ Are you improving a complete “system”, rather than simply putting band-aids on parts of the process?
___ Are there any information/decisions made about future plans, “sacred cows,” and/or past or potential problems that the Project Team needs to understand to be fully empowered to implement change?

2. PEOPLE: Are the right people on the team?
___ Do you have people from all the areas of the process on the Project Team?
___ Do you have the horsepower needed to make critical decisions on the team?
___ Do you included customers as part of the improvement process; or have you surveyed and discussed the event with process users, so the “voice of the customer” is well-represented?
___ Have you included thoughtful, good organizational thinkers with little or no knowledge of the process to provide a fresh perspective (“fresh eyes”) to the Project Team?
___ Are the team members effective, well respected, knowledgeable people?

3. DATA AND OTHER INFORMATION: Are the necessary data and information to ensure and measure success available?
___ Is there baseline data (such as monthly, yearly volumes; a number of FTE’s assigned to the process; time; error
rates) available for a current lead time, cycle time, and other process performance measures?
___ If there was a data gathering plan developed, has that information been collected and is it available to the Project Team?

4. READINESS TO IMPROVE: Is the organization ready to immediately implement significant improvements and changes?
___ Are there decisions that need to be made by the Sponsor Coalition (or others in management) before the Project Team can implement changes?
___ Is there a strong mandate to do things differently?
___ Does the Project Team understand that is responsible to consider the people side of change, in addition to designing an improved process?

5. PRIORITY: Is the Event a top priority of the organization?
___ Is the entire Project Team committed and scheduled to spend the full week focused on the event?
___ Are the same adequate-sized large room and breakout rooms available for the entire week?
___ Is the Team Leader committed to change, available all week and able to put in the time before, during and after the event to ensure success?
___ Are subject matter experts able to be on “stand-by” to support the team as needed?
___ Is the Sponsor (and his/her Sponsor Coalition) committed to implementing the results, and available to help remove barriers during the course of the Event week?

6. UNDERSTANDING AND COMMITMENT: Is there a common understanding of, and commitment to, the Rapid Improvement Event approach?
___ Is there an understanding within the organization that the team is not just making recommendations, but rather will make decisions in consultation with the Sponsor Coalition management the week so that changes will begin to be implemented immediately?
___ Are all affect parts of the organization (managers, front-line employees, etc.) aware of the Rapid Improvement Event and understand that there will be significant changes coming?
___ Is there a commitment to designing and implementing the best solution and improvements for the customer by using data, Lean tools, and the Lean approach?

Note: much of this material is borrowed from our Lean colleagues within Ohio’s state government

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal