Lean process improvements in health

We Are Lean And Agile.com

Andrew Sandford

I came across ENGAGE as a product a couple of years ago, when I was working as a Digital Business Analyst for a consulting firm. I was working with public sector customers delivering process improvement workshops and writing business cases for change. I was delivering these workshops on site for a day using Post Its and brown paper. This worked very well but was very time consuming and inefficient. Each day onsite would normally equate to a further 2 days’ effort back in the office writing up the processes, interpreting handwriting, requesting clarification or metrics and writing the process report/business case. The actual time elapsed from delivering the workshop to the outputs being ready for distribution could easily be 2-3 weeks.

As a continuous improvement and process geek I started to look at how these could be delivered more efficiently. This is when I came across ENGAGE from Holland I spoke to the company and set up a trial. After an hour webinar with Ted Twaalfhoven I was immediately in love with the product and its benefits. I set about building an As Is and To Be version of my current method of delivering workshops and the future method using ENGAGE with a view to convincing my manager to purchase the product. An hour or so later I had a model showing that I could do each workshop with 40% less effort and delivering the outputs to the customer 50% faster and in a more enjoyable and engaging way. My manager took one look and was convinced and bought the product.

After a year in consulting I decided to start my own company We are Lean and Agile and to partner with ENGAGE to bring the product to the UK public and private sector. The product in Holland is 8 years old and very mature in its development to deliver its users requirements. In Holland its use is 50/50 between public and private sector users. There are massive companies such as Schiphol Airport, Bavaria Beer and IKEA using the product to Lean their processes and to create process handbooks to support ISO compliance, audits and for training purposes. The product is used heavily in the public sector with 100 (25%) of Local Authorities (Municipalities) using this to address very similar austerity measures to those we are struggling with in the UK in both health and traditional UK council services.

The product is built to deliver Lean and continuous improvement programmes with too many features and functions to list them all here. Lean has been used consistently across the globe to deliver improvement in processes across all sectors. The tool can also be used with IT systems projects or service mergers to gain greater process understanding prior to change.
The modeler itself is workshop friendly so you can build your maps with the stakeholders in the room. There is no need to draw a line and moving maps around is simple with drag and drop functionality. You add processing and break times to your process steps as well as other data such as customer or business value indicators, roles and costs. You can add additional attributes to your maps such as IT systems or locations via tables. You can look at a swimlane view of your process with one click to look at it split for roles, IT systems or any other attributes you add. You can also create interactive digital Post It sessions to deliver brainstorms or SWOT analysis.

The output of a session is a fully costed process model which can be shared electronically immediately back with the stakeholders for comment and sign off. Comments are made directly in the tool and you are notified and can classify and implement the comments. Delivering the To Be process is easy you can map and model multiple options and compare the outcomes with a couple of clicks. Added to this is the ability to create a process handbook for your finished processes.

Over the last year, we have been focussing on UK Local Authorities and our proud to say we now have 6 using the tool including Portsmouth, Perth and Kinross and Eastleigh. We believe in building self-sustaining capability in the organisations not selling consultancy. We offer value add services to help get your projects and programmes moving fast. We are an ENGAGE certified UK training partner and offer sessions tailored to your requirements. The tools functionality fits perfectly with the Health agenda and delivering services in our continuing austere times.

We are so confident of the tools capability we offer a free month’s trail for a user. Contact us for more information or to arrange a demo. Have a look at the website for more details or to view our process blogs.