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As-Is Process Map

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  • #52856

    JForce
    Participant

    I am currently on a Process Improvement Team.  Our project lead has agreed to prepare a process map that reflects the steps that “should” be followed instead of  the current “as-is” condition.  Based on my Six Sigma training, I feel that if we choose to capture a process that should be followed (instead of “as-is”), we will overlook critical issues that our team may otherwise recognize and recommend solutions for (as well as measure and track).  I need some help in understanding how I should respond. 

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    #186467

    dlw bpex
    Participant

    Some questions that may help clarify things:
    1. What defines “should be”? Flow chart? SOP? Personal preference?
    2. What are the reasons the project lead prefers not to do a
    traditional Current State (i.e., what actually happens)?
    3. Once the “should be” map is created, what will be done with the
    information?
    You are wise to focus on capturing reality, since that is what needs
    to improve. Still, there could be circumstances under which such a
    “should be” map could be helpful. For example, maybe your
    current reality is highly varied and inconsistent — process steps
    happen (or not) in widely differing ways. Trying to capture that on
    a Current State map could get messy and frustrating. But you
    might refer to the “should be” map to ground yourself and identify
    where the various EXCEPTIONS are taking place, and why. Then you
    can build upon that to create your Future State, which ideally will
    be even better than today’s “should be”.

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    #186474

    JForce
    Participant

    Thank you for your feedback.  The Process Improvement Team is currently in the “Define” stage of Six Sigma, so we are attempting to capture the current state of a process in an effort to identify possible critical to quality elements that offer improvement opportunties.  We conducted an audit on the process to capture the current state using an 80/20 rule to isolate the actions that occurs frequently (in other words, this process does not appear to be highly varied).  From your comments, you mention that our Project Lead has chosen not to produce a traditional “as-is” process map.  Perhaps I should begin by asking why because I find it difficult to understand why a six sigma project team would use a “should be” process map to determine strategic improvement areas.  Do you have any other helpful recommendations?  Thank you!

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    #186476

    dlw bpex
    Participant

    I agree, exploring the “why” is a logical step. Assuming the Lead
    belongs in that capacity, s/he must have a reason — even if it is
    based on misinformation or bad assumptions. Has there been no
    discussion along that line?And it would be interesting (maybe even informative) to identify how
    the Lead would use results of a “should be” map.

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    #186479

    newbie
    Participant

    Go back to the charter and clarify what the project effort is about and the primary metric.  This will tell you what information is needed and thus, the tool suited for that purpose.  If you are looking at reducing time or cost, then a VSM current state would be a good choice.  If you want to highlight decision points and the people or departments that make them, a swim-lane or activity-based pmap would do the trick, etc.
    Again, I would get back to basics and look in the charter and focus on the primary metric and the resulting forecasted business case.  Good luck.
     

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