iSixSigma

Backlog

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #53949

    Tony Panarese
    Member

    Does any have any empiric knowledge of how to attack and ultimately eliminate a backlog of pending transactions?

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    #192185

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @tpanarese – Fundamentally, you’ve got to reduce the time to answer such that you are responding to more than you are receiving, or you need to add more capacity so that you can respond to more than you receive. The delta will give you the time to clear the backlog.
    Now, how to do this has various options. You basically have a queueing situation. If you have easily identifiable “problem transactions” then creating a special unit to attack those and let the easy transactions be addressed by the common pool is one approach.
    Given that this is posted in the financial services area, I’m guessing that just dumping the backlog isn’t a viable option (but has been used in other arenas) – just don’t expect to have happy customers who get dumped.

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    #192188

    Steve Clapp
    Participant

    We frequently refer to the 8 Wastes checklist to see where those issues may be occuring within our transactional processes. “Waiting” and “overprocessing” seem to be our top causes of backlogs.

    Be sure to include employees within the process to do the root cause identification and the solution development. Try to include customers impacted by the backlogs, too. That way you have a better chance of identifying and fixing the real issues.

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    #192189

    I have a basic method for clearing backlog which I’ve been using for several years.

    It involves using excess capacity of the processing group to take on the backlog when they have completed their daily work load.

    I\\\’m reaching out to see if anyone may have come across a newer/better method.

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    #192192

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @tpanarese – Then the only other suggestion would be to lean out what needs to be processed. Is everything actually necessary? Are there redundancies that can be eliminated? Are there data entry items being typed in that can be simplified with a single stroke entry? Are there defaults that can be pre-populated that would only need to be adjusted in the rare case where they are different? etc, etc.

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    #195447

    Panarese
    Participant

    During mid May, someone sent me an email with a spreadsheet – in error, deleted the spreadsheet. Whoever sent it – would please send it again. Thanks.

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    #195450

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    I’m curious about the “just apply resources at the bottleneck” approach. I would suggest looking at the bottleneck and see what non value added activities are going on. This includes addressing downtime issues.

    Also, is poor scheduling affecting the bottleneck’s effectiveness?

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    #195468

    Doug Coenson
    Participant

    I have worked on many project to reduce cycle time in transactional environments, and many times backlog needs to be addressed using a short-term resolution prior to launching a true long-term fix. To address the backlog, typically 2 things need to happen: (1) create a measurement system to fully understand the number of transactions moving through the process (e.g., how many being completed each day, how many new ones coming in, etc.). Many times the process owner understands he/she has a backlog but does not have a good handle on the inventory as it moves through the process; (2) hold a Kaizen event to map out the current process and identify the different forms of waste throughout the process as Mr. Clapp has indicated. You will likely identify some “no-brainer” improvements that can be made right away (e.g., assessing whether single piece vs. batch is the better way to go, moving steps of the process around, determining whether multiple steps can be handled concurrently rather than in a sequential fashion). Also looks for issues that arise due to the increase in cycle time due to the backlog (e.g., are customers submitting duplicate requests and/or inquiring about status which takes time away from processing the transactions, etc.). Sometime it’s worth just hiring some temporary staff, interns, or borrowing resources from another department to help reduce the backlog while your coming up with a strategy.

    I would happy to discuss with you further if you still have questions. Feel free to contact me.

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    #195485

    I have an “opensource” spreadsheet with very simple formulas that uses a Monte Carlo simulation, and uses excesss capacity to draw down the backlog. You should be able to integrate it into your work (or we could even collaborate to make the solution better for everyone).

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    #195486

    Tony Panarese
    Guest

    Jordan … Can you provide the link – I think this is the spreadsheet I’m looking for. Thanks.

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    #195622

    Kimmy Burgess
    Participant

    Some times you get answers to your question not by your own effort but someone else idea and firstly thank you for the post as this question was in my mind from many days to understand about the backlogs and after a lot of finding I got your post and the replies that I saw in your post truly gave me a brief idea about everything..thanks.

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