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Comparison Between Employee Work Procedures

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Boyan Angelov 6 months ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #56071

    Boyan Angelov
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I need to understand how certain people run a specific process(from their prospec) and determine the variation between them. The idea is to surveyinterview all employees( around 30) in a email response center to determine howwhy some of them are performing (better NPS) on a much better level than others.

    The high level process is: Email comes in -> Agent gets it-> researches the issue -> Finds the appropriate template reply -> respond to customer.

    I had in mind giving a blank piece of paper and a pen to each one to draft how they work, however I wonder:
    1. Should I give the highlevel steps in the paper ? Or it should be completely blank.
    2. Should it be done for the highlevel process or ask to include the low level steps
    3. Should I have some sort of baseline to compare the results afterwards(like Gage R&R) or some other approach. Or should I use the results from the top performers?

    4. Any ideas and best practices are more than welcome.

    Thank you!

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    #202942

    Boyan Angelov
    Participant

    Sorry , I was dragged away while typing my post, that I forgot to ask for your help (and I cannot edit it anymore :( ).

    Could you please help by sharing any thoughts\comments regarding similar experience that you had?

    Thank you in advance!

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    #202943

    John
    Participant

    A couple thoughts/tips for you…

    1) Before starting a mapping journey you need to define success and what problem you are trying to solve. This will allow you to focus your efforts on those things. Otherwise you are just throwing darts hoping to see what sticks without a target. If you can get some data even better.

    2) I would highly recommend direct observation vs. asking them to fill out a survey or create any kind of map on their own. Most employees don’t have any idea how to map a process. You will get a lot of variation despite the best intentions. You also will get what they think the process is (or what they think you want) vs. what they are really doing.

    3) If you are able, pick a top performer, a mid level performer and a poor performer and sit with them for a period of time while they work.

    3) While observing just document and learn. Avoid correction, leading them down the ‘right way’ to complete the task or providing any criticism. Pay attention to the non verbal and system cues they share. Do ask them what happens when things don’t follow the ‘happy path’ so you can see how they process exceptions which is primarily where variation occurs in a process.

    4) If you have no other option than a survey, don’t give them any leading maps. Give them a generic example, provide good documentation on what you expect and let them create their map. Once again, despite best intentions they will only give what they think you want.

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    #202948

    Boyan Angelov
    Participant

    Hi John,

    Really appreciate the time taken to give me those valuable hints!
    I get your point and I think you are right – at the end I might get just what they think I want.
    Now I plan to stick to suggestion 3 – find top, middle and bottom performer.
    Yesterday , I had the chance to speak with a Senior member , and with just the first talk I’ve notices so many possible points of failure.

    Kind regards,
    Boyan

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    #202949

    Boyan Angelov
    Participant

    …and one additional question – what will be the optimal way of tracking\noting the way they work ?
    1. Sit next to them asking to guide me through what they do and how they do it
    2. Take notes and later on my own add it in written OR do some process map based on each persons’ understanding

    How will you do it? What will be your best approach?

    I’m asking cause I don’t want to waste people efforts on the project.

    Thanks in advance and enjoy the weekend :)

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    #202950

    John
    Participant

    I would go with #1 – Sit with them and just document what they show you on a notebook or simple technology for later use. The main focus should of your notes should be the process gaps and escapes along with what the ‘happy path’ looks like when all goes well.

    I would then create a process map later, on your own, after seeing the work from end to end.

    One key here is that once the map is completed go back to the employees and validate your map with them so they gain a level of trust and you know you captured the process accurately.

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    #202954

    Strayer
    Participant

    I second @diboy89@msn.com It’s called gemba. You want to learn what’s really happening. Observe and document while doing nothing to influence behavior. Granted this can be difficult since if they know they’re being observed employees are more likely to do what they think they’re supposed to do rather than what they normally do. Assuming that you have some data to distinguish high and low performers, make sure you observe both. Often we find that official procedures aren’t followed. Maybe due to poor training or maybe because the procedures don’t work all that well. Maybe top performers have found a better way.

    When you map the current process as observed you’re likely to find variation. Don’t try to average the current process into a single “as is” process map. If you find different processes actually in use, map them all and see what’s different between top performers and others. To validate the map(s) review each only with the people you observed doing it that way. This is the time to ask questions. Why do you do it this way? What else have you tried and why didn’t it work as well?

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    #202962

    Boyan Angelov
    Participant

    Great hints. Thank you very much guys!

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    #202983

    Boyan Angelov
    Participant

    Guys, I would like to thank you for the proper guidance!
    Based only on 2 hour work , we defined 3 quick wins( directly suggested by employees) and at least 30 possible causes to dig deeper.

    My next plan is to gather with the team and either group and categorize the possible causes and dig deeper(5 Why’s) or directly think for resolutions for some of the causes we can influence.

    Wish you a great weekend ahead !

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    #236628

    Charlie Tindill
    Participant

    @bangelov
    You could get the team members with the spread of variation (high Low) in a room after your Gemba visit and facilitate them to complete a Metric Based Process Map – in each step record the process tie, lead time, % complete and Accurate- Google Karen Martin MBPM Im not very experienced but find this tool very useful. And the team will be more likely to stay with a process if they have developed it.

    Good luck

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    #236689

    Boyan Angelov
    Participant

    Thank you @ctindill . I wachted several sessions led by Karen Martin and Metrics Based Process Mapping is one of the tools that I plan to use in improving a specific Technical escallation process.

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