Blog

Adding Detail To A Process Analysis With SIPOC-R

I was talking with a Director from Facilities Management, and we were looking at some repeating issues that they have been dealing related to building maintenance.  The issues they are seeing can result from a number of different root causes, but one could be the failure of critical parts in machinery.

For Facilities to improve their service and keep the buildings in top shape, they need to identify where poor quality parts are entering the system and take steps to keep them out of the inventory.  Where do you start looking when you encounter a situation like this?

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Identifying Root Causes With A Cause And Effect Tree

“I had no idea that we do all of that.”  I often hear that phrase when working with departments and mapping their processes.  I have seen what was supposed to be nothing more than a couple of service steps turn into a flow chart spanning several pages of 11”x17”paper.  This is because processes generally have many moving parts (steps) and factors that affect results, but which are not readily apparent to the casual observer.

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Considerations When Designing Or Improving A Service Process

To truly provide a customer-centric service, we must consider both results and customer experience, and work to find a balance.  When designing a service process, do not assume you know best, do not let the operating environment force you to develop a poor service, and take the time to test the process before rolling it out.

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Developing Performance Standards Using The PCCM Format

Early in my career, I found that setting clear performance standards for my team was critical to success.  The standards described my expectations of the team members, allowed me to assess how well they were performing, and helped me identify areas where they needed additional coaching, resources, and support.  Performance standards made interacting with the team much easier, as we all knew what had to be done, how, by when, and what acceptable results looked like.

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A Strategy For Dealing With Angry Customers

One of the functional areas of Business and Finance that I support is Parking and Transit Services.  The department has been conducting an ongoing customer feedback survey since 2008 and has received more than 10,000 responses.  A very large number of these responses are positive notes from customers saying thank you for providing good service; however, not every customer is happy with the service they have received.  I was reviewing this survey information, and it started me thinking about how a person can effectively work with an unhappy or angry customer and try to turn the situation into a positive one. 

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Comparing Improvement Methods

In my last two blogs, I have provided an overview of the Lean improvement methodology.  This blog will wrap up the discussion by looking at some other methods of improving operations and comparing them to each other.

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What Is Lean – An Overview Of The Five Principles

In my last blog, I mentioned that I am occasionally asked to describe Lean and explain what it does for an organization.  This is a continuation of that last post, and I will provide a brief overview of each of the five principles of the Lean methodology.

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What Is Lean?

On occasion, I get asked to describe Lean and explain what it does for an organization.  Over the next couple of blog posts, I will provide an overview of Lean and the five key principles of the methodology.

Lean concepts are often associated with Toyota and the Toyota Production System (TPS), but it should be noted that the principles have been around in various forms for many years.  They have been proven to be just as effective in improving service operations as they are in improving manufacturing processes. 

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Waste Drives Cost

When you look at making improvements to your services, one thing that should be on the top of your list is finding ways to provide world-class service at the lowest possible cost.  A year ago I posted a blog titled “The Cost of Poor Quality,” which discussed the impact of poor operations on the bottom line.

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Sun Devil Service Training and Development

Sun Devil Service Principle #4 is to engage in professional development to meet the expectations for service excellence.  Continuing professional development benefits you, ASU and our community.  Development is also an important part of your annual performance evaluation.  Every ASU staff member is eligible for at least 16 hours of professional development training each year.

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