There are five essential pre-workshop things to do to facilitate the flow of the workshop and effectively use participants’ time.
- Clearly define the scope. Determine the start point or trigger that begins the process and what the final deliverable product(s) to the customer is.
- Set objectives. The process owner must set measurable objectives for the team to achieve. The goals must clearly align with the overall corporate objectives. At the very least, specific goals should be set to reduce lead time, improve quality, and reduce cost. The targets should be aggressive, to ensure that participants are challenged to come up with innovative process changes versus simply tweaking the existing process.
- Create preliminary current state map. Have a subgroup of three or four participants walk through the current process prior to the event to document the steps of the process, the time it takes to perform the task (task times), and wait times between processes. If there isn’t available data for some processes, this allows time to collect it prior to the workshop. This is the most important part of the pre-work activities, as it saves valuable workshop time over starting with a blank sheet.
- Collect all relevant documents. While creating the preliminary current state map, the subgroup should collect samples of forms and documents used at each step. In addition, copies of all standard procedures affected by the process should also be available for the workshop.
- Post a preliminary current state map in the team room. Each task in the process is listed on its own separate sheet (8.5”x 11” preferred) of paper and posted on butcher-block paper on a wall. Some teams list the tasks on large Post-its®. Space is left among task boxes to allow for notes and modifications during the workshop.
Now you are ready for the actual workshop.