This series entitled ‘Process Power Tools' will introduce you to some of the most useful tools to leverage throughout the stages of a process engineering project using the CapTech Process Engineering Methodology. The series will be 5 blogs starting with this introduction to The CapTech Way for Process Engineering, and highlight of typical tools to use in each stage. We will have four subsequent blogs detailing an individual tool used in one of the stages. The CapTech Process Engineering Methodology includes:

Stage 1 – Initiate Project: This stage establishes the team structure, schedule, and communication strategy. In this stage, level 0 and 1, current state process flows will be designed to help establish the scope of work.

Tools Used:

  1. Project Charter: The Project Charter Includes project resources, timeline, scope statement, problem definition, and goals
  2. Communication Plan: The Communication Plan considers the audience and types of information they need in order to support the project. It will list out all communication events along with details on executing the events.
  3. Level 0 and 1 Current State Process Flows: These are the highest level flows that will determine the scope of the processes engineering effort. They define each process into high level workgroups and outline each processes purpose.

Stage 2 – Current State Analysis: This stage focuses on capturing the end to end process flow through a structured data collection process and detailing them in level2 and 3 process flows. Information about existing process statistics, baseline quality metrics, and key performance indicators are all gathered in this bottom-up approach, in order to determine areas of improvement opportunity.

Tools Used:

  1. Nominal Group Technique: The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) is a group collaboration and decision-making tool, critical in documenting the current state. The Nominal Group Technique will be discussed in detail in our next Process Power Tools blog.
  2. Definition of CTQ (Critical to Quality) metrics: CTQ metrics capture what is important to the success of the project and understand what the customer is really looking for. Also known in Lean\Six Sigma methodology as the Voice of the Customer (VOC).
  3. Process Map/Swim Lane Diagram for Level 2 and 3Processes: A process map shows the actions performed by specific roles, as well as the inputs and outputs of activities. The level 2 and 3 processes designed in the Initiate Project phase will be detailed out in the level 3 and 4 flows.

Stage 3 – Define Vision: During this phase, the results of the Current State Analysis are aligned with the businesses strategic goals. This is a top-down approach involving strategic meetings with key stakeholders to understand visions, initiatives, and on-going projects in the business strategy. Recommendations developed are prioritized and qualified for the future state.

Tools Used:

  1. Multivoting: Multivoting is a decision making technique in which each team member has a number of points to allocate to items on a list, representing their priorities. Multivoting will be discussed in detail in a future Process Power Tools blog.
  2. Elimination of 8 Lean Wastes: The 8 wastes defined by Lean Principles help to eliminate truly ‘non value added' activities when a process is thought about based on these categories: Transportation, Motion, Inventory, Wait, Over Production, Over Processing, Defects, and Intellect
  3. Additional Tools: Hypothesis Testing, Time Series Plots, FMEA, Visual Strategies, Standard Work, 5S, Workload Balancing, Kanbans, House of Quality (QFD), etc.

Stage 4 – Model Future State: During this phase, the results of the Define Vision stage are incorporated into a visually depicted future business process.

Tools Used:

  1. Process Map/Swim Lane Diagram: A an updated version of the current state process map, which shows the actions performed by specific roles, as well as the inputs and outputs of activities.
  2. Gap Analysis: A gap analysis is a tool used to identify the difference between the current state and desired future state. Gap analysis can be conducted at the business level, process level, and product level. The Gap Analysis will be discussed in detail in a future Process Power Tool blog.
  3. Financial Analysis: A financial analysis is used to measure the effectiveness and value of the proposed change. A financial analysis can include a study of the Return on Investment (ROI), Benefit/Cost Analysis, Opportunity Cost, etc.

Stage 5 – Strategy and Roadmap Definition: During this phase a roadmap is created to provide a framework for the implementation of changes and the transition from current to future state.

Tools Used:

  1. Roadmap: The roadmap will group similar activities into logical ‘projects' and consider priorities, sequential dependencies, and recommendations in order to provide a view of implementation. Creating a Roadmap will be discussed in detail in a future Process Power Tool blog.
  2. Training Plan: The Training Plan outlines the training units, audience topics, delivery method and duration of training.
  3. Transition Plan: The organizational transition plan serves to build ongoing ownership of the change within the organization that occurs as part of implementing the future state.

Now that we have provided an overview of the CapTech Process Engineering Methodology, and some of the tools which can be utilized during the various stages, we are prepared to dive into more detail around some of the specific tools. Please stay tuned for our next blog, which will explain proper use of the Nominal Group Technique (NGT), a Process Power Tool of the Current State Analysis phase.