Tools to Identify CI Opportunities | Halden Zimmermann

Lean Six Sigma: Making Improvement Jumps to Sustain Long-Term Profitability

Traditional day-to-day business improvements are not rapid or far-reaching enough to allow us to maintain competitiveness. LSS projects, on the other hand, help us develop improvement jumps to sustain long-term business profitability. We try to minimize the number of active projects while we maximize the allocation of resources to gain the greatest Benefit versus Effort. If we use all the resources at our disposal to choose projects with the best potential to create big jumps in productivity and financial return, LSS projects will bring us to new levels of success.

Continuous Improvement Modeling

Lean Six Sigma: Tools to Identify Opportunities and Measure Results

Project Selection Workshop

This tool helps us diagnose process problems or identify improvement projects that will help us meet our Operating Agenda. The Project Selection Workshop allows us the chance to review and filter opportunities through different categorical groups or lenses. This analysis is usually done in a team environment in which multiple functional groups provide data, input and ideas. Four lenses help us analyze key business measures for potential projects:

• Voice of the Business (VOB) – Data that reflects financial performance and related gaps

• Voice of the Customer(VOC)–Datathathighlightsservice,qualityand performance opportunities

• Voice of the Process (VOP) – Data on individual system performance
• Voice of the Employee (VOE) – Bottom-up approach for ideas (includes Environment, Health and Safety and Regulatory projects)

Fun and Useful Workshop – Halden Zimmermann

Benefit versus Effort Chart

Our Operating Agenda gives scope to the filtering process, and Alcan CI Roadmaps help quantify strategic gaps. This background helps us review potential projects and then prioritize them using a quantifiable method called Benefit versus Effort analysis. With this analysis, we can apply a simple equation for reviewing financial or EHS impact versus the amount of time and expense it will take to complete the project.

halden zimmermann ci chart
Screening Potential CI Projects and using the B vs. E Chart

7 thoughts on “Tools to Identify CI Opportunities | Halden Zimmermann

    • Halden Zimmermann… Tools to identify opportunities… and how they fit

      It is important to have a formal process to continually evaluate and prioritize where resources should be focused. Above and beyond daily management of the business, there should be focus on large step level improvements that align with the overall strategy of the organization.

      For best results this is not done in a vaccum, it is done in a workshop format where there is an understood process for finding improvement areas and gaps, prioritizing projects and most importantly a process to follow up execution.

      The George group has a model that does this well in their training framework as well… however every company has different culture and should think about what fits their own business needs…

      The flow should look like this….
      1. Strategy Development
      2. Initiatives that plug into that strategy (Operating Agenda)
      3. Projects that support the initiative though a project selection type workshop
      4. These annual projects should be given owners, have KPIs and formal action plant
      5. Regular cadence where upper management reviews the team’s progress
      6. Daily management and owners to take on sustaining the improvements after implementation of the project is executed.

  1. Halden Zimmermann Continuous Improvement

    Here are some other specific resources you can look to for tools around the same concept….

    The best tools are simple excel tools however that track benefit vs effort.. in addition the finance team needs to be involved in the ROI model along with making sure investments improvements hit the P and L as hard savings…

    Re: Halden Zimmermann Continuous Improvement Quick Reference Guide….

  2. One of the hardest parts of project selection is looking at the business through different lenses…

    What is means is getting metrics and inputs from different functions, processes and groups that all align to the business… you will be amazed at the differences and similarities across the business around opportunities and improvement areas.

    The hard part is really getting the data and putting it in a format that is legible. Organizations that are not data driven, have the hardest time with this.. and it is an up hill climb…

    Also.. it is best to look at the date compared to something or in a ratio to another standard… Trend over time, relative to target, relative to best practice (internal or external) etc etc… the date turns into information when there is perspective…

    This is a great approach to think about it…

  3. Picking the right projects is very similar to a stock strategy. Instead of picking one large initiatives and putting all of the resources in that.. it is good to have a mix of smaller projects.. some high risk, some slam dunks with less return.. this portfolio of projects drive growth better than large projects typically. The larger the project to more resources and time it take to get payback. Some of the exceptions are innovation projects that are blue ocean and drive growth… though big, if done properly they drive growth.

    Organic growth is tough and it linked to risk.. so often it is best not to put you eggs all in one basket and have a portfolio approach

    Ref: Halden Zimmermann General Manager, Continuous Improvement, Investing and DMAIC

  4. Many times project selection is used just for annual budget, but it should be used as working meetings for a large range of brainstorming and improvement initiatives. Value Engineering, Material Savings, Labor, Sales Targets, Pricing etc etc. The project frame work is excellent in getting top ideas, alignment and driving to next steps.

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