Below I'm linking to 3 example templates I use with distributed teams or when time is scarce and getting everyone in a room is a challenge. These can easily be used over a conference call, slack or totally asynchronously whenever you have the time, to collect and share data about where you are, and what to do next.
WARNING: Assessment can be challenging, stressful and damaging if done without care or experience. We're evaluating and measuring here, so please be careful to frame the effort in a positive and safe context. If you'd like help facilitating one of these exercises please don't hesitate to reach out here!
Over the next few weeks, I'll be adding more content to help you use these templates yourself, but if you've got any questions please toss them in comments below or reach out to me at the link above.
|Objective:||Map out a process including each manual and automated step, wait, handoff and stakeholder to expose opportunities for improvement|
|Goal:||Automate the stream completely with minimal variation in flow - the dream is to have a process that starts, runs and finishes automatically, the same way every time|
|Value:||Improves visualization, accountability and collaboration - each of these can be used as assets in regulatory compliance as well as training|
|Consider:||Don't aim for exact science (spend less than 2% of process time on measurement, and estimate where confidence is high)|
|Stakeholders from every team and/or role affected by the stream should be included at least in the kickoff stage to ensure voices are heard and awareness is raised|
If you're interested in a 5-minute, high-level value stream assessment, I've got one ready here for you to use.
|Objective:||Complete the sheet with your team or individually to get a sense of where potential issues could arise, and opportunities for improvement|
|Goal:||Ensure critical team functions are known, owned and supported, and team operations and responsibilities can be easily communicated to others|
|Value:||Improves visualization, accountability and collaboration - each of these can be used as assets in regulatory compliance as well as onboarding or|
|Consider:||This exercise is intended as positive transparency to engender trust and acknowledge reality in the spirit of improvement, not to scare team members or highlight failure or inadequacy|
|Team members may object if their full contribution isn't captured in the function list - acknowledge that this catalogue is a team learning effort and that they should add whatever they feel is missing|
|This exercise can be done individually or as a team - individual measurements can reveal misunderstandings or 'misplaced optimism' that could be addressed|
|Objective:||Complete the sheet with your team or individually to get a sense of where you are relative to common high-performing patterns, and highlight opportunities for improvement|
|Goal:||Reveal gaps and opportunities for targeted improvement within a holistic view of your team's health and progress|
|Value:||Improves visibility, confidence and measurability - which can each can be used as assets in regulatory compliance as well as training|
|Consider:||Don't worry about where you are now! Today is your baseline, and progress will be the true measurement|
|This exercise can be done individually or as a team - individual measurements can reveal misunderstandings or different views that could align the team once addressed|