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  #1  
Old 31 January 2016, 17:02
peter28 peter28 is offline
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Process and Process Optimization Framework/s

Hey all, I'm looking for a framework for process and process optimization. I have an interview and I'm looking around for a framework that I can use to guide my thought process during the interview, which will be mostly focused on process, process and organization optimization. Anyone have a suggestion/s?

I'm sure this is a broad ask, as I've seen quite a bit on the net but I'm trying to get dialed into a couple. There's a ton of consulting frameworks on the net and too many frameworks that apply to various situations. I know some you guys have done Lean Six Sigma and project management cert courses, so perhaps you've seen or used some intuitive frameworks at work or training.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 31 January 2016, 19:25
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Are you thinking on terms of statistical process control or general process structure/framework?

If it's the later, there is a 2007 HBR article which I use as part of the framework for all process development work.

I will admit, the online version is not nearly as easy to follow as the actual article is. It may be worth dropping the $9 for the reprint.

https://hbr.org/2007/04/the-process-audit/ar/1
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Old 31 January 2016, 20:35
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I am a believer in the Baldrige framework. LEAN, Six Sigma, etc. are tactical process creation or improvement tools. Baldrige is the holistic view of the whole organization. Less prescriptive, more exhaustive.

I've taken my company through our state Baldrige program three times. The results as we've achieved have been significant.
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Old 31 January 2016, 20:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketKings View Post
I am a believer in the Baldrige framework. LEAN, Six Sigma, etc. are tactical process creation or improvement tools. Baldrige is the holistic view of the whole organization. Less prescriptive, more exhaustive.
Baldrige is more of an evaluation framework (for an award) which is broad in identifying and measuring for organizational stakeholders but less useful in developing mechanisms which enable mature process.

I was involved with a few organizational efforts around Baldrige in the 90's and was underwhelmed at its usefulness (outside of those in the organization(s) who craved external recognition). YMMV.
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Old 31 January 2016, 23:23
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We used the Baldrige process analysis at Sprint and I found it very effective. The awards were secondary based upon his actual effectiveness in documenting, analyzing and reporting out on business process.
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Old 1 February 2016, 10:20
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We used the Baldrige process analysis at Sprint and I found it very effective. The awards were secondary based upon his actual effectiveness in documenting, analyzing and reporting out on business process.
Out of curiosity, did you use Baldrige for analysis/improvement of an existing process? Or to build/re-engineer a business process?
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Old 1 February 2016, 11:54
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I disagree. I've used the framework to completely turn around a business in 5 years using the evaluation criteria. Granted, I know the evaluation criteria from having been an examiner for 8 years, but the 'award' aspect of Baldrige is just a 'nice to have.' Most organizations never apply for the award.

But, as I said, it's not tactical. It won't tell you to use DMAIC for Process Creation, or PDCA for improvement, or LEAN, or any other tool. It ensures that the tools used are deployed, reviewed, learned from, and tracked.
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Old 1 February 2016, 13:21
peter28 peter28 is offline
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Hey guys, thanks for all your input.

I should have been clearer. I anticipate using this framework in a couple brief interviews. So I'll need to have a framework in mind that I can use to quickly walk through a case study and provide solutions to problems/cases.

I think the PEMM framework from HBR provided by TCG is a bit broad and not as easily referenced. It seems like that framework is meant to be used in an enterprise, implying you have more time to work through it. I think the Baldridge is even more comprehensive - as I read it.

I was looking for more of this kind of thing, a simple junior varsity framework that is more of a pocket reference card. http://www.streetofwalls.com/finance-training-courses/consulting-case-study-training/consulting-case-study-101-frameworks/

I think what I'll end up doing is piecing together some sort of framework based on the frameworks in the link above and what I anticipate in the interview.

Thanks
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Old 1 February 2016, 15:37
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There is a pocket reference guide and 'stripped down' version of Baldrige. At the state level, this would be a 'level 1' or 'Baldrige for beginners.'

https://freemindconsulting.files.wor...pocketbook.pdf

It may help you structure your thoughts. It's older, but still useful.
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Old 1 February 2016, 23:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter28 View Post
Hey guys, thanks for all your input.

I should have been clearer. I anticipate using this framework in a couple brief interviews. So I'll need to have a framework in mind that I can use to quickly walk through a case study and provide solutions to problems/cases.

I think the PEMM framework from HBR provided by TCG is a bit broad and not as easily referenced. It seems like that framework is meant to be used in an enterprise, implying you have more time to work through it. I think the Baldridge is even more comprehensive - as I read it.

I was looking for more of this kind of thing, a simple junior varsity framework that is more of a pocket reference card. http://www.streetofwalls.com/finance-training-courses/consulting-case-study-training/consulting-case-study-101-frameworks/

I think what I'll end up doing is piecing together some sort of framework based on the frameworks in the link above and what I anticipate in the interview.

Thanks
Your thing has a lot of words. This is better: http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/business_model_canvas_poster.pdf
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Old 2 February 2016, 20:55
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Your thing has a lot of words. This is better: http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/business_model_canvas_poster.pdf
haha. Me no do good w/ lot of words. Me like pictures...easy button.

I hate that thing. We used it in our entrepreneurship classes and the professor always wanted a thought reflected in the canvas.

"professor, I was thinking about including x,y,z in the process, what do you think?"

"Well, how does it look in the business model canvas!?"

All, thanks for your input. I'm scraping together something based on several frameworks - just an easy framework to picture so I can walk through it during an interview.
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Old 2 February 2016, 22:32
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Please, say 'framework' again.
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Old 3 February 2016, 04:01
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My 2 cents...

What type business are you interviewing with and what are their goals? Makes a huge difference. Understanding what your potential client/employer's needs are critical.

Each approach will come a different perspective, however can be modified around what you're trying to address.

They all have benefits in organizing or optimizing business processes and information. LEAN is good for overall waste reduction across a value chain through making it more visible (start to finish for making cars for example). Six Sigma is about reduction in variation, more tactical. LEAN Six Sigma often go together for that reason - one is a broader view, the other more precise. Theory of constraints is better for high velocity operations and can also be coupled with LEAN and Six Sigma, but tends be to benefit logistics and supply chain environments (where bottlenecks are expensive).

Nothing out there is "the" solution. They all work. I have seen the approaches fail generally due to lack of understanding what the actual problem is, lack of leadership, or taking a dogmatic view of the tool kit and not adjusting for the mission & people who are going to be implementing the system.

A framework for processes and process optimization are different animals, too. Baldrige, Project Management Body of Knowledge, ISO 9001, AS9100, CMMI etc. are all standards for organizing the business; laying an architecture out with core processes. LEAN, Six Sigma, ToC, SPC, PDCA, DOE... are optimization tools.
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Old 3 February 2016, 08:16
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Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
Please, say 'framework' again.
And he needs to say "Stakeholder" like 7 or so times in there as well.
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Old 3 February 2016, 11:41
PocketKings PocketKings is offline
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Originally Posted by smp52 View Post
My 2 cents...

What type business are you interviewing with and what are their goals? Makes a huge difference. Understanding what your potential client/employer's needs are critical.

Each approach will come a different perspective, however can be modified around what you're trying to address.

They all have benefits in organizing or optimizing business processes and information. LEAN is good for overall waste reduction across a value chain through making it more visible (start to finish for making cars for example). Six Sigma is about reduction in variation, more tactical. LEAN Six Sigma often go together for that reason - one is a broader view, the other more precise. Theory of constraints is better for high velocity operations and can also be coupled with LEAN and Six Sigma, but tends be to benefit logistics and supply chain environments (where bottlenecks are expensive).

Nothing out there is "the" solution. They all work. I have seen the approaches fail generally due to lack of understanding what the actual problem is, lack of leadership, or taking a dogmatic view of the tool kit and not adjusting for the mission & people who are going to be implementing the system.

A framework for processes and process optimization are different animals, too. Baldrige, Project Management Body of Knowledge, ISO 9001, AS9100, CMMI etc. are all standards for organizing the business; laying an architecture out with core processes. LEAN, Six Sigma, ToC, SPC, PDCA, DOE... are optimization tools.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I'd add that failure of strategic or tactical efforts often are due to lack of patience. Tell someone it's going to take 3 or 5 years to put a plan in place, execute it, improve, and refine and they get all glassy eyed. They want a nice tip to do NOW, hopefully in a cool business book, and preferably in an executive summary of that cool business book.

Businesses only seem to care about immediacy and quarterly earnings reports, so the long term thinking that a 'framework' requires is absent. You start talking about anything other than a quick fix and people start staring at their phones.
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Old 3 February 2016, 12:30
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It also depends on operational context...sometimes it's just unintelligent to over-engineer a process. Sometimes it's unintelligent to not. Sometimes otherwise intelligent people have a hard time understanding where on the continuum between the two a particular business problem lies.
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Old 3 February 2016, 15:30
peter28 peter28 is offline
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Quote:
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Please, say 'framework' again.
Well Jimbo, it's a thread on frameworks. No problem, I'd be snippy too if I had to sit next to Burt for hours on a plane too. Damn, all that patchuli!

Could probably include framework or stakeholder as #11

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...really-trying/
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