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These resources are provided to aid you with independent implementation. It should be noted that building and maintaining a business management system based in continuous improvement is more about the behavior and thinking. However, tools and processes help create the structure to promote the “right” behaviors and thinking. Start with a standard and modify or replace tools to meet your business needs.


Chapter 1

Leader Reflection Worksheet: self-awareness of where your time is invested on a daily and weekly basis to focus on the more value-added responsibilities of your role


Chapter 2

Mission, Vision, Values Worksheet: alignment of leadership on the mission of an organization, the vision they are trying to realize, and the values that are important to maintain the path to continuous improvement


SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is a framework to evaluate the landscape of your business and external influences to decide on what strengths and opportunities to leverage as well as which weaknesses or threats to hedge against


OGSM Worksheet: Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures Worksheet is a strategic planning framework deployed in multiple industries to align leadership and quickly focus supporting layers of the organization to enterprise-level effort


KPI Tree: a management system of requirements, enabling processes, measures, and controls that describe how a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is delivered/achieved, understanding this is crucial to deciding where to focus improvements and changes


Chapter 3

DMAIC: DMAIC stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It is a structured problem-solving methodology used in the Six Sigma approach for continuous improvement. This systematic approach is used to identify and eliminate process inefficiencies, reduce defects, and improve overall performance.


ADKAR®: a change management model that focuses on the individual and their ability to adapt to change effectively. It stands for awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement


Flowchart: a visual representation of a process or system using symbols and arrows to illustrate the sequence of steps and decision points, an overview of how tasks connect to help understand and improve processes


Swimlane Diagram: a cross-functional flowchart, is a visual tool used to depict the flow of activities and handoffs across different individuals, departments, or functional areas, it uses horizontal “lanes” to represent process participant responsibilities


Routing Analysis: used to optimize the movement of goods, information, or people through a system or network by evaluating and improving the routing decisions and pathways to reduce distance, time, and number of handoffs


Value Stream Map: material and information flow diagram that shows how an organization to transforms inputs into a finished product or service, identifies and quantifies non-value-added activities or waste to optimize the end-to-end process flow

Stakeholder Analysis: a systematic approach to identifying and understanding the individuals, groups, or organizations that have an interest in or can influence a project/change


Voice of the Customer (VOC): Understanding the needs, or sometimes constraints, of your customer is important to ensure your product/service meets their expectations


Interviews: direct conversations with the customer or stakeholder, it enables you to ask follow-up questions and explore nuance of the response to planned questions


Focus Groups: like interviews performed with a group of stakeholders/customers to get diverse opinions into one session to agree on common requirements

Surveys: data collection on the performance or perception of a process, you are able to efficiently target a large population of customers/stakeholders with one effort. Two challenges to be aware of on surveys are (1) low response rate (at a typical response rate of 20–30 percent, you may need to send out five times as many surveys as data you need to analyze) and (2) question structure (to analyze the responses, you need to think about how the question is asked and the format of the response; this can limit your survey design, but do not think about how to analyze the data after you collect it)


Observation (“Go See”): direct observation of the execution of the processes or use your product, helps leaders and teams move beyond assumption to a better understanding and knowledge of the issue


Cause-and-Effect Diagram (Fishbone): a visual tool used to categorize potential causes of a known issue that helps teams stimulate creative thinking to systematically identify the root causes of a problem


5 Whys: problem-solving technique used to determine the root cause of a problem by repeatedly asking “why” until the underlying cause is uncovered


Descriptive Statistics: branch of statistics that involves summarizing and describing data sets using common numerical measures or tables to outline the main characteristics of the data

Graphical Analysis: the practice of visually representing data and information using charts, graphs, or diagrams to gain insights and make informed decisions, it helps individuals and teams understand and compare different variables to comprehend what information is being communicated

Inferential Statistics: branch of statistics concerned with making predictions or generalizations about a larger population based on sample data, this enables us to draw conclusions about underlying processes or phenomena to explain the sample of data measured

Design of Experiments (DOE): a statistical technique used to systematically plan, execute, and analyze experiments to understand the relationship between factors or variables and their impact on a process or outcome, collected data generates meaningful insights to maximize efficiency, minimize costs, and achieve desired performance targets


Prioritization Techniques: When there is more than one problem/issue to solve or more than one competing idea on how to solve the problem, it is valuable to both objectively decide on a path forward and collectively agree as a team that it is the “best” choice


Nominal Group Technique: voting process whereby each team member gets a set number of votes to choose the problem to work on, leading options are moved forward.


Effort v. Impact: rate each issue or solution on a two-dimensional graph of both the impact it will have and the estimated effort to resolve, evaluate and potentially combine ideas for a solution concept

Pugh Analysis: relative ranking of ideas that is accomplished by comparing alternatives to a one-reference idea, each idea is compared as better (+), worse (-), or same (0) to the established baseline idea


Verification of Improvement: A crucial element of change management is building confidence in the change that is taking place.


Pilot: testing a new solution or design with a small group of users or scenarios before it is more widely implemented

Prototype: an early model of a product or solution to test a concept or a process, may not be 100 percent “production representative,” but it provides indication of performance


Simulation: model of the process or system in operation to test independent scenarios that may be expensive, dangerous, or time-limiting


Process Standardization:  the establishment of a set of rules that constrain how a process can be executed or govern how people in an organization are to complete a given task or sequence of tasks


Standard Operating Procedures (SOP): document that describes operations relevant to the quality of the product or service provided, used to train individuals and verify operations are executed correctly


Standard Work:  best practices, procedures, and methods that define the safest, highest quality, and most efficient way to perform a specific task or process, it generally contains the optimal sequence or work, the amount of work performed at one cycle (sometimes called the work in process, or WIP), and the target times for completion


Mistake-Proofing: technique used to reduce or prevent error from occurring during the execution of a process, by eliminating or reducing the potential for errors, you improve quality and increase efficiency


5S: workplace organization method that consists of five key principles: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain; the aims to create a clean, organized, and efficient work environment as the standard to begin work where it is easy to identify abnormalities  and issues


Process Control Plan: documented verifications and standard responses used to sustain and maintain improvements and stability of operations at critical control points of the process


Performance Boards: reviews conducted at various levels within an organization to assess performance against defined metrics and KPIs, they occur in tiers of the organization to serve as checkpoints, ensuring daily operations and projects align with organizational goals and information is passed on to support decision-making


Chapter 4

SQDCM:  Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost, and Morale, serves as a framework for measuring and managing a balanced set of performance metrics in your business processes, you should measure and manage your processes with more than one indicator metric to provide a holistic view


Escalation: process of raising a problem, issue, or decision to a higher level of authority or management for resolution, the flow of information ensures that problems receive appropriate attention and resources from higher levels of the organization, enabling timely decision-making and resolution


1:3:10: best-practice of visual management, whereby you should be able to identify the status of a measure or process performance in one second, see the trend of past performance leading up to the current state in three seconds, and know what actions are being taken or planned in ten seconds


Chapter 5

Leader Standard Work: the set of routine tasks, activities, and behaviors that leaders at various levels of an organization perform to sustain performance and drive continuous improvement efforts, clear roles and responsibilities promote a culture of accountability and a foundation for sustainable improvement

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