As part of the data collection for our projects, we regularly talk to process stakeholders. When chatting to a member of staff recently, they gave an example of poor service that they had received. Part of the reason for the poor service was that the 'process expert' was so familiar with the process, they did not demonstrate sympathy towards the person experiencing the problem; indeed they were off-hand and the customer felt patronised.
This conversation led me to reflect on my own professional practice, with particular reference to facilitating rapid improvement events. During our events we aim to understand the current state process and start implementing improvements; with as many people who are involved in doing the process being represented.
Perhaps, I am as guilty as the expert in the example above, for taking for granted how easy some of the key steps are to understand? Many of the people in the group will not be familiar with process mapping, root cause analysis, concepts of value, waste etc My service to them, is clearly explaining the how and why in an approachable, customer friendly way. Feedback to date has been good, but it is a risk for practitioners that as we become more immersed in a subject, we greater distance ourselves from the people we want to help.
The two pillars that we adhere to are ‘continuous improvement’ and ‘respect for people’, another timely reminder that both of these pillars are relevant to all facets of our work.