Documentation! As a Lean Leader and a facilitator of problem solving, documenting the steps of what the team did, helps with the story of the improvement. Additionally, documenting as you go aids in ensuring the appropriate sequencing of the Problem|Solve|Fix methodology. In other words, it will keep you on track and help you plan for what is next. Finally, documentation helps with celebrating the team’s efforts. A well-written publication can be easily shared with the team lead, sponsor, and others.
FC Lean currently has 3 main documents made for the purpose of capturing the story: the Process Improvement Form, the Process Builder Form, and the Just Do It Form.
The Process Improvement Form is the primary form FC Lean and Lean Leaders use to document improvements. It guides the facilitator and the eventual reader through the problem statement, baseline metrics, root cause analysis, brainstormed fixes, improvement metrics, action planning and how the team plans on sustaining the change.
The Process Builder Form assists in documenting processes that didn’t exist before or processes that need to be completely re-engineered. This form will walk the reader through the current process, the gaps and issues associated with the current process, the mitigation strategies the team brainstormed, and the future state with incorporated fixes.
The Just Do It Form is a form meant to capture small improvements performed by City employees. Students of FC Lean’s Lean Basics are taught the Problem|Solve|Fix method and the form, at a high-level, captures that improvement. The Just Do It Form is short and made to keep the documentation simple. The form walks the reader through what the problem was, why the problem was occurring, and what they did to fix it. Furthermore, the Just Do Form is meant to be sharable with the employee’s supervisor and with FC Lean. FC Lean documents the improvement, shares the success in our quarterly newsletter and uploads it into the Service Area Dashboard.
Documenting the improvement as you go versus documenting afterwards is the preferred method. Documenting as you go, will remind the user of the steps used in the Problem|Solve|Fix methodology and the tools associated. Documenting as you go, will reduce the chance of falling into the pitfall of implementing a preconceived fix. Preconceived fixes are part of traditional problem solving, and in most cases, require many attempts to realize success.
You can find the documentation forms online at the FC Lean Toolkit.