This series entitled ‘Process Power Tools' will introduce you to some of the most useful tools to leverage throughout the stages of a process engineering project using the CapTech Process Engineering Methodology. This blog is the third in the series of five, which began an introduction to The CapTech Way for Process Engineering, and highlights typical tools to use in each stage. We will have two subsequent blogs each detailing an individual tool used in one of the other stages.

After your current state is modeled, you can move into defining the vision for the future state. This is a critical stage in the CapTech Process Engineering Methodology and where the most value in the process engineering life cycle can be determined. There is an endless amount of tools defined by Lean and Six Sigma Methodologies that can be leveraged to help make recommendations during vision definition. While many of these tools take into account the voice of the customer, customers may feel like they want to take a bigger part in defining the vision of their processes. This is where a simple but effective tool called multi-voting can be leveraged to help build customer buy-in and prioritize recommendations.

There are many ways multi-voting can be used. It can typically follow a brainstorming session, Nominal Group Technique (NGT - discussed in previous Process Power Tools blog), or simply be used as an anonymous and quick ranking mechanism similar to a survey.

Setup:

  • You will need a room where you can hang a print out of the lowest level of each current state process
  • Use Post-It notes and markers for participants to write with. Different color Post-It notes/ markers can represent different categories voted on like value, risk, or cost
  • Conscientiously place the participants in groups of 3 - 10 to get a variety of opinions or to help differentiate voting patterns between groups

Steps:

  1. Introduction and possible recommendation generation: The facilitator welcomes the participants and explains to them the purpose and procedure of the meeting. The current state process flows are placed on the walls with Post-Its stuck to them, which briefly describe each recommendation. The recommendations may refer to a flow in general or to specific steps in a flow. The facilitator may choose to involve participants in recommendation generation using the Nominal Group Technique, described in the previous Process Power Tools blog. The Nominal Group Technique can be used by handing out the Post-It notes and asking the group to silently generate recommendations as the facilitator verbally walks them through each current state process.
  2. Review the Recommendations: The facilitator quickly reviews each flow explaining the recommendations that are attached to it. The group can discuss the recommendations which may lead to even more recommendations or refined recommendations. These should be documented on another Post-It and placed by the appropriate process flow. The facilitator must maintain a focus on understanding recommendations and not judging them.
  3. Voting and categories: The facilitator will then assign a number of votes to be used on each flow or group of flows. They will then tell participants to pick up a specific colored pen, and inform them of the multiple categories they will vote on during this session. For instance, the facilitator may say that the first round of voting will be based on the ‘value of the recommendation'. After the participants have voted on the recommendations they feel have the highest value, the facilitator will name another category for the participants to vote on such as ‘cost of performing recommendation' or ‘impact to company culture.' Each round of voting should be done with a different colored pen so that the voting categories can be tracked.

For example, if 10 votes are assigned to each participant, and this round of voting is based on ‘impact to company culture', the participants all walk around the room and divide their ten votes among the recommendations they perceive having the highest impact to company culture by putting a mark on the Post-It. The facilitator should inform them that they can place all of their ten votes on one card or divide them among different recommendations. No names are written on the votes and each participant should be using the same color pen adding an aspect of anonymity when voting so everyone feels comfortable while making their choices.

The voting process can be repeated by giving the participants different colored pens and choosing a different category to vote on. After voting is complete you will have a huge amount of data about the criteria you voted on based on the way you divided the groupings of participants. This information will be used to develop the strategy of changes that should be done while modeling the future state. The ranking and significance of the recommendations, based on the votes they received, will be leveraged when designing the timeline and roadmap. You are able to design and implement the recommendations with greater buy-in and a stronger voice of the customer because they participated in the process through multi-voting.