How to Continuously Measure and Improve Your Winshuttle Workflow Processes
By Israel Rosales on October 19, 2015
There is a golden rule in process improvements:
“You can only improve a process if you can measure it”
Without measuring before and after implementing a change in the process, we cannot quantify the impact of the change. This is one of the pillars of the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle:
But how can you measure a process once you have implemented Winshuttle? The answer is easy: with Winshuttle’s Workflow Dashboard. Winshuttle’s Workflow Dashboard is currently a Beta product available for all Winshuttle customers:
This product provides a general dashboard for all Winshuttle workflow processes, giving users a quick view of the global performance of our workflow processes. Users can drill down into specific processes for further details.
Drilling down and accessing specific information from the process like:
- Workload of all users involved
- Expected versus actual duration per each step of the workflow process
With this information, users can identify bottlenecks and overloaded workers. A new PDCA cycle can be executed to improve the process, (for clues about how to prioritize the improvements, check out this Lean Data Management Practices white paper). Businesses who utilize this powerful measuring tool with Winshuttle’s tools for rapid solution development will have the perfect toolset to implement continuous improvements to refine solutions as required.
The power of baseline metrics
Baseline metrics are a critical part of continuous improvement, not only because they will be compared with the metrics after the change is implemented, but more importantly because they will help identify points of improvement by detecting bottlenecks and inefficiencies that impact the global lead time of the processes.
Winshuttle’s Workflow Dashboard can be used to measure baseline metrics of existing Winshuttle workflow processes before implementing a cycle of improvements. But what about SAP processes that have not been implemented in Winshuttle yet? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we had a rapid way to receive baseline metrics? As the first version of Winshuttle workflow has already fixed the main bottlenecks and inefficiencies, this first measurement could be used to change the process before implementing Winshuttle.
How can this be achieved if the process has not been implemented in Winshuttle? Using Winshuttle Workflow Dashboard!
Winshuttle Workflow Dashboard captures baseline metrics of Non -Winshuttle processes
The solution is a very quick and rapid Winshuttle dummy solution:
- A Winshuttle workflow that only covers current steps of the SAP process, without any real integration with SAP.
- Only one or two dummy fields so users can add the form of the object they are creating or modifying in SAP.
- Execute the process in SAP based on Winshuttle notifications.
With this information, we will have the activity logs that Winshuttle Workflow Dashboard needs to generate the process performance report.
Here is one example:
- A Purchase Order creation process with the next steps:
- Originator that creates the PO in SAP
- Manager that approves (first level) in SAP
- Purchasing that approves (second level ) in SAP
- The workflow solution would look like this:
- And a very simple view of the form would look like this:
The time and effort needed to create this dummy workflow is less than 15 minutes! 15 minutes will allow us to:
- Capture baseline metrics after running the process in SAP, reflecting the actions in Winshuttle for a period of 4-6 weeks.
- Analyze the data usage to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
- Generate an initial version of the Winshuttle workflow for this process that will give us more value and better ROI (Return of Investment) for almost the same effort as developing without capturing the baseline metrics.
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About the author
Israel has a degree in Computer Engineering from ETSII in Seville and an Executive Master Degree in SCM (Supply Chain Management) from ICIL Madrid, where he is also a part time lecturer for Lean Manufacturing. After 10 years in the SAP SCM arena, he joined Winshuttle in 2012 and is currently Enterprise Solutions Manager, specialized in Lean, SCM and Master Data. When he's not solving ERP problems, he shares his life with his wife, daughter and two dogs.
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