Unleashing the Unknown: How to Identify the Need for Process Improvements

By Yoon Chung on September 9, 2015

Back in 2007, the iPhone was introduced and revolutionized the world. For 3 years, I had been satisfied with my flip phone. I could talk, text, and take pictures. What more did I need?

 

My tone changed once I saw my colleague use his iPhone. We were on our way to a meeting and got lost. While he was on the phone, he looked up the address and then used an app to navigate. The best I could do with my phone was call someone and ask for directions. winshuttle-future-r

 

At my previous company, one challenge during our Winshuttle deployment occurred in gathering requests and use-cases. After the initial flood of requests, there were still some groups that said there was no need for improvement.

 

We had to take a different approach to confirm that there was no room for process improvement. Instead of asking for requests, we took the approach of understanding their current processes, which ignored data volume/frequency. By taking an outsider-in approach, we were able to uncover some potential use-cases.

 

There was a process in place to create packing instructions that involved 2 transactions, POP1 and POF1. From a frequency/volume POV, it wasn’t that high (~ 1-10 records, daily). The users were also comfortable with the process, so it didn’t seem like there was a need to change.

 

Our solution delivered a linked script that combined POP1/POF1. Within one spreadsheet, data can now be entered for both transactions. With the addition of some default data, the users only need to fill out 2 fields. Needless to say, the script improved the process and it opened their mind to other possibilities.

 

We are creatures of habit and it can be difficult to reshape our view on what is possible. In some cases, you need to experience the future before you can get there yourself.


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