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The Iago Group is a business process improvement, training and organizational effectiveness consulting firm operating out of Portsmouth, NH. We specialize in using lean, six sigma, and instructional design methodologies.  Our work results in processes being improved by making process better, faster, cheaperů and sometimes more compliant. Past projects have been with Liberty Mutual, CVS and Aon consulting to improve IT supply chain, legal billing, and professional recruiting processes.
 
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“If people are your most important resource, then it is imperative your business processes be as clean and obstacle-free as possible to allow workers to maximize their effort on value-added tasks and optimize customer value.  The Iago Group can get you there through our comprehensive Business Process Improvement (BPI) program.”

Our BPI portfolio of services is composed of five key phases:

Bundled, these five phases provide a comprehensive end-to-end improvement program. Implemented independently, each item can add value to and meet the specific business needs of a client in a much more narrow manner.

To learn more about how our BPI program can infuse excellence into your organization contact us at info@iagogroup.com.

Current-State Snapshot

“A problem well defined is a problem half-solved.”

Before jumping into solutions, it is key to define your business problem, isolate the exact root causes to be solved, and identify the main inputs, processes and outputs.

Typical deliverables include:

  • Voice-of-the-customer survey
  • SIPOC map
  • Swimlane process map
  • Value stream map

The result is an actionable process map, depicted pictorially, that shows you exactly where your process breaks down, has redundant paths, is not closed looped, and/or has critical quality gaps.  Any future conversation about the process now will have a visual representation to refer back to.

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Baseline Measures

“An argument without data is just complaining.”

If a process is to be improved, then it is imperative to first take baseline measures of that process.  We will formulate a “go-forward” scorecard to track process improvements in order to convert the stated problem or problems into quantifiable numbers that will show how quality, speed and expense will be improved.

Typical deliverables include:

  • Pareto chart
  • Run chart
  • X bar chart with spec limits
  • Time-motion study
  • Radar chart

The result is a metrics set specific to your process.  Most organizations have no shortage of data, but you will now have numbers that characterize how a particularly problematic process is functioning less than optimally.

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Focus In on Gaps

“An ounce of analysis is worth a pound of objectives.” - Joe Harless

Once the process is mapped and measured, we perform an analysis to identify which factors of the process are the biggest inhibitors.  We analyze deficiencies such as process paths with no clear end point, too many hand-offs between internal groups, and steps that are duplicated or simply in the wrong sequence.

Typical deliverables include:

  • Boxplot or box and whisker chart
  • First pass yield analysis
  • Cause-and-effect (fishbone) diagrams
  • Gap analysis
  • Regression analysis
  • Affinity diagram
  • Force field analysis

With hard data around the process in question, we can analyze what works and what is deficient based on quantifiable facts, not opinion.  Processes are often so large and cover so many parts of an organization, that no one person can intuit the problems, regardless of experience or insight. By analyzing the data, improvements will be more predicable, measurable and sustainable.

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Implementation of Improvements

“Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before.” - S. Shingo

Having defined the problem and process, measured the gaps, and analyzed the root cause we are ready to identify the critical improvements required based on the biggest impact on the process.  In this phase, we identify which improvements we will implement and create an actionable plan to ensure the successful integration of the solution.

Typical deliverables include:

  • Critical-to-Quality (CTQ) tree
  • Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
  • Gantt chart
  • Priority pick list

By identifying the critical improvement path and creating a plan, we can track progress and manage the activities as a project.  This ensures the right people are selected within the organization to make these improvements to the process.  This results in the most efficient, successful and self-sustaining solution implementation for the organization.

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Track and Quantify Improvements

“What gets measured gets done.” - Peter F. Drucker

Here is where we close the loop.  Having identified the areas that will lead to process improvement, we are now able to track and measure the outputs of the process. This ensures our predicted improvements are realized in terms of time and money.

Typical deliverables are:

  • Control Charts
  • Scorecards

By initiating controlled tracking of process improvements, we remove the opinion around whether things are “better” and center future improvement conversations around quantifiable data.  The secret of the “closed loop” is that improvement scorecards and control charts become the baseline for further process improvements.

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