Assessment preparation begins with forming a core planning team, conducting initial employee surveys or obtaining feedback from key stakeholders, and gathering operational and financial performance information. In addition, stakeholder and contact lists are created along with an assessment plan. Integral to the assessment planning will be identifying where to create value stream maps to analyze end-to-end processes or value flow maps of key processes. Data gathering helps focus an assessment on areas that have greater potential to create projects with high productivity opportunities. The assessment information will eventually be translated into projects that identify and eliminate the root causes of poor process performance. Financial and operational analysis is also used to internally benchmark processes to differentiate poorly performing processes from better performing processes to identify and adopt best practices. During the assessment or shortly after its conclusion, project charters are defined, financially justified, and approved by process owners. This creates a project portfolio in areas where the assessment was deployed.
After the assessment team arrives, the management and process owner meetings have been held, and the assessment’s objectives, activities, and deliverables are approved, interviews are started at the site. In these interviews, the critical-to flow downs that were constructed during the leadership and site management training or orientation sessions are updated with relevant information. Using this information as a starting point, the assessment team and the site teams begin to verify the original project ideas and to identify new opportunities through local site interviews. It is important to confirm the process issues that were originally on the assessment list. These activities help identify the process team that will need to help with data collection, process mapping, and other assessment activities. Once the team reaches a consensus for the types of projects needed to improve productivity and customer satisfaction, the report is finalized to provide local site leadership with the assessment findings, recommendations, and the final plan. These include the project charters and specific processes where productivity improvements can be made practically, given resource constraints. These findings and recommendations are summarized for a review with site management.