Logistical Preparation for the RIE
LOGISTICAL PREPARATION FOR THE RIE: HELPFUL TOOLS
Checklists Standard Work
In anticipation of the pending RIE, some logistical preparation is needed to help ensure its success. There are several topics that should be considered in the time leading up to the RIE. Below are some general planning guidelines.63
RIE Room, Furnishings, and Technology
The RIE team will need adequate flexible space to conduct the RIE. The room should allow the team to comfortably work together or in two to four subgroups at different times during the RIE. There should be ample wall space (or table top space) to display process maps that the team creates (e.g., sticky notes on rolls of newsprint or butcher paper) as well as other posted materials that support the team’s work. A projection system should be available to visually display any work products that are created on a laptop computer.
Pre-RIE Training and Meetings
As covered earlier in the chapter, if RIE training for some or all team members (based on their previous training and experiences) is expected prior to the RIE, confirm its completion before the RIE begins. The RIE team may also meet before the RIE to review (or establish) the team charter and/or ground rules, “walk” the process targeted for improvement, or participate in team building/development activities.
Reminders of the upcoming RIE should be sent to team members as well as their supervisors several weeks in advance to confirm attendance. A “save the date” communication might also be sent to colleagues with expertise (e.g., regulatory agencies, information technology services, human resources) who may be brought in as ad hoc consultants during the RIE. A communication confirming dates and times for participation of senior administrators (e.g., the project Sponsor’s attendance at the opening of the RIE and “drop by” meeting midway through the event; LHE Steering Committee attendance at the RIE Report Out session) should also be sent in advance of the RIE.
To promote LHE awareness, flyers or posters/whiteboards in the work areas affected by the RIE can be displayed, identifying the project, team members, expected benefits, etc.64
Much of what occurs during the RIE is displayed visually so that all team members have ready, common access to all information. Thus, a variety of office supplies are consumed during the typical RIE: sticky notes in various sizes and colors; multiple colors of permanent markers; Зб-in. paper roll; flipchart paper and easels; masking tape; colored sticker dots; etc. A digital camera and laptop computer (with connectivity to a projection system) may be helpful for gathering and documenting activities during the RIE. Printed materials specific to supporting the RIE (e.g., agenda, ground rules, training materials, RIE activities and exercises, forms completed during the RIE) should also be prepared in advance. In some cases, copies of materials related to the process targeted by the RIE (e.g., documents and forms used during the process, current operating and training materials, weekly or monthly reports) should also be collected and organized for team members. In the era of smartphones, most team members will come equipped with stopwatch and calculator apps to time steps in the process or calculate benefit metrics.
Finally, providing meals, beverages, and snacks during breaks can help the RIE team stay focused on activities. Breaking for individuals to leave for meals provides an opportunity for team members to clear their minds and return refreshed, but breaks often last longer than scheduled and can cut into RIE time on task. Bringing in a team lunch is less disruptive to the flow of the RIE and can be used as an opportunity for team building.
LOGISTICAL PREPARATION FOR THE RIE: FRESHMAN MOVE-IN
Allen dePont, the team facilitator, worked closely with the Office of LHE on logistical preparations for the upcoming RIE. The office provided Allen with their standard checklist of supplies and equipment, which Allen could modify as needed. The office also drafted a full set of communications and schedule invitations (based on existing templates) for Allen to review and edit. Allen confirmed with all team members that they had completed the university's online training module, Introduction to LHE. Finally, the project Sponsor, Katy Lockhart, confirmed her active engagement in the RIE (i.e., attendance during the RIE opening, "drop by" midway through the event, and during the Report Out).
Some Final Thoughts on Logistical Preparation for the RIE
Overall, the individual topics in these recommendations and considerations, what aspects should be included, and the timeline for completing them should be adapted to the particular needs of the RIE. For example, in the absence of dedicated RIE space, the advance time needed to reserve a room for a 5-day RIE will depend on the reservation timeline of the university’s space assignment/event planning office. The decision to conduct an “immersive” RIE (i.e., Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm) held in a single dedicated space allows for leaving materials in place at the end of each day’s work; in contrast, the decision to run an “intermittent” RIE (i.e., every Tuesday afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00 for ten consecutive weeks) will require frequent setups, tear downs, and storage of RIE materials and completed activities, potentially taxing the facilitator and the momentum of the RIE. Once local practices are adopted that work best for the university, the use of checklists and standard work (e.g., how materials should be assembled for the RIE, testing the connectivity of the laptop computer and projector in advance of the RIE) will help error-proof preparation steps and support a successful launch of the RIE.