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“As part of the management team, I realized that Finance, Accounting, and Administration needed to build an understanding of how Lean works for the administrative side and in support of our manufacturing Lean Journey. This class solidified the concepts and philosophy with specific examples that enabled me to internalize the knowledge. I plan on getting together with two plant controllers to do additional training and projects in the local area, and implement improvements like the ones I did in class of the value stream mapping of the month end close.”

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Rules for Redesign after Hammer

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 9.06.57 PMMichael Hammer created wonderful assumption busting guidelines for redesigning processes in his book Reengineering the Corporation, like

  • As few people as possible should be involved in the performance of a process. (Several jobs are combined into one.)
  • Workers make decisions.
  • Processes have multiple versions (for different market segments).

I find that after Discovery, Modeling and aAnalysis in a business process improvement process it is wonderful to have a fresh creative approach to transforming your business processes and for me that is thinking through the Rules for Redesign. These rules are principles for what you want your process to be like when it is redesigned. You won’t be able to incorporate them all. I have BPM process teams discuss them and agree on the top two or three for their process based on the improvement targets.

Here are 10 new ones I had a colleague share with me. Use them on your process to catalyze your thinking about what could be better in the future state.

10 Top Rules for Redesign:

  1. Task Elimination (Eliminate unnecessary tasks from a Business Process)
  2. Task Composition (Combine small tasks into composite tasks and divide large tasks into more manageable smaller tasks)
  3. Re-sequencing (Move tasks to more appropriate places)
  4. Parallelism (Consider whether tasks may be executed in parallel)
  5. Resource Consolidation (Minimize the number of departments, teams and resources involved in 
a business process)
  6. Technology Optimization –Try to elevate physical constraints in a business process by applying new technology)
  7. Specialization vs. Generalization (Consider making resources more specialists or more generalists)
  8. Process Integration (Consider the integration with a business process of a customer or a supplier)
  9. Empower (Give resources most of the decision-making authority and reduce middle management responsibilities i.e. approvals)
  10. Order Assignment (Allow resources to perform as many steps as possible for individual orders)
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11 comments to Rules for Redesign after Hammer

  • Mary Tienken

    As a project manager responsible for project scheduling, part of my job is to determine which construction tasks can be performed in tandem vs in-sequence. When I look at the rules for re-design, I note that the idea of performing performing process steps in tandem is captured in number 4, parallelism. Following a brief introduction to process mapping and few hours using Visio, it seems that process mapping tools do not encourage thinking about tasks that can be performed in parallel.

  • Michelle Ruiz

    How do I get the buyin for the redesign steps you have provided above? Especially for a Buyer who is use to doing things the way they are already accustom to?

  • Alejandra Gonzalez

    After reading this post, I noticed that one of the aspects of my process that I would like to improve, to the point of redesigning it, is very much focused on technology optimization. Nowadays technology is useful for efficiency within the process but the problem with new technology is that time must be dedicated to the employees regarding how the new technology helps in order to make the most of it. Finding this time is what I find most difficult.

    • shelley

      Finding the time to engage the employees is part of change management and is key. One way is to get representative employees doing to job to help select the technology, test it , and then teach others.

  • Adrian Chavez

    I found this post pretty useful, the 10 rules are something to really take into account for the redesigning and improvement of a process, in my case rule no. 7 Specialization is one of the most important aspects that I would like to apply in my improved process

  • Thoi

    Very useful tips, thank you for sharing. My department has been chronically understaffed the past several years due to attrition, and we’re always looking for ways to make the work more manageable. Our department has several groups, and I’ve been looking for ways to streamline since I joined 2 years ago. Everyone feels busy and pressured, so a favored rule from the above list is to eliminate unnecessary tasks (#1). Most recently, we’ve eliminated the setup of contract terms that are for reporting purposes only. We’ve historically had challenges with some of our internal partners, so we’re looking to integrate our processes (#8) with theirs more closely, in order to improve coordination and handoffs. A few years ago, the department made the decision towards specialization (#7) in order to reduce the learning curve and ramp-up time for employee training (believing a jack-of-all-trades would be master-of-none). We have also pushed certain approvals down one level of organizational hierarchy, in order to increase the resources available to approve setup (this could be considered #8, empowerment). This list gives a lot of food for thought and I’ll share this with my team, to think about ways we might employ the other rules in Michael Hammer’s list.

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