Over the project, we worked with the Deputy Director of Human Resources and Project Manager to educate, apply, and roll out ‘Lean’ thinking across the recruitment department. Staff needed to be engaged, own the problem and solutions, and create a passion for effectiveness, efficiency and continuous improvement
We agreed that a team-based, Rapid Improvement Event using the principles and tools of Lean, was the best approach to drive change, engage staff and deliver benefits to process users
An initial workshop was designed and facilitated to build the senior team around a clear understanding of the delivery imperatives for the current academic year and to gain a collective restatement about what was required.
This enabled the ongoing development of the process of developing a clear vision for HR and an outline strategy for change. It also considered the current situation they faced and limitations and blockages to moving forward.
The team carried out a high-level evaluation on 17 key processes and identified the need to prioritise the Recruitment/Approval to Appoint Process as being of most benefit and having high stakeholder impact. This process was chosen as a pilot for the adoption of Lean improvement methods.
A Quad of Aims was developed to ensure team members understood the project by clarifying Purpose, Customer / Impact, Deliverables, and Success Criteria for the project. A decision was taken to use the Rapid Improvement Event approach to drive the changes required.
The initial scope was to:
- Focus the process and team on the added value for the customer
- Understand the end to end process and the impact on stakeholders
- Ensure that the process was ‘fit for purpose’, efficient, compliant, easy, and logical to follow and to execute.
- Reduce the lead time and eliminate wasteful activities
- Create a professional and attractive process for candidates, that will be reputation enhancing
- Showcase “Lean” tools and techniques for future use
- Support the generation of a more engaged and empowered culture
The Recruitment process team was trained in a one-day workshop that focused upon developing an understanding of the basic elements of Lean thinking. They were given the tools to understand value-adding activity (in the eyes of the customer) and what was wasteful.
The workshop also introduced the approach of rapid improvement activity or blitz as a way to fix, improve, and transform processes.
This workshop paved the way for the team to be engaged with a process improvement event. The ‘event’ process began with Stakeholder engagement and translating the voice of the customer into factors critical to quality.
This was followed by a five-day event that mapped the true current state and detailed process analysis, the identification of value-adding, and non-value-adding activity (waste).
The final stage of the event concentrated on developing an ideal future state and a possible interim solution that dealt with quick wins and the elimination of the easy to achieve steps.
This output of the work was presented to HR senior managers and representatives of the customers of the process. A plan for implementation and improvement was agreed.