The Process RBE is a short, intense workshop focused on a specific process step, or closely related set of operations, within a value stream. It applies whether the work is done to parts, on transactions, or to serve people.  (Note: A value stream consists of all of the activities necessary to produce a product or service from start to finish. The Process RBE focuses on part of that value stream.)

Once the main product and information flows within the value stream have been improved, we use the Process RBE to fine-tune the process. Typical Process RBE’s focus on line balancing, quick changeovers, visual controls, reducing travel for parts and people, etc. 

Activities for the Process RBE begin before the actual event. A couple of weeks in advance of the event, a process flowchart (i.e., process map) and operation time studies should be completed. The resulting standard work combination sheets will provide critical information for use during the actual event. 

A week or more in advance of the event a cross-functional team should be charted so that they can plan their schedules and begin to think about how to improve the process. The team should consist of the process experts – typically those doing the actual work, and key people supporting and affecting it. In addition, support people that are likely to be required are instructed to give the Process RBT team top priority during the event. And, managers are instructed to block out time on their calendars for the daily updates with the team. Everyone is informed that for a few short days, this event will take top priority.

The event itself begins with a review of the objectives and why each was selected. Then we discuss the procedures to be followed during the event, including the frequent management updates. Next we provide education specifically tailored to the needs of the group. For example, if the objective of the Process RBE is to reduce changeover time, then quick changeover (i.e., SMED) education is given; if the objective is to balance the flow, then takt time and continuous flow education is provide. Then using the seven fundamental wastes as a guide, the team establishes breakthrough target objectives to be achieved by the end of the 2-5 day event.

After a little more study and planning, actual changes begin. Unlike the Data RBT that may require significant analysis before changes can take place, the Process RBT is heavy on the action because extensive analysis is not necessary or it is done in advance. 

By the end of the event, typically 2-5 days, most changes should be complete and the objectives met. For example, for rapid changeovers, machines are modified, and tools and parts located at the point of use; for line balancing, workstations may be grouped into a cell, and needed equipment and parts or files put at the point of use. People are also trained in the new processes, on all shifts, before the end of the event. A few broader needs that are exposed during the event are assigned to appropriate people for post-event resolution. 

The Process RBT is highly interactive, intense, and motivating experience. Management and people on the team are continually amazed with the amount of work and progress that can be done in such a short period of time using a Process RBT approach.

 

 

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