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Benefits & Case Studies, Coaching, Process Improvement

Case Study: Developing BPI Skills in a Research Establishment

“Transferring process improvement skills to an internal consultancy team and giving improvement team leaders the enthusiasm and capability to achieve real improvement”

The project: Ian Seath was asked to develop a two-day “Mapping and Measurements” workshop which could be offered as part of an overall package of process improvement support for a US Research organisation’s Directorates and to develop the skills of their newly appointed Process Improvement (PI) Analysts. 


The package included:

  • support to managers to define a project prior to attending the workshop
  • an emphasis, during the workshop, on working on real, live process issues
  • customisation of training materials and resources to demonstrate local relevance
  • follow-up support from the PI Analysts to aid the adoption of the learning from the workshop

The first workshop was run and saw participants working on a range of projects from several Directorates, covering both “business” and “science” topics.  The feedback was universally positive, with people really pleased to have been enabled to make progress on their current, live issues.  Participants were particularly interested in the straightforward approaches introduced for defining process projects and for identifying key process performance measurements.   We introduced the DMAIC approach for PI Projects: 

DMAIC Process

DMAIC Process






Several participants were also able to take advantage of follow-up coaching from Ian, to help plan out the next steps on their projects which have delivered tangible business benefits, including cycle-time reductions, customer satisfaction improvements and cost savings.

A repeat of the Mapping and Measurements workshop was run, but this time using case study materials as the basis of learning, rather than the participants’ own projects.  This enabled them to experience a complete improvement project during the two-day workshop. 

Some of the PI Analysts participated in a two-day “Boot Camp” where they built on their existing process knowledge and developed their facilitation and consulting skills for working with their internal customers.  This included the preparation and delivery of coaching sessions and practical work to answer some of the “difficult questions” that they might face.  The workshop boosted both confidence and capability to plan and support organisation-wide process improvement projects.

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