Standardization Project Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: What Are The Lab’s Demands on Client Time?

On average, one hour of each client subject-matter expert’s time each week – less for others

Process Mapping (each process)

  1. Initial one-hour discussion
    • Managers and SMEs (3-5 people)
    • End-to-end, summary-level workflow
    • Day-to-day operational issues
  2. One-hour mapping sessions
    • 1 or 2 SMEs at a time
    • Activity-level detail
  3. Brief follow-up sessions
    • 10 to 20 mins with SMEs
    • Refinement & clarity, as needed

Weekly Touch Points

  1. Flash reports
    • 1-2 pages
    • Standard format
    • Project status, findings
  2. “Pulse” calls
    • 15-30 minutes
    • Review, discuss flash report
  3. Small group of clients
    • Project sponsor
    • Project manager
    • 1-2 more (max.)

Major Project Updates

  1. Four major project meetings
    • Kickoff meeting (week 3)
    • Two executive updates (weeks 5 & 7)
    • Phase II Planning Session (week 8)
  2. Collaborative discussion
    • 60 minutes
    • In-person/remote
    • Group review
  3. Process map fair (week 6 of 8)
    • Org-wide validation
    • Provides common “fact base

FAQ 2: How Many Processes Are Selected and How?

Typical, Enterprise-Wide Scope

Tier One Processes

First Priority – 80% of Employee Work Activities

6 to 8 End-to-End Business Processes

Tier Two Processes

Second Priority – 20% of Employee Work Activities

3 to 4 End-to-End Business Processes

FAQ 3A: What Are the Typical Work Products, or Deliverables?

Business Process Maps

Large-scale diagrams of business processes identify improvements and document activities for complex end-to-end work flows.


Three types of interrelated improvements:

  1. NIGO reduction & standardization
  2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  3. BI dashboards

Activity Cube (Capacity
Model, Preliminary)

Compiles data from the org charts, business process maps and benchmarks to quantify waste (NIGO), variance and improvement benefits.

Robotic Process Automation
(RPA) Assessment

Documents scores of valuable RPA opportunities and organizes these into suites. One selected example to include a basic, attended bot.

Sample Business Intelligence
(BI) Dashboard

Provides a prototype dashboard to manage key performance indicators (productivity, quality, service, cost) at the individual employee level.

Benefits Case
& Implementation Plan

Outlines the improvement plan and details the costs and benefits. Includes a cash flow model, timetable and milestones.

FAQ 3B: What Are the Typical Findings?

Expect More than 150 Improvements1 – 75% Non-Technology (Class I)

Removing Virtuous WasteTM – Error Correction, Rework, Excess Variance

Phase II: Summary Implementation Plan

FAQ 3C: What Are the Typical Benefits?

Self-Funding, 6-Month Phase II Implementation1


Capacity Gains or More

Recoup | Redeploy | Reassign

6 Month

Project Work Plan

Start to Finish | Self-Funding | Guaranteed

3 to 5X

12-Month Payback

6 Months to Self-Fund | Phases I + II | Fees + Expenses


Customer Experience

Service | Quality | Speed

Other Benefits

  • Increased operating leverage and flexibility
  • Superior documentation for business-requirements planning for new IT systems
  • Documentation enables unprecedented operational integration of key risk indicators (KRIs)

FAQ 4: What Is Essential for Project Success?


  • Announced by senior executive sponsor
  • Sponsor support demonstrated throughout the effort
    –  Review findings regularly
    –  Take a clear, reasoned position
    –  Encourage progress; set milestones
    –  Reject requests for unreasonable detail
    –  Avoid “analysis paralysis”


  • Move briskly; avoid “false precision”
  • Emphasize “major value” as goal
  • Communicate findings widely
  • Validate continuously
  • Resolve issues rapidly
    –  Systems access
    –  Data availability
    –  Others


  • Clients own their work products
    –  No proprietary technology
    –  No license fees
  • The Lab transfers practical know-how:
    –  Dashboards
    –  Capacity models
    –  RPA documentation
  • Clients decide how to capture capacity benefits, ensure accountability
    –  Scalability
    –  Service performance
    –  Cost savings
    – Blend of all three

FAQ 5: How Do The Lab’s Performance Guarantees Work?

Early-Stage Checkpoints Reduce “Launch Risk”

Fixed-Price Proposals

The Lab’s proposals are based
on our labor costs. The scope is
collaboratively and frugally designed
with clients.

Opportunity Checkpoint

If The Lab quickly discovers that a
self-funding improvement opportunity
is unavailable (unprecedented), we will
notify the client and provide a full refund

Compatibility Checkpoint

During the first two weeks, clients
may cancel the Phase I engagement
for any reason and receive a full
refund of fees.

Self-Funding Guarantees Reduce “Performance Risk”

Phase I: Analysis & Design

The Lab will deliver a set of “quick win” Class I
Improvements with financial benefits that exceed the
Phase I fees and expenses. These can be implemented
by client staff without The Lab.

Phase II: Implementation

If an improvement program we implement fails to
deliver savings at least equal to our fees in the first
year, The Lab will continue working without charge until
it does or refund the difference.


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