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Case Study: Streamlining Processes


A company’s time between acceptance of a job offer by a new employee to giving them the necessary resources after they start and becoming productive was months. The team put the process through a Kaizen event and brought it down to a month. After another Kaizen it was brought down to three weeks. (Each Kaizen took several days to go through.)

Yet the process was still slow and cumbersome. Hiring managers and the process participants never knew where a new person was in the process until it came to them (no accountability). Seven steps needed to be completed. Each step was completed by a different person in a different department and involved entry into separate systems. When step one was completed an email might be sent to the next person. Or printed copies of the paperwork would be physically taken to their desk in a different building. Other times, if they passed each other in the hall they would ask about the new employee and be updated this way. Because of this, managers and step owners never knew where a new employee was in the process. A meeting was held every other week to go over each new employee and where they were in the process in an effort to speed things up. One person spent 20 hours a week overseeing the process.

The employees had all but lost hope that this process could be any better.  Because of their frustrations and apathy the process seemed to drag on and add extra time to the process.

Budget reductions forced a request from management: the process was to be self-managed (the team lead was to be cut) and at any time anyone should be able to see where a new applicant was in the process (transparency & accountability).


Collaborating with the team lead, we drafted a new process in 45 minutes which met all criteria. Using their internal collaborative technology, the we created a community which managed the process.

The team members went through an hour training and the process was put into place. Each time a new employee came into the process, a wiki page was created and titled with the new employee’s name. Each page contained a template of the steps in table form. As step one was accomplished, the first person noted the date and any issues on the form and created a task for the second person. The second person would be notified via email with a link to to the form. When they accomplished the next task, they noted the date and any issues on the form and then assigned the task to the next person.


-The process was self-managed, relieving a 20 hour/week task.

-All interested parties (the new employee’s manager, their administrative assistant, and all members of the process team) knew where each person was in the process.

-The every-other-week meeting was eliminated.

-The time until a new employee received all resources to be productive was reduced.

-Savings: $40,000/yr in employee costs, $10,000/yr in reduction of meetings; other savings: communication efficiency; getting the new employee functioning more quickly.