Efficiency Tips

The MAAP Office is pleased to tell you our MAAP Champions will be sharing efficiency tips each month to help you as you seek opportunities to further your own career at the City. Please see below for the Efficiency Tip of the month!

Efficiency Tip of the Month - October (Part 1)
By Jon Galchik

Part I: Several weeks ago the E-R-P team needed whiteboards. The E-R-P leadership sent out a few requests, and some people responded. One group offered to buy one or two boards, while other groups had boards in their area not being utilized. Now the E-R-P bullpen on the 14th floor has four rolling whiteboards that were re-purposed from other areas, at no additional cost to the City of Tulsa.

As we are all aware, the City of Tulsa has budgetary challenges; Times are tight, and we have to stretch our resources. The resources are not limited to tangible items like whiteboards, but also extend to intangible items such as intellectual capital.

Franci Rogers, the author of Redefining Business Success with Resourcefulness, an article in the Baylor Business Review, suggests that people associate business success or failure with the availability of resources. Rogers asserts that success is about resourcefulness and the innovation of effort, rather than the availability of resources.

Read Part II

Efficiency Tip of the Month - September
By Jennifer Betancourt

Poka Yoke is not the latest app game craze but is Japanese for "error proofing." It is one of the tools in the MAAP's Lean/Six Sigma. Kathy Sierra, a game developer, describes Poka Yoke in one sentence, "Make the right things easy and the wrong things hard to do."

The concept of this fun phrase is to create or change your process in such a way that you could not mess it up, no matter how hard you try. Just as food processors cannot run without the lid being on, or a USB cable can only be plugged in one way, you can error proof your processes to eliminate mistakes before they occur. In order to do this, make sure you design the process to be error proof. Some examples of this are through the usage of visual reminders, standard work practices, proper training, or a process map. When you catch flaws before they happen, it not only promotes good customer service, both internally and externally, it allows everyone to have a great experience.

Effiency Tip of the Month - August
By Nathan Dorfman

Have you ever wanted to improve a process in your department? Before you approach anyone with your idea, it's beneficial to identify the stakeholders who would be affected and could potentially influence whether your idea gets implemented.

If stakeholders are supportive, they can make your idea a reality, but if they don't buy in, implementation can be easily obstructed. One tool we use in Six Sigma to identify our stakeholders and analyze their stance on a potential change is a Stakeholder Communication Plan. This tool can help you recognize each stakeholder's perspective and estimate the level of each stakeholder's support.

A Stakeholder Communication Plan can be easily created as a table in Excel. Each row in the left column going down will list who the stakeholder is and the columns to the right of the stakeholder identifies the stakeholder's role, the stakeholder's current level of support, and what their argument might be against your proposed idea.

In order to implement process improvements at any scope, a strong support network is essential. By identifying stakeholders, you can leverage this support network to the greatest extent possible. You can access a copy of the Stakeholder Communication Plan online.