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Case Study: The Impact of Human Factors on Lead Time

Summary: EDR, a provider of property management software solutions, applied the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) DMAIC process to uncover and address the root causes of a customer lead time problem. Poor data tracking and ambiguous criteria prevented a quick turnaround from client service request to fulfillment. Several root causes were suspected, though statistical validation was lacking. Delays between high level process steps generated the greatest variability. The company needed a more specific operational definition of the metric to be analyzed and the process of data collection and analysis. The company evaluated personnel roles and responsibilities, revised workflows to address competing priorities, and addressed resistance to change. Using LSS DMAIC to reveal and address personnel issues as the root causes of the process delay, the company saw a 93 percent improvement in lead time and avoided unnecessary technological solutions. Supplemental tools and data available online.

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  • Topics: Process Management, Six Sigma, Lean
  • Keywords: DMAIC: Six Sigma, Root cause analysis (RCA), Workflow, Cycle time, Software, Customer service, Case study, Service industry
  • Author: Trimarki, Keith
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation