Interesting experience I had this week. I was asked if I can help a HR department to start a Lean transformation.

Damn right I can!

What happened?

The first thing I did was have a 1-day workshop with the senior employees of the HR department. I followed this structure:

  • Identify all of the stakeholder the HR department has and define Personas
  • I helped them empathize with their stakeholders by creating Empathy Maps for the top 3 Personas
  • Next, for these top 3 Personas they defined a list of objectives that the personas have and the HR department can support them. I used 1-2-4-All technique for identifying the most important Objective for each persona.
  • Last step of the day was define one Value Stream for each of the 3 most important persona. Easier understood, we defined the steps that a request from these personas go through so they can reach their Objective.

One example of Value Stream is “Recruiting for new employees“. The trigger is clear, there is a need for a “Java Developer”. The end of the Value Stream is “java developer available“. After identifying all of the steps that this request goes through, using trigger – value delivered logic it was really easy to see where waste was generated and where you should work to improve the flow of value. I also created this Value Stream Map using Actors, meaning having different swim lanes for each of the parties involved in satisfying this request (e.g. Managers, Controlling or General Manager). Using actors on swim lanes has a big impact in visualizing bottlenecks and making easier to target future actions of improvements. 

What’s next?

What I will do next for making this HR department Lean is define some clear actions that they can take in improving the bottlenecks identified in the Value Streams. For sure one of the actions will imply visualizing the work that this department has, on a Kanban board, with actionable and leading metrics and flow management tools (like WIP limit). And, when we are done with all of these, improve again the new system 🙂

What do you think?