RHS improves workflow through process studies

Published On: March 1, 2016

In an ongoing effort to improve workflow processes to deliver the most efficient and highest quality product for its guests, the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services continues to weave Integrated Program Organization (IPO) studies into its annual operations. The implementation of IPO studies was initially introduced to the division in the 2014-15 VPAE executive plan.

IPO studies involve reviewing work processes for efficiency and asking the question, “Are we doing things right the first time?” Each department now suggests business processes or production processes to RHS leadership to be reviewed using IPO methodology. Currently, there are 26 processes across the division that are in various stages of the IPO program.

The four stages of the IPO study process are summarized below:

Stage 1: Future State — What future state is the department trying to achieve? In this stage, it is vital to neglect resource limitations such as time, money and people when pondering a utopian work process.

Stage 2: Current Condition — In this stage, current process performance is measured to determine a starting point, which will later be used to measure progress and improvement.

Stage 3: Target Condition — This stage is where goals are defined for taking a next step in improving workflow. The steps, however, do not go directly from current performance to the future state.

Stage 4: Gap Closure — In this step, the plan, do, check, act cycle (PDCA cycle) is applied. Here, changes to current work processes are planned, applied, measured for effectiveness, and then responded to.

Tariq Abdelhamid, RHS Chief Lean Performance Officer who oversees IPO studies for the division, thanked departments for their willingness to participate in the program.

“In terms of reception, it has been very positive about the design and approach to handle and break down the process improvement itself,” he said. “There is a willingness to go through the stages without concern that there will be a compromise in delivering guests what they need.”