Checking up on My Checkup

Our 1st Feature Article this month is submitted by PMINEO Member Nik Kottha, Founding Consultant of Leanwrx Consulting. Learnwrx is based in sunny (sunny for today anyway!) Cleveland, Ohio. Anyone who has stood in line waiting for services (and who hasn’t) understands that there is still ample opportunity to improve performance in our emergent customer centric society. This article is certainly worth reading.

Share your thoughts with Nik through our Chapter LinkedIn group, PMI Northeast Ohio Chapter. 

I process mapped my last checkup, and it was a waste of time!

August 1, 2017 | by Nik Kottha |

One of the foundations of Lean Thinking is the determination of value added activities and non-value-added activities.

Checking-on-my-Check-UpWe often describe “value added activities” as things that a customer is willing to pay for. In other words: if you’re a manufacturer, your customer isn’t going to pay for your mistake when you had to remake a part 3 times, when you transported it 17 miles on your assembly lines before it got shipped or when they had to wait 5 days longer than expected because you didn’t have enough material to make the part. They paid for a certain part to be made a certain way and to be delivered on a certain date. The other activities above are wasteful and Lean is all about eliminating as many wasteful activities as possible.

What if we looked at this from a service perspective. The same concepts still hold true. Say you’re a customer looking to open a bank account for your daughter who’s going off to college in a week. You’re “paying” to have a certain account opened and usable within a reasonable time (usually 24 or less hours) and have a working debit card in 3 business days. If you’re the bank and you delivered a debit card two weeks later because you keyed the account number incorrectly and the processing folks never got the order for the card, it’s no surprise when your customer is angry.

Imagine that’s their first impression of a new banking relationship with you. Now imagine if they didn’t have access to their own money in time so they couldn’t pay their bills on time. These are small leaks that lead to a sinking ship of lost revenue and faith.

Let me give you a more personal example: I had a little checkup the other day on a knee that’s been giving me a bit of trouble. Thanks for the concern, but everything is fine! While waiting in numerous waiting in numerous waiting rooms, I took the opportunity to document my journey through this hospital’s system. Take a look and let me know what you think?

Timeline of My Hospital Visit


The next time you’re out and about see if you can start identifying opportunities to cutout wasteful activities. And if you’re having a bit of trouble, give us a call and we can help!

Start asking yourself: What am I willing to pay for?

About Nik Kottha
Nik Kottha is the Founding Consultant of Leanwrx Consulting which is based in sunny Cleveland, Ohio. Nik founded Leanwrx with the premise that Process Improvement coaching and business growth shouldn't just be reserved for Fortune 100 Companies. Nik is passionate about solving problems and making organizations work better than they thought possible. His 10+ year background in Process Improvement and Quality Systems has helped a diverse portfolio of companies across the US achieve improved operations, eliminate wasteful activities, and increase profitability.

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