Analysing the Numbers


6.2a Process Efficiency and Effectiveness

Case Study


Note: This Case Study refers to specific OE21 surveys and tools (spreadsheets or docs). Please try the link(s) below to learn more about these surveys and tools:

  • OFT 6.2a SM Team Charter (survey) - included in OFT 6.2a Process Improvement Workbook 


  • OFT 6.2a SM datalog (survey) - included in OFT 6.2a Process Improvement Workbook 


  • OFT 6.2a SM story (survey) - included in OFT 6.2a Process Improvement Workbook 

6.2a Process Efficiency and Effectiveness


Assumption: The (Elafino Sports Center) organization has implemented OE21 6.2a Process Efficiency and Effectiveness, which produced the following dialog, results, and outcomes:

The Elafino focus teams attended an all-members meeting to decide on what would be their most significant need for process analysis and improvement. After a good discussion, Ann Happy (VP Marketing and Sales) made a good point."


Ann said, "If we don't find a better way to capture more members and stop losing many of our current members, there won't be any need to worry about everything else, because we will go out of business!"


Everyone nodded their agreement and decided to implement the OE Guideline Guideline 6.2a Process Improvement tools to improve their marketing and sales process. The Operations Focus Team (OFT) took the lead, with support provided by the Customer Focus Team (CFT).


TAB 1 CHARTER (Tab 1 of the OE21 Process Improvement Excel workbook)


The OFT and CFT opened the OE21 Process Improvement Excel workbook to the Team Charter tab, and input their business case information. The business case is a summary of why this process improvement or problem solution is accomplished, and how it aligns with the strategic goals.


Figure 6.2a-1 is the Business Case they created and Figure 6.2a-2 is the Problem Statement.


Figure 6.2a-1 Business Case


Figure 6.2a-2 Problem Statement

The OFT and CFT agreed that the reason for this improvement project was critical, and noted that this project is in alignment with the Elafino Strategy Outcome Goal of Customer Excellence.

Next, the focus teams created and inputted the Problem Statement (Figure 6.2a-2), which is a statement about the process, or the problem, including the existing state and the desired state after the improvement or solution. 


As they thought about the problem statement, the CFT touted the opportunity for growing current memberships from about 500 to as many as 50,000. The OFT chimed in with their concern about the capacity and capability of the Elafino Sports Center to handle 50,000 members. Both teams agreed that they needed to learn the upper limits. The CFT noted that the goal was to maximize the memberships without loss of customer satisfaction or quality of services. The OFT agreed.


Next, the focus teams created and inputted the Problem Scope, which is a summary of what teams should be involved in, and what they should focus on or avoid. Figure 6.2a-3 is the Problem Scope they created and Figure 6.2a-4 is the corresponding Goals and Objectives that the Elafino OFT created.


Figure 6.2a-3 Project Scope 


Figure 6.2a-4 Goals and Objectives

As the focus teams thought about the project scope, they committed to working closely together in a collaborative way. The OFT introduced the CFT to Process Charts, used in OE Guidelines 6.1a Product, Service, and Process Design and 6.1b Process and Project Management Improvement. The OFT also reviewed the purpose of the OE21 Innovator tool, used in OE 6.1d Innovation Management. After these discussions, the focus teams knew where they were going and how they were going to get there.


Next, the focus teams created and inputted the Goals and Objectives, which is a summary of the goals and objectives of this effort, including measures of improvement. Figure 6.2a-4 is the Goals and Objectives statements they created.


In developing the goals and objectives statement, the OFT performed analysis of the Elafino Sports Center capacity and capability. The analysis considered the following:


  • One Rink has two bleachers, each with 1500 seats

  • One Rink can seat 3000 (visitors and members)

  • Two rinks are needed (hockey and skating)

  • Two Rinks can seat 6000 visitors and members

  • Members who pay monthly fees numbers: 503

  • Observation 1 - The more members, the more visitors to watch them at hockey or staking events

  • Observation 2 - For every member, there are an average of 5 visitors

  • If 500 members then (500 x 5) = 2500 visitors

  • If 2500 members then (2500 x 5) = 12,500 visitors and since two rinks can seat 6000, the visitor seating capacity will be a significant limit


The CFT wanted to push for 2500 members even though the estimated 12,500 visitors would overload the Sports Center. The OFT pushed back, then realized that the big events could be scheduled two times per day, to relieve the possible overload. Concluding that maximizing memberships and visitors is of top priority, the CFT and OFT agreed to pursue growing current member count of about 500 to as high as 2500.


Next, the focus inputs the Team Responsibilities which is a statement of who is the leader of the team and who will provide support.


Figure 6.2a-5 is the Focus Team Responsibilities they created. While deciding on focus team responsibilities, the CFT became the lead team because the project is focused on customers. The OFT supports the CFT in creating the process charts, and other statistical tools (e.g., Pareto).


After deciding team responsibilities, the teams input actual Team Names into the next block of the Team Charter. This assignment of people caused the focus teams to take into consideration on-going work at the Elafino Sports Center. Are the people assigned free to do the work? After juggling this consideration, and obtaining LFT approval for the project and the participants they arrived at the final list of Team Names.


Next, the focus teams worked up the Project Milestone Titles and Project Milestone Dates - the next two blocks of the Team Charter.


Figure 6.2a-6 Project Milestones and Target Completion dates were input into the Team Charter tab. Note that project milestones and dates are in the logical sequence of performance.


Figure 6.2a-5 Responsibilities      


Figure 6.2a-6 Project Milestones and Completion Dates

Tab 2 Process Chart (current) - The CFT and OFT collaborated online to create the Process Chart for the current process. Figure 6.2a-7 was the result of this effort. The OE21 Guidelines 6.1a and 6.1b were used to create the process chart. ​​


Figure 6.2a-7 Process Chart (current)

Process Chart Observations: Figure 6.2a-9 shows that the existing Elafino Hockey production and delivery process (combined with the marketing and sales steps) has an average Cycle Time of 14.5 days (348 hours) from the point when a prospect receives a direct mail flyer (ad) until the prospect becomes a member.


The Process Chart presents the following information and data:


  • Process Steps (17) in the sequence performed

  • Performing Organization (who does each step)

  • Process Time Pt - (time to do each step)

  • Wait Time Wt - time after step done until next step begins

  • Non-Value-Added Time (NVA) - customer time wasted due to the process

  • Total Cycle Time (Ct) = Pt + Wt + NVA = 14.5 Days (348 hours)

TAB 3 - Analysis (Tab 3 of the OE21 Process Improvement Excel workbook)


The focus teams began a series of online collaboration meetings aimed at making a good list of all the defects (barriers) that they believed were impacting the goal of increasing memberships from 500 to 2500. To speed this process the Operations Focus Team (OFT) created a target question:


 "What are the causes of member drop-outs?"


Using the OE21 Innovator, the OFT captured the list of causes (defect types) shown in Figure 6.2a-8 Defect Types and Counts.


Figure 6.2a-8 Defect Types and Counts      

TAB 3 - Analysis (Tab 3 of the OE21 Process Improvement Excel workbook)


The OFT assigned one person to record weekly defects (by type) and counts per defect. They recorded the defect types and counts each week for one month. At the end of the month, they averaged the counts by type, count and day of the week (Mon-Sun) and loaded these weekly average counts into the SMdatalog survey. After data input, they exported the results of the SMdatalog survey and input these into the SMdatalog tab which links to Tab 3-Analysis. The 3-Analysis model then automatically created the Pareto Chart, Cluster Bar Chart, and a Sigma Level calculation. 

Tab 3 Analysis (Pareto Chart) - The OFT created Figure 6.2a-8 Pareto Chart showing the defect types, categories, and counts discovered. 

Figure 6.2a-9 shows that 83% (cumulative) of the defects were due to unavailability of programs, instructors, equipment and price of services.


The Pareto Chart follows the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects (or defects) come from 20% of the causes.



Figure 6.2a-9 Pareto Chart

The causes and counts for each cause shown in Figures 6.2a-7 and -8 led the OFT to conclude that unavailability of programs at desired dates and times (count of 30) and unavailability of instructors at desired dates and times (count of 25) were the most serious causes of losing members.


The Customer Focus Team (CFT) focused on marketing and sales defects. The current process was summarized as:


  • Mail 10,000 flyers to regional prospects

  • Interested prospects visit facility (if directions ok)

  • Prospects who visit the facility may decide to join (or not)


 Over a period of one month, the CFT polled all members and about 10% of visitors to try to understand how they become members. To their surprise, the CFT learned that the current marketing and sales process had serious defects, including:


  • Only ~40% of prospects received letters (6000 of 10,000 letters mailed)

  • About 10% (600) read the Elafino flyers

  • About 5% of the 600 (30) decided to visit the facility

  • About 10% of the 30 visiting (3) had poor directions


Together the OFT and CFT came to two conclusions:


  • The marketing/sales process was yielding a very low number of new members; and


  • The current members are dropping because of the unavailability of programs and instructors at the times that members want to experience these services.



At this point, there is no doubt that the Elafino organization must create a far more efficient and effective process for Hockey Programs (Youth, Adult, Senior). If this right, the customer will be happier will be memberships lost and the Elafino profit and loss financials for Hockey will be a lot better.


Tab 4 - Innovation - The next step in this OE21 Guideline is to use the OE21 Innovator tools (survey and spreadsheet model) to capture the best ideas in response to the target question:


"How should we significantly increase the number of members of our Sports Center?"


The target question is input into the OE21 Innovator survey model, the survey to sixty (60), employees and contractors. Responders read the target question and input up to ten (10) ideas; The total number of suggestions was 420, an average of 7 suggestions per responder.


Figure 6.2a-10 OE21 Innovator Example is a snapshot of some of the 420 ideas captured, along with category and counts.



Figure 6.2a-10 OE21 Innovator Example Ideas & Counts

From the results of the OE21 Innovator suggested ideas, categories and counts, the OFT and CFT rolled up their sleeves and began to re-engineer the current process (Figure 6.2a-9 Process Chart) into a significantly improved, more efficient and effective marketing and program delivery process.

Tab 5 Process Chart (new improved) - The CFT and OFT collaborate online to create Figure 6.2a-11 the new and improved process.


Figure 6.2a-11 Process Chart (New Improved)

The Elafino Customer and Operations Focus Teams are proud of what they have created, especially after they compare the current process chart (Figure 6.2a-9) to the newly improved process chart (Figure 6.2a-11). The comparison shows the following significant improvements and practices:


  • Cycle Time has improved from 14 days to less than one day (348 hours down to only about 6 hours)

  • Replacing direct mail flyers with Google Ads and Social Media has made many more prospects aware of the Elafino Services

  • The new Elafino website allows prospects and members to register online for the services they want and the times they choose

  • The OFT has linked online service requests to hockey instructor and service team availability and now adds more workers with services requests. 

  • After members finish their services and depart from the Elafino Sports Center, they are rewarded if they complete a short customer satisfaction survey that offers both manual and computer survey options. The survey includes 1-5 rating and suggestions for improvement

  • Each week the CFT and OFT review the customer satisfaction surveys (see OE21 3.2 Voice of Customer).


The Elafino Leadership Focus Team (LFT) invites the CFT and OFT to share their success story which is the last step of OE21 Guideline 6.2a Process Efficiency and Effectiveness.



Tab 6 Success Story - The Elafino Leadership Focus Team (LFT) invites the CFT and OFT to share their success story which is the last step of OE21 Guideline 6.2a Process Efficiency and Effectiveness. The OFT and CFT co-created the Success Story shown below.

Success Story (headline)


The Elafino Operations and Customer Focus Teams implemented OE21 Guideline 6.2a Process Efficiency and Effectiveness with outstanding results. Here is their story.


The goal was to significantly increase memberships, reduce the of members, and reduce the cycle time of the Hockey Services from start to finish - and this goal was achieved!


The effort including input of the Business Case related to the goal above. The Team Charter effort included:


Problem Statement: Marketing is expensive and barely penetrates the region we serve. The 500 members we have compared to the opportunity of 50,000 members in our region.


Project Scope: The teams decided to use the ACI Process Improvement tool to create the Defects Counts, Pareto Chart, Current Process Chart, ACI Innovation to capture improvement ideas and to create the new (improved) Process Chart.


Project Goals and Objectives: The teams narrowed their opportunity of 50,000 members to a target of 2500 members because they determined that 2500 would fit the capacity of the Elafino Center including seating and other services. Then the teams determined who would do what and input the names of the people to be involved in the project.


Project Milestones: The teams established milestones and target completion dates. At that point, they had enough understanding to make a rough estimate of the project effort and obtained approval to proceed from the Leadership Focus Team (LFT).


Defects and Pareto Chart - The teams collected causes of member dropouts (lost customers) and found that about 80% of the defect causes were related to unavailability of programs and instructors at the times that members (customers) requested these hockey services. This effort gave the teams a much better idea of exactly what needs to be improved.


Process Chart (Current) - The teams spent considerable time creating a step-by-step Process Chart using the ACI-Process Chart tool. The Process Chart showed that the existing process was sluggish and each new member experienced about 14 days from discovery of the Elafino hockey service offering to experience the service. This process was deemed too long and too costly (cycle time of the process relates directly to process cost or cost of goods sold).


ACI Innovator - Next the teams used the ACI Innovator process including web surveys to collect ideas for improvement from as many Elafino employees and contractors as were available. The results were a collection of 420 ideas from 60 people which averaged about seven suggestions per person. The fast ACI Innovator survey process took less than one hour from the launch of a survey to a good look at the results (ideas and category counts). These ideas were valuable to the teams as they approached the last task of this Success Story - the newly improved process chart.


Process Chart (New and Improved) - The teams spent about 8 hours creating the new and improved process chart. The highlights of this effort are as follows:


  • The Cycle Time improved from 14 days to less than one day (348 hours down to only about 6 hours)


  • Replacing direct mail flyers with Google Ads and Social Media has made many more prospects aware of the Elafino Services


  • The new Elafino website allows prospects and members to register online for the services they want and the times they choose


SUCCESS STORY SHARING - The Elafino organization published this Success Story on the INTRANET so that all employees and contractors with access could appreciate the process followed and the results achieved.

As the Elafino Focus Teams learned from their process efficiency and effectiveness initiatives, they began to focus on answers to five of the most important Baldrige Framework questions: 


(1) What are your results for your products and your customer service processes?


(2) What are your process effectiveness and efficiency results?


(3) How does your day-to-day operation of work processes ensure that they meet key process requirements?


(4) How do you improve your work processes to improve products and performance, enhance your core competencies, and reduce variability?


(5) How do you pursue your opportunities for innovation?


The OFT began to create daily and monthly measures of process efficiency and effectiveness using the OE21 Metrics Tables, including the one shown in Figure 6.2a-12. These metrics became trend charts like the one shown in Figure 6.2a-13.

Figure 6.2a-12 Metrics Table for Process Efficiency (example)

Figure 6.2a-13 Trend Chart for Process Efficiency (example)

The Elafino LFT (IT Manager) published the 6.2a Process Efficiency and Effectiveness output results on the Elafino INTRANET, and notified all focus teams and managers of these updates.