Lean Six Sigma for Event Planners Part II

(Recorded November 16, 2016)

Meeting Evolution’s Rob Wilson returns for Part II of his highly acclaimed Lean Six Sigma for Event Planners series.

Lean Six Sigma is a combination of identifying waste and reducing variation in a process to deliver a product or service to a customer consistently. There are many tools that are used by Lean Six Sigma practitioners to deliver that consistent product or service to the customer.

The most common tools used by Lean Six Sigma practitioners are things we may already do but may not recognize where they came from or understand their full capability.

This course will review how to use:

  • 5 Why’s
  • 5S+1
  • Project Charter
  • Failure Mode Effects and Analysis (FMEA) & Sigma XL

Learner Outcomes

  • Better understanding of Lean Six Sigma
  • Introduction on how to use 5 Whys
  • How to 5S + 1 your workspace
  • Introduction to FMEA
  • Cause and Effect Diagram (Fishbone)

Read the transcript 

Jordan Schwartz

Yeah, so this is being recorded. Folks will be able to go back and watch it on demand later. We’ll be sending out a link for that. I’ll also send out information after the end of the event if you want to use this for your continuing education credit, for your CMT exam or your CMT renewal through the Convention Industry Council, you can do that and I’ll send instructions on that if you … Just give me a few days to get that information out because we want to get this recording processed and do some other things before that happens. Please be patient heading into the holidays or the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the States.
I know people will be heading off for that, but we’ll definitely have that information to you before that. Otherwise, if you have questions as we go through any of this, please feel free to type them into the question window. I will be monitoring that and I’ll try and bubble up questions to Rob as we go if they make sense. Otherwise, I may answer them privately in the question window or we’ll try to follow up with him afterwards. With that said, without any further ado, Mr. Wilson, take us away.

Rob Wilson

All right, thank you. Let’s get the ball rolling. Thank you, Jordan. I appreciate it. Good afternoon or good morning, everyone. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you more about Lean Six Sigma. I have been actually talking on this topic the past few years and most recently finished a Chapter session at MPI Pittsburgh and then also at MPI-WC. WEC also did a little bit of this content, GBTA last year and also with Connect meetings. I’m also going to be down at [Branston 00:01:54] and Connect meetings in a couple week., so if any of you are going to be there, hopefully, say hello.
A quick overview of the agenda. Jordan mentioned that previous webinar we did earlier this year, that was really the introductory and what is Lean Six Sigma. If you’re not familiar enough with it, I would encourage you to go back and listen to that. This is a round two as Jordan said and there’s going to be some stuff that you may never have heard about before or a little bit like, “Really, how does this apply to me [with this 00:02:27] event?” That’s a fabulous and I am going to try the best that I can to apply what you’re seeing specific to Lean Six Sigma to the meetings and events industry, okay?
What is it? There’s a what, a behind Lean Six Sigma, but in a nutshell, basically it’s an understanding around process management, okay? The focus is around identifying the value added steps in the process to ultimately serve the customer continually. Okay, what does that really mean? The two things in this sentence that you need to focus on is customer. Who is your customer? If I’d say, “Well, the attendee. It’s the stakeholder. It’s the executives.” Whoever, whatever would answer that question for you, but I would also say that depending upon the steps in the process, your customer would change, okay?
It’s very important to understand who your customers and what is valuable to them. One of the comments that I typically make around here is that we’re in a software industry, designing software solutions for the meetings and events industry and oftentimes I asked a question, and this I would encourage you to begin thinking this way in regards to what Lean and Six Sigma is, is that if you’re spending time doing something that customer is not willing to pay you for, why are you doing it? Now, there could be multiple reasons why answers but just let that sit for a little while. If you’re doing something and the customer is not willing to pay you for it, why are you doing it?

Then this word in red, Lean is a constant continual review of your existing processes. We’re always reviewing it, always, never stop. The first time I saw this, Y equals F of X, I was like, are you kidding me? We’re going back to math. I hate math. It’s not my favorite thing, but let me explain this because as I begin to understand this function, it directly apply to any process and ultimately to meetings and events, okay. Why is your output in our world that would be the event? F is a function of X. Now, X is going to be multiple steps in a process. Ultimately, your output.
If you read this next line here, the event is out output but there are multiple steps and processes that you will complete to make the event successful. For example, when you’re putting together the event, that has to start somewhere. Typically, it starts with a request. A request could come via email, phone call, Post-It note, napkin, dinner, doesn’t really matter where but it started somewhere. What is that stuff look like to you? Then typically the RFP. Okay, we got a request, we’re going to have a meeting, where are we going to have the meeting. Then move into the contract, the execution, attendee registration, mobile application, post-event, all of those things. Those are all steps and processes that make up the output of the event, okay?
Six Sigma is about reducing variation in a process. If you do not understand or monitor each process, you’re not able to reduce variation in your output which is ultimately your event. In managing each step of the process, focus on identifying and reducing waste, and reduce variation in the process. If you do these things, you’ll begin to move towards the Lean Six Sigma environment. Now, you’re going to hear me say and you’ll see on the screen waste. What do you mean by that? Supposedly or I should say statistically, as much as 80% of a process is waste. What’s waste? Sitting around, waiting for something to happen, maybe the contract in legal, that could be a good example.
You could also look it up from a perspective of if you’re having to check, double check, triple check, maybe refactor something, that’s waste. Quality should be built into the processes and the steps. Checking something or refactoring and when you look at the Lean Six Sigma environment, that’s considered waste because as you are managing your processes, all of that should be taken care of. It takes time. This is not something that you say, “Okay, it’s Monday and Tuesday, it’s all done.” No, this takes time. The reality of Lean Six Sigma is you are changing behavior. Anybody have kids? You know what I’m talking about exactly, right?

Jordan Schwartz

I hear you.

Rob Wilson

5S plus one. Oftentimes, people ask the question, “Okay, Rob, where do you start?” It seems to be complex. It’s a little bit different. I may not be used to hearing this type of terminology, so if you’re talking to an individual or department, or talking to an organization that really live by Lean Six Sigma, it’s very common for you to hear the words, go 5s.workspace. What are you talking about? What does that mean? Very simple, so sort it, very first one. Remove any unnecessary items. For example, do you have a wrench by your computer? Probably not a huge deal with what you’re doing right now.
Maybe you are outside and trying to fix something about the [wrench 00:08:43], but look at the things that you’re responsible for, what your task are on a day-to-day basis, and if there’s something in a way that does not help you do your job, get rid of it. Clean your desk. Put things in order.

Jordan Schwartz

Sorry, I’m laughing here because I tell you, when I clean my desk, it’s a sure sign that I’m not spending my time correctly, but I know what you mean, right?

Rob Wilson

Exactly.

Jordan Schwartz

Oh my god, I got a big task in front of me. It’s definitely time for me to clean my keyboard because it’s getting a little griming, clean my screen, it’s getting a little grime. No, no, no, that’s not what you mean, right? Remove the stretch. I get it, I get it.

Rob Wilson

Exactly. What about set things in order? Arranging items that can easily damaged. For example, look at your inbox. Your inbox is a perfect example. Right now, in your email inbox, can you quickly find an email from your colleague? You’ll be like, “yeah, it’s right there in my inbox. I don’t have to search for it right there. Okay, but when you look at your inbox, you have 25 emails or 15,000 emails that really should be in folders to then organized. Now, that’s something specific to you, but what about your working on an event and there could be documentation or documents, maybe site inspection or work plan, so forth that you need but also your team members need because you’re getting ready to go on site next week. It could be could be a site inspection or actually to execute the event.
Is that information only in your inbox and your team members can’t get to it, or is it in your shares space? Maybe you have a file server you have shared information on. Maybe you use something like SharePort or maybe Google Docs, something like that. When you’re working on something is the first thing that you think about is how do I make this information available to myself, my team and my organization so that if I get hit by a bus things don’t stop. If you already think that way, that’s the beginnings of a Lean Six Sigma philosophy and thinking, so putting things in order, shine things, keep your workplace completely … Can you see your desk right now? Perfect example.

Jordan Schwartz

I’m just going to jump in right now and I apologize for taking a quick tangent, but I just want to ask a question of the audience because I was thinking about what you’re just saying about how do you share your documents with your team, how do you collaborate, how do you make sure the things are where where you need them. It appeared to me that just going over tools that … I was thinking about the tools that we use. We use Dropbox, we use Teamwork, we use Salesforce, we use Google Apps, we use Google Docs. We have a whole set of tools that I use, that we use internally in our company to collaborate and coordinate.
We use Slack, for example, for our internal communication and I wonder whether it would be … Yeah, I have one note, I’m hearing from someone in the audience, I wonder whether it would be an interesting follow up webinar just to spend an hour going over some of the tools that we use for collaboration and just go over some of the ones that are available, and talk about what works for different organizations. If I can just ask, if you would be interested in that tool’s overview for collaboration within organizations, go ahead and just either send us an email or drop it right into the question window now, take a quick count and if I get enough interest, we’ll go ahead and get that lined up.

Rob Wilson

Perfect. I’m not going to continue on here in too much more detail, but you can kind of see that this right here, this thinking, this is an individual that begins the process that they already think this way. I was at the MPI Pittsburgh Chapter and I was presenting this topic and one of the things … This is how I think and if you do the same thing, you’re already on your way, but I am a membership by Costco. Some of the event mails, memberships to Sam’s Club, so forth. When I go to Costco, I am going through Costco, picking my things and I am positioning everything in my cart so that the UPC code is straight up, so that I do not have to take them out of the cart, the checker can scan with it with his gun and I’m out.
Go back to my definition of wait. Look at that process, very simple process which is you’re putting things into your cart, you get to the checkout line, you’re going to have to take the things same things back out to run up through the scanner, and then the person behind the checker put them back in the cart, and then you go into the car, and you take them out of the cart again. Could that process right there be reduced in half? That’s an example of Lean and Six Sigma, process management. It’s very simple but it’s something that I do almost every weekend and that’s the way that I think.
Another tool that’s used regularly in Lean is 5 Why’s. Now, they’re like, “Well, really?” Basically, you’re asking the question why as many times as necessary to get to the root cause of the problem and just to make you aware, because we’ve always done it that way is not an answer. Why did we do it that way? I have a story to share with you. I was talking to my brother-in-law and he works for a manufacturing organization. They practice Lean and he asked his assistant, “Why do we create this report?” She goes, “Well, because Bob told me to.” Okay, so he went over to Bob. He’s like, “Bob, why do we create this report?” He’s like, “I don’t know, George needed to do something.” He goes, “Where’s George?” “George hasn’t been here for a year. He left the company.”
Why are you doing the things that you’re doing? It’s just to ask the question. I understand sometimes in the environment that you’re in, you might be like, “Rob, we don’t do that.” Why not? Why not? Why don’t you ask that question. Okay, so this tool right here, Sigma XL, going over some of the agenda. This is really a tool that’s extremely powerful and if you begin to get interested and some of you may actually be working for an organization that has practice or is practicing Lean Six Sigma. Most of the sessions that I do try to save as much as 20% or 30% of the audience as heard of Six Sigma.
Sometimes people work on organization that has it in place and sometimes individuals already have their certification, so a green belt or a black belt, or a master black belt as your typically certification that you adhere when you’re talking to individuals that are Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma certified. I have my green belt and I’m almost completed my black belt from that, but this is a really good tool that I’m about to show you about Sigma XL. It provides some really nice reporting and the ability to process of capturing the information to really answer questions, and that’s something that when you begin to better understand Lean Six Sigma, Lean is really more focused on as more subjective than Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is very objective, data-driven. With Six Sigma, your feelings or the bad dinner that you ate last night coming up, that has nothing to do with Six Sigma. Six Sigma is data, period. Data makes your decision for you, okay? Lean is a little bit more subjective. You can work collaborative, so forth. Typically, you’re going to get things done or you can start Lean pretty much now. There’s no typically a delay. With Six Sigma, typically, that would involve capital investment and major buy-in from the executives in the organization.
What I’m going to do here is I’m clicking on the Six Sigma XL, sorry. You’ll see now a toolbar becomes available to me and templates, and calculator is where I’m at. The very first thing, very first thing, if this is an area that you want to get into, maybe some of you have already gone through this, but the first thing you would create would be a project chart, okay? Basically, what this is, it’s a living document that the team, the executive, the people that you work with, add their department members, that you have said there is a problem with an existing process that’s typically what Lean Six Sigma focuses on is an existing process, you make it better.
There is a different train of thinking if you will about … You might say, “What about a brand new process?” Typically, that falls under something called design for Six Sigma, so there’s different step and pieces to go through, but if you have an existing process, you start with your Project Charter, what’s our business case, what is the problem. Six Sigma or I should say Sigma XL, it has those templates to begin that process of what we’re doing and why, okay? Another tool that is very valuable in this is going to be your SIPOC Diagram. What the heck is a SIPOC Diagram? It’s not Star Trek and the Klingon guys or Land of the Lost, sorry.
SIPOC is an acronym. It stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Output, and Customers. This would typically be your starting tool that you would use to define your existing process, so suppliers, what is this. Let’s put this into the scope of an event. Who would be considered providers? I can think of many, a hotel would be a provider. They’re providing the location to having us, could be a park, it doesn’t have to be a hotel, maybe audio visuals, maybe you need a mobile app. What are the things that you need? What are the organizations that are supplying something to your process? Then your inputs. What would be an input?
The date, when, when are you going to have your event? Where, what is your agenda look like, who’s coming, things like that. That would be examples of your input. Then your process, okay, it’s the overarching … This scenario would be an RFP, okay? Go find something to make this event happen. Go find that destination, that location, so forth. This is a very high level right here. You basically just type an RFP. Okay, now, I know that there’s lots of tasks that are surrounding an RFP and that’s what these would be for. What are the steps that you go through to complete the process? Then what’s the output? Countersign contracts the output. What’s the output to that process that you just completed?

Then, ultimately, customers. Remember you need to understand who your customer is. Again, I would say that that potentially changes depending upon what step and the process you are in because let’s say that you are responsible for the reproduction and for a specific event in your organization. That’s a piece that you’re responsible for responsible for, but you’re working with and probably in conjunction collaborative with the planner. You might need a planner so forth, but it’s a step of the process to complete that, okay? Going to go back to my screen, the PowerPoint just to make sure I’m on path. I believe that I am.
We talk about Project Charter, talk about the SIPOC, so Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. What the heck are you talking about, okay? What this is, have you ever had something go wrong? Anybody? Right, exactly. What this is, Failure Mode Effects and Analysis? This is a tool that begins to help you understand and I would say it’s extremely valuable from the perspective of the more people that you have that are seeing or experiencing, or using either your product, or your service involve in this discussion the more valuable it’s going to be. Basically, what you’re doing is your documenting your steps here and then, okay, if something fails, what could fail, but what’s the effects of that failure and then what’s the severity.
I’ve gone through this particular document. This is what I actually got my green belt certification on with Honeywell and what we focused on at that time I was responsible for messaging and collaboration at one of the Honeywell Plants here in Kansas City. We focused on what if one of the mail servers went down, so there’s the problem, here’s the step, the failure mode, the effects, who would it affect, how would it affect them, what was the severity, what was the cause of the failure. You then have to raise when you talk about the severity here that actually brings up examples of severity and to give you a guide.
Starting from one down at the bottom that the severity of the fact that it’s language and it’s not a big deal, all the way up to 10 which in this case may endanger operator or without harm, could it be injuring a customer or employee, so that’s kind of your range to one which is not a big deal up to really bad things can happen, that would be the severity. Then also potential cause, and then the next thing you have to ask is how often could this happen. You kind of start talking about risk management a little bit, all right? One is, yes, it can happen but probably not. It’s kind of almost an acceptable risk, up to a 10 which is this could happen very easily more than once a day.
This tool helps you with here’s the process and if it fails what could happen if fails. Let’s take, for example, that you’re getting ready to. To me, a perfect example to use something like this would be if you’re going to have an event outdoors, I was actually in an event outdoors. It was down in Florida. It was a beautiful property right on the golf course and basically morning time and lunch time, fabulous. We’re out playing golf. It was awesome. Then you could see the sky just starting to get nasty. Wind, dark clouds, starting to rain, so to me, this would be a perfect example of process or product, or service really. We’re going to have an outdoor event, okay?
Factors would be involve in that is obviously time and year. What’s the possibility of the bad weather coming in at that time of the year I think when we were at that particular property, the storm season that’s kind of probably got a good deal on it, but anyways, literally, this storm came in within a 30-minute time frame of coming in, picking up tables, chairs, almost took out or put into the air, the tents that nailed down, they have barbecues outside like the big smokers that were being moved around by the wind. They even had an outdoor movie, the blow-up movie screen that flew away. Nobody knew where it went or where it landed.
That would be an example of, okay, if we have an outdoor event and you walk through the FMEA, what are the things and you could basically just start lining down, here’s the things that could happen, what’s the potential, what’s the effects of failure, what’s the severity, and ultimately, start coming up, and scoring what’s rising to the top, and what something that we have to pay attention to. Some of these other ones, yeah, they could happen but the possibility of happening is acceptable.
It’s a risk we’re willing to take, but these other ones that go to the top, that scores and, typically, it’s called RPN and this is basically taking the severity, the occurrence and the detection of that, and you multiply them together, you hooked up with a score, and you go, “Okay, these are the top, we have to focus on these.” They’re important. First is that ones at the bottom, okay? Another tools, let me go back to my PowerPoint as my guide here. Okay, so Lean Six Sigma, you know what, before I do that because you might be, “I think that’s a pretty cool tool. I like to learn more about it,” okay?
I brought up the website. The website is sigmaxl.com and the software that I just showed you, they sell this. There is a free download for a 30-day trial and if you actually want to buy a license, it’s $249, $249 per license.

Jordan Schwartz

Is that a one time fee or is that an annual license?

Rob Wilson

I think it’s annual. I think it’s annual, but as you go through that, if this is something …

Jordan Schwartz

[inaudible 00:28:56].

Rob Wilson

Go ahead, Jordan.

Jordan Schwartz

I was just going to say it looked like some of the tools that you were showing were Excel spreadsheets and things like that. Can I get by just using the Excel spreadsheets? Is that essentially what I’m buying is their cost that they put together these tools for me, or are there additional applications within it that are custom and obviously-

Rob Wilson

Yeah, that’s a great question.

Jordan Schwartz

Yeah, okay.

Rob Wilson

Yeah, so what they’ve done is they’ve taken the tools, the thinking that if you really want to be exercising Lean Six Sigma these are the tools that you’re going to use. Now, I guarantee you right now, you go up to the web Google, you just type in Six Sigma, there will be funny tools readily available and could you use Excel by yourself without having to buy it? Yep, sure can. That’s assuming that you’ve done this before, you’re familiar with the processes and so forth, the terminology, the value with this tool is that for those of you that if you want to go down this direction and you start broadening who you’re talking to within your organization, understanding the value, this is the terminology, these are the tools the individuals are going to expect you to understand and know how to use, okay?
If you get good with them and you can open up Excel, and without a spreadsheet, fabulous. If you’re not so familiar with them, this pretty much lays the groundwork for you and just start using the tool.

Jordan Schwartz

I think that given the complexity of the ideas and the fact that they’ve been down this road before, and have identified … I’m sure work through problems and gone back, and we work things to create a solution, you certainly don’t want to be, what do they say, penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Rob Wilson

Right, exactly. Good. I’m sure there are some people who have done that. If you guys have questions … Looks like there’s … Sweet, okay, [inaudible 00:30:57] but I think they’re answering your question which is good, but if you have other questions, I’d love to spend time on those before we end. It’s probably the last slide but almost, but Lean Six Sigma in your organization, okay? If this is something that is interested to you, it’s like, “You know what, I want to learn more about this. This is something valuable.” I’m going to bring up some resources here in a moment, but here are some things that you need to be conscious of, okay, is that if this is something that you want to pursue and get more familiar with and say, “Hey, I’m going to pursue certification and so forth.”
That’s a fabulous idea. I would definitely encourage you to do that. Here are some things that you need to be conscious of in regards to how do start changing my environment right now, okay? To get Lean Six Sigma implemented in your organization, you have to get management buy-in, you have to. The other thing too we’re looking at identifying subject matter owner, subject matter expert, sometimes you hear it called SME. These are people that understand the process extremely well. They may not understand all the processes to make up the event, but they understand their specific piece very well at your subject matter owners or subject matter experts, okay?
Then where to start, so let me take a step back and I want to pay attention to this one a little bit. Where to start? I would encourage you to start with what you are already responsible for. Maybe you have an event, 10, 15 events, whatever. Whatever that number is, begin to make a subtle, deliberate, focused changes using and understanding Lean Six Sigma for the events that you’re responsible for and the pieces of those events that you’re responsible for because what you begin to do then you start writing your story of success is what you start doing.
Then over time, this is not something that’s going to happen fast because if your organization, if they’re not aware of this type of philosophy and change in methodology, it’s going to be different, it’s going to be foreign, so just dig into it yourself, understand it, use the tools that you already have available to you, probably everybody on this call have access to Microsoft Excel, no cost, ready to go now. Great. Now, use that tool, begin to document that story, start using these things that you have access to now. I would also encourage you to go out on the web. I’m going to ahead and put up a slide on resources that I would really encourage you since we’re basically in the service industry.

The third one there, Lean Six Sigma For Service in the fabulous book. We actually have a few different organizations in our industry that has either implemented, maybe practice. I believe Ritz-Carlton and Starwood have … I’m not sure if they still have, they may still have Six Sigma initiatives within the organizations and really the focus is, like you said, know your customer, what’s valuable to them and how do I reduce variation in a process, that sort of thinking. Then you start begin to understand and those of the processes of what Lean Six Sigma is.
The other thing to that often people say about this is like, “Rob, I already do this stuff.” You might, you might already do this right now, but here’s the thing that I want to speak to and this is why I’ve been doing this for the past three years, and will continue, we’re actually going to be looking at offering certification in the third quarter of 2017, starting with green belt, but here’s why I’d even started this. Three years ago I said, “I wonder if Lean Six Sigma is even an interest in our industry. The people even know about it, they care about it, they see how it’s going to be applied to meetings and events.”
For all of 2015 and 2014, I was like, “I’m just going to throw out, I did my call for speakers, got it out there,” and I remember one event I did last year, one of the connect meetings and if you could picture a property with a room the farthest away. It almost take you a car ride to get there, right? It’s forever away. I was doing a session on Lean Six Sigma, the class was full. I had 45 people. That right there answered the question for me, is this topic relevant and do people want to know about it? Yes, this is the answer. I had over 200-plus people on the session I did at WEC this year. That’s fabulous. That tells me this is relevant. This is important.
How does this speak to some of the challenges that we have in our meetings and events industry? One of the things that it speak to is I would say a problem, a perception problem in regards to how executive see us as meeting and event professionals, put your hands in the air, put the quote. You’re a party planner. I know that’s wrong. You know what’s wrong, but how do we begin to convey that message that we’re not and use the terminology that executives are looking to hear, understand, and this is it. Lean Six Sigma is relevant today in our industry and not only will this help you as a professional in the meetings and events industry.
It will help you order your team and, ultimately, your organization. The other thing too when … Go ahead, Jordan. You want to say something?

Jordan Schwartz

I was going to ask if you … I know that Lean Six Sigma was originally developed in the manufacturing industry and we’re talking about how relevant it is in the service industry. I’m just wondering if there are … Are there any key differences in how they get applied or to the service industry versus the manufacturing industry, or is it really it’s just we just have a different product and that product happens to be a service event?

Rob Wilson

I would say at the end of the day, we all have … This applies to everyone because number one to focus is the customer. The customer, what’s valuable for the customer and, ultimately, how do we reduce variation in the process, how do I reduce the variation when somebody checks into the hotel, how do I reduce the variation when somebody is going to an event at my hotel, they’re going to the general session and I’m serving food, is it plated or buffet? How do I make those experiences consistent? If they’re going to hotel X versus hotel Y, versus hotel Z.
I want the product to be consistent and reliable every single time, and applying these types of tools and methodology, it can be done, so even though it grew up out of manufacturing, it applies directly to service industry, yes.

Jordan Schwartz

I guess one thing that strikes me is the similarity between how you handle error detection and variation detection, and honestly, some of the techniques that we use in the software industry. Obviously, you’re intimately involved in software development as well, and so I’m sure you’re familiar with test-driven development, so for folks who aren’t familiar with in test-driven development instead of writing software and then going, and testing it, and making sure it works the way it’s supposed to. If you start with the tests, and you start with defining every way it could possibly break or how it is suppose to work and you automate that process of ensuring that everything works the way it’s supposed to and, of course, when you start, nothing works because you haven’t in the software yet.
The act of creating the software is the act of unbreaking the tests in a way, and so what that means is it really forces you to ensure that error detection and variation detection are built into the architecture of your software from the ground up rather than trying to go back in and find something wrong, and then make a change, and then something you find something else wrong, and you make a change, and you end with this kind of spaghetti solution of problems. I see the similar philosophy here where …

Rob Wilson

Very much so, very much so.

Jordan Schwartz

[inaudible 00:40:19] out failure from the beginning before rather than trying to address it afterwards. Am I on target here?

Rob Wilson

Yep, very much so because it really doesn’t matter. For both of us in the software industry, trying to deliver a consistent, reliable, stable product is our objective. Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to deliver a product or a service, but if you do not go through the process of one understanding … Here’s the thing too to answer the question where do I start, start with what you already know. It’s called the [as is 00:40:56] and it could be as simple as using the SIPOC for lack of a better term, but how does your existing process work?
Don’t think about the future. Don’t think about what I wanted to be. That doesn’t matter. Look at your existing process. What does this look like today? How does somebody check into your hotel? How does somebody get an RFP to you? How does somebody connect with you and you deliver an event production for an event? What is something that you do consistently as a sales calls? Was it making food? What is it something that you do? It really doesn’t matter what it is. I brought up the example of going to Costco.
What’s your process? That’s really what, from a thinking perspective, if this is something that you all … In your mind, you just naturally do. What’s the process? What’s step one, step two? I was thinking about it the other day and it’s no different than bacon and cake, what are my ingredient, my recipe, go through the process. I end up with a cake. If I do it again, is this the same cake? Maybe, maybe not. Why would it be different? [crosstalk 00:42:20].

Jordan Schwartz

In baking, I believe the term is … It’s a French term called mise en place. Meaning, everything put in place. It means that before you start cooking, you place all of your ingredients out so before you mix the first ingredient, you have everything measured, you have everything chopped and laid out. What that means is that you avoid that situation of getting to step five in the recipe and it says immediately have the whipped egg white, and you realize that you have no eggs in your refrigerator.

Rob Wilson

There you go. Perfect. I’m done. If there’s any other open questions, more than happy to hang out. Jordan, if you want me to take over the screen again or whatever, but I’m done with my presentation. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you. Again, going back to the sources, I would encourage you, if there was one thing I would go after first, it would be this book right here, Lean Six Sigma For Service.

Jordan Schwartz

Fantastic. Rob, thank you so much. I really appreciate you sharing everything today. Again, to those who joined us a little bit late, this is recorded and we will be sending out a link to it as well as instructions on getting your continuing education credits if you’re using this towards your CMT exam. We have, actually, I think … Would you mind, I’m going to take the screen briefly here and just mentioned that we have some more webinars coming up in the near future. Let’s see if I can show that screen. Of course, everyone who signed up for this has already been to the screen, so it shouldn’t be too much of that.
Let’s see here, here we go, show my screen. The next one that we have lined up now is in conjunction with event, right? We will be talking about digital marketing for the event planner, how you manage SEO and Organic Search. We have another one that is scheduled for February on a related topics, those are two of digital marketing and we’ll be talking about pay per click and how it relates to the event industry. We’ll be doing that in conjunction with mos.com. Then in March, we have Jim Biolos will be joining us for events 2020, but those are all … We haven’t put up the sign up sheets for all those yet because we’re heading deep into 2017 at that point.
Please watch your email for our links of those but we’d love to see it for our January webinar on Organic Search and marketing your event. With that, I wish everybody, all our US viewers, happy Thanksgiving. For everyone else in the world, thank you so much for joining us today and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Rob Wilson

Bye, everybody. Thanks, Jordan. Take care.

Jordan Schwartz

Bye-bye.