RPIW (Rapid process improvement workshop)

RPIWs are used to make improvements in existing value streams.  They consist of an 8 week period of intense data collection, during which existing processes are observed and measured.  This is followed by a week of intense change activity carried out by the staff who work on that process.  During the RPIW week change ideas are tried out and measured.  Following the RPIW week the process owner has responsibility for ensuring changes are embedded and further actions are carried through.  The process owner and sponsor have responsibility for repeating the target metrics at 30/60/90 days and at 1 year.

There are specific roles undertaken during an RPIW – see attached.  A complete module on RPIW roles and process is taught as part of certified leader training. RPIWs are used by many organisations to make improvements.

Take a look at our glossary of terms.

Kaizen event

This is a shortened version of an RPIW, but the same principles apply.  They can be used where fewer changes are required, to carry out change prior to an RPIW or following an RPIW to make further improvements.  While they are usually 2-3 day events they can be as short as one day.

3P (Production preparation process)

While RPIWs and Kaizen are evolutionary in their approach to change – improving existing value streams – 3P is revolutionary.  In other words it is used when new systems, processes or buildings are required.  This could be either in a situation when something completely new is required or where the old processes are so unfit for purpose they require a radical overhaul rather than incremental change.

3P events do not have the observation stage of an RPIW, but do involve developing an understanding of customer demand prior to the event.  During the week Lean tools and principles are used and the new products and ideas are tested as they are developed.  Key elements of 3P are looking at both the product and the process.  i.e. what needs to be done and how will it be done in real time, real place. 


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