Innovation at Harmony Healthcare IT (HHIT) takes many forms. One example is the daily standup meeting (yes, we literally stand up, keeping it short and sweet). These quick daily team gatherings allow for review of critical project, program and product initiatives.
“The standup meetings give every team member a voice to share information and quickly learn more about what is happening in the business,” says Greg Ketcham, Director of Professional Services at HHIT. “On a certain day, we may focus on projects and code enhancements. Another day might be dedicated to deployments and our internal IT environment. Or, we may concentrate on which projects will soon close-out versus what’s on the horizon.”
This meeting takes place first thing in the morning — when each technologist and project manager is fresh — and follows Lean principles of keeping things simple and efficient. The purpose of the meeting is to fully respect and engage each team member with a focus on delivering value to the customer by removing obstacles or by simply communicating.
“Standup meetings are a great way to start the morning,” says Tai Gunter, Database Analyst Team Lead at HHIT. “They allow everyone to be looped in on the projects and to share their expertise to maximize our combined knowledge. That results in better experiences for our clients.”
Each standup meeting is geared toward continual improvement and, most importantly, the respect of co-workers’ time. The objectives are
- To streamline. This entails looking at work processes, methods and elimination of the 8 Wastes that are detailed in the LEAN Six Sigma program.
- To standardize. Standardization is key to developing efficient, repeatable and achievable processes that are required for scaling and keeping costs in check.
- To share. Open communication is critical. It ensures that learned best practices or pitfalls to avoid are documented and verbalized to the team.
“Some of our best product development and process improvement ideas have come out of the Lean philosophy,” says Jim Hammer, PMP and VP of Product and Program Management at HHIT. Hammer notes that Paul Akers, founder and president of FastCap LLC, is a Lean meeting pioneer and excellent coach with helpful information about how Lean principles can impact an organization.
These principles are certainly standing tall each morning within the walls of HHIT and are reflected in the on-time and on-budget deliveries of data extraction, migration and retention projects for healthcare delivery organizations nationwide.