While the cranes, bulldozers, cement mixers, contractor vans and hard-hatted men and women diligently plug away at constructing the $20 million Beeghly campus expansion building structure, a group of 25 service line managers meet in a “war room” nearby to plan out the details.
The Transition Steering Committee, chaired by Lisa Taafe, meets every 1-2 weeks to coordinate all the needs of the ancillary services involved in operationalizing the new space. Literally every detail, from determining needed supply inventories to ordering furniture and arranging for staffing needs.
“For example, we had a lengthy discussion at our last meeting about all the steps required in changing the addresses among all the commercial payers, insurance providers, certification boards and accreditation agencies for the departments moving even from one Children’s building to this one,” Taafe said. “But we need to nail down who’s going to do that, and by when. Otherwise there’s a huge impact to the hospital.”
To track and organize everything, Lean Six Sigma Deployment Leader Sherry Valentine introduced a planning method called “pull planning,” which allows the team to plot their work in milestones. The same method was used in the construction of the Kay Jewelers Pavilion in Akron, which opened in the spring of 2015.
Pull planning starts with a highly visible wall chart sectioned in columns and rows, each with a specific meaning. The Y-axis holds “swim lanes” with one belonging to each department involved. The X-axis is used for dates in a timeline leading to the turnover date of the project.
“Using this method you’re pulling the work toward the goal date, rather than pushing it,” Valentine said. “It’s like a dance. It’s choreography. It’s about identifying the work that needs to be done, and making sure it’s done at the right time; not too early and not too late.”
Taafe added that the team identifies what needs to be done week-by-week, and at each milestone a specifically colored sticky note goes on that date. The meetings are used for reporting out; not for doing the work, she said.
“One change on a swim lane can affect another service line’s timeline, so that’s why everyone is in the room,” Taafe said.
The committee is working toward a move-in date of Fri., July 7. Moving will take place over that weekend ahead of a dry run dress rehearsal complete with trial patients on Mon., July 10. The building is slated to open for patients July 11.