Greater Rochester Quality Council
An affiliate of the Rochester Business Alliance
Our initiatives provide expert solutions on quality improvements.
Rapid Cycle is a community initiative aimed at strengthening the productive capacity and performance of organizations from all sectors of the Rochester economy. It works by bringing to them the tools of continuous process improvement.
The Rapid Cycle approach is based on a business methodology, known as Lean Six Sigma, developed in Japan (Toyota) and America (GE, Motorola) to attack waste and reduce defects in core business processes. While originally applied to manufacturing, this approach has been successfully adapted to any work or service environment in business, education, nonprofit, healthcare, and governmental settings.
Begun in 2003 with projects in 10 nonprofit organizations, today the initiative boasts a count of more than 50 successful projects, including the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Rochester, Hillside Family of Agencies, and the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.
Rapid Cycle is jointly sponsored by GRQC, United Way of Greater Rochester, and the Council of Agency Executives. It is made possible by generous in kind support from Eastman Kodak and Xerox, which have provided professional coaches and trainers.
Rapid Cycle Overview & Results
What is Rapid Cycle?
Rapid Cycle is a program offered by Greater Rochester Quality Council and United Way of Greater Rochester, in partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center, Eastman Kodak Company, and the Council of Agency Executives. Its purpose is to enable community organizations to apply continuous improvement tools, specifically Lean and Six Sigma, to achieve breakthrough improvements in performance and efficiency.
What type of organization is Rapid Cycle for?
The Rapid Cycle is appropriate for any organization regardless of size or sector. It is designed especially to serve organizations that are new to continuous improvement and would benefit from the resources that Rapid Cycle provides, in particular, training and coaches.
How do participating organizations benefit?
First, over a period of three months, participating organizations develop and begin to implement an improvement plan for a critical business process. Improvements are measured in terms of reduced costs, increased productivity, or improved customer or client-related outcomes. Second, they develop internal expertise in applying continuous improvement tools. Third, they are linked to a network that encourages and assists them in their continuing efforts to use these tools to improve operations.
Participating organizations, in turn, are responsible for four critical factors:
What's involved in Applying to Rapid Cycle?
Preliminary Workshop: What is Rapid Cycle and How Can It Help? (2 hrs) Application: Organizations submit proposal specifying process to be improved and measurable objectives
Review and selection of participating organizations (based on readiness and commitment of both management and team)
Coaches are assigned and meet with team leaders and team sponsors to clarify objectives and expectations
Workshop (for teams): Overview of Rapid Cycle process and basic tools (2 hrs)
On-site work (teams and coaches): Using Lean/Six Sigma, with just-in-time training in appropriate tools, coaches guide teams through development and early implementation of improvement plan (12 weeks)
Team leaders meetings (as needed): Share learnings and best practices, discuss obstacles, etc.
Wrap-up and evaluation (Phase 1); Celebration
Follow-up evaluation of plan implementation (Phase 2)
Ongoing training and assistance as needed
Greater Rochester Quality Council in partnership with the Council of Agency Executives Launches Rapid Cycle 2012
How can executives and their management teams better lead their organizations in these uncertain economic times?
How can not-for-profit organizations reduce their costs and demonstrate greater impact?
Rapid Cycle is a solution. The Rapid Cycle Improvement process has helped 40 not-for-profit organizations improve program performance, increase capacity, and reduce costs. Rapid cycle is designed to meet the two most critical needs of many organizations beginning the continuous improvement process: (1) a realistic timeframe - three months to produce an actionable plan and the commitment to carry it out; and (2) direct, on-site assistance to teams, i.e., expert coaches providing teams with facilitation and just-in-time training in Lean Six Sigma.
Results from selected projects include:
- Appointment “no show” rate cut by 33% - Total savings or enhanced revenue to date is $165,000 - $250,000 revenue realized for a 6 month period using new streamlined process
How does an organization apply for participation?
- Applications are available at the Council of Agency Executives Roundtable meeting on March 7. Also, you can download at Go to www.grqc.org and download the application. Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2012. Submit your completed application to Maria Cristalli, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The teams selected will be announced in early April 2012.
Rapid Cycle Improvement Initiative Rapid Cycle application, Spring 2012, Due Date 4.1.12
Project Name: Date:
Project Sponsor *: Phone number:
Who are the customers?
Benefits to customers:
Anticipated Business Result (e.g. Improved Outcomes, Reduced Cost, Improved Efficiency)