[Case Study] How a Healthcare Company Saved 250k by Improving Processes 

 December 18, 2019

Process improvement helped a $4 billion multinational healthcare company expand its existing training programs to a global audience without adding significant costs or effort.

With the goal to transform from a traditional classroom-based training format to online. This globally accessible program needed to be delivered in over 17 languages. This organization sought out to develop a strategy for its content development process that would not continually increase costs over time.

Before diving in, the company knew it was important to address the operations of training development so that they could develop the new content in the most efficient way possible.

That’s where I come in. As the Project Manager and Six Sigma Greenbelt, I led a global, cross-functional team to success saving over $250,000 in content development as well as creating a streamlined process that could be leveraged for future projects.

The Challenge with Global Content Development

The development team faced four distinct challenges while preparing materials for global deployment:

• Reduce the time to design, develop, and obtain approval on English training materials so that they could quickly be translated.

• Reduce the time to localize (translate) the materials in 17+ languages.

• Increase the technical accuracy and compliance of all training materials so that nothing was lost in translations (literally).

• Create an agile training development process that, without significantly impacting costs or time, allows for multiple iterations of content.

The training development process prior to this project used non-structured authoring tools such as Microsoft Word and InDesign. These tools failed to optimize global localization and distribution best practices including DTDs (document type definition) and translation dictionaries.

This resulted in duplicate sources of identical training content as well as translations that lagged up to 12 months past the release of English versions. Because of this cumbersome process, projects were often delivered late and over budget.

This situation was not acceptable!

How to Design a New Process

In order to solve the problem of outdated translations, the team had to create a new process for developing content.

To develop the new process, I followed the Six Sigma DMADV methodology to discover and implement a new process solution.

The team predominately leveraged process charting, CTQ’s (Critical to Quality), existing project costs, cause and effect analysis, solution prioritization, and design planning, to verify and validate a new training development process which focused on single-source and structured writing (XML-based) content.

The Immediate Result of Process Improvement

The new training development process brought immediate results. The initial training manual developed resulted in 85% leverage content, requiring only 15% new content to be developed, approved, and localized.

Because of these excellent initial results, the organization continued to implement the same process for various new, single product training manuals; these product manuals were tailored for different audiences including customers, the internal sales force, and call centers.

In a following project for a new medical device launch, results indicated development of 100% new content in the format of training manuals, eLearning, audio, and video. This project led to cost savings totaling over $250,000 and was delivered on time and under budget. Overall, the creation of the new training development had an organizational return on investment of under two years.

Get Started On Your Next Process Improvement Project

Process improvement projects can be a huge value-add to your business, but only if you hire the right help to get started.

If you aren’t sure how or where to get started, check out what you should consider before hiring someone for your next tech project.

Where are you currently struggling with your processes, and wasting time and money? Let me know in the comments below!

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Lindsay Kirsch
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