triptik“Are we there yet?”  – the phrase dreaded by parents around the globe. I recall going on road trips as a child.  We would load seemingly everything we owned into our conversion van (yeah, that’s how we rolled) and head off to some new and exciting place. One of my favorite tasks was to follow along on the map.

A Triptik map allowed us to follow along and check progress on our trip.  If you haven’t seen a Triptik map, it provided a route for your trip and included a page-by-page map of the major highways along the route.  Before GPS devices and phones, these maps were an essential part of our vacation plans.  They allowed us to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Plan out our trips and stops – what do we want to see and where do we want to go?
  2. Check progress along the way – how many miles do we need to cover each day to get there?

Find a new route in case of trouble – what alternate routes are available? I thought of these maps recently as we were working with an organization developing a roadmap for their Lean healthcare transformation strategy.  Similar to the Triptik objectives, previously mentioned, we had similar goals.

  1. triptik2Develop a plan – We worked closely with the executive team to evaluate their strategy and vision for how Lean could help them accomplish their business objectives. As part of this, we evaluated all of the existing activities that were taking up most of the organization leaders’ available calendar time and defined a vision of what a “transformed” organization would look like.
  2. Check Progress – We tied measurements to the roadmap so that we would know if we were making good time or needed to pick up the pace. If we wanted the whole organization to incorporate Lean in three to five years, how many areas would need to be included in each wave of rollout activity?
  3. Evaluate and Adjust – Like any good plan, there were spots along the way that we needed to adjust. Regular scheduled reviews allowed us to account for and deal with the minor roadblocks and issues that developed along the way.

So are you implementing a Lean Healthcare transformation activity without a roadmap?  If so, are you there yet?


Tom Stoffel, Vice President for Lean Healthcare and Process Improvement Consulting at HPPToday’s blog was written by Tom Stoffel, vice president with Healthcare Performance Partners.

Tom leads healthcare organizations through transformation into self-sustaining Lean enterprises. In addition to hospitals and hospital systems, Tom also leads transformation of subsidiary and independent clinics, physician practices and other outpatient organizations through Lean transformation.

Prior to joining HPP, Tom owned a Lean consulting and training firm which developed healthcare associates through hands-on learning techniques. Tom is an ASQ-Certified Quality Engineer. 

Tom holds an Engineering Degree from the University of Michigan.

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