TeamFlow User Profile

McComb Inc.

"TeamFlow allows us to map processes at least five times faster
than would otherwise be possible.
It makes possible things that could not otherwise be accomplished."

McComb Inc., of Dearborn, Michigan is a provider of process improvement consulting to the automotive and other industries.

McComb Inc. consulted with the Ford Motor Company continuously from 1987 to 2000. Major assignments include:

  • Leading an analysis of the total design engineering resource requirements needed to support the product development process: developing engineering process maps in TeamFlow for approximately 100 components, and identifying and quantifying sources of variability in the time-consuming steps within these processes. Separately, McComb Inc. is facilitating program reviews that implement these processes.

  • Defining a set of engineering processes for newly-consolidated engineering teams at vehicle assembly plants that reflects "best practices" worldwide.

In conducting these assignments, McComb Inc. is applying two concepts new to the client:

  • The use of integrated process flowcharts which it introduced to Ford in 1988 and automated via TeamFlow software in 1994.

  • Using computer-based support "in front of an audience." This involves recording, displaying, printing, and disseminating notes and flowcharts in real time during meetings using equipment it provides for this purpose. This approach typically accelerates progress in an assignment by a factor of ten compared with conventional methods. Participants leave meetings with up-to-date meeting notes, which minimizes their need for "homework."

In a typical assignment, McComb Inc. assists the client in identifying management sponsors and stakeholders who will assume responsibility for a family of processes. When teams are constituted, it assists team leaders in:

  1. identifying how each process fits with corporate principles, objectives, and business plans;

  2. mapping present processes using TeamFlow;

  3. identifying strengths and weaknesses in each process; and

  4. developing improved processes, identifying resouces ("process inputs"), and establishing metrics ("process outputs") for linkage back to corporate business plans.

Each member's total involvement is one to five days (typically two days) during a six-week period. With a concentrated effort, a team can complete this process in as little as two days, excluding external reviews.

The real-time use of TeamFlow makes possible otherwise-unachievable speed and efficiency in meetings, which in turn helps motivate both team members and reviewers to commit to the team's success at the outset, and to participate in developing the processes for which they will assume responsibility. According to David W. McComb, President of McComb Inc.,

"TeamFlow allows us to map processes at least five times faster than would otherwise be possible. More importantly, using TeamFlow interactively on a screen during a meeting accelerates the total meeting process by a factor of ten, in most cases. It makes possible things that could not otherwise be accomplished."

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 Last Update: November 4, 2009