We recently had one of our customers share on the iGrafx Linkedin Group their success achieving process improvements through the use of iGrafx simulation. They successfully conducted a What-If analysis, made the real world changes, and found that the new process performance in reality was within 6% of what their What-If analysis had predicted. They achieved a 65% cycle time improvement with their project and were pleased enough with the results to want to share them. They should be proud as these are impressive and impactful results.
This prompted me to want to highlight the benefit of “What-If” analysis made possible with iGrafx simulation capabilities. Although many of our customers have applied these capabilities and obtained great results, many others don’t take advantage as much as they could of this iGrafx capability.
iGrafx offers one of the most robust simulation capabilities on the market, packaged for general business users, yet powerful enough to meet the needs of experts. This technology has been built in-house since the very genesis of the iGrafx offerings and represents one of the few native business process simulation offerings on the market. This tight integration of native capabilities enables iGrafx to offer unique capabilities to our customers.
These powerful What-if analysis capabilities of iGrafx simulation provides 3 primary benefits to our customers:
An important point I would stress to anyone looking to apply simulation for What-If analysis is to not get overly detailed with the modeling to begin with. Use a top down approach and model with layers of decomposition. This will enable a very quick start to What-If analysis and can help guide where to put more detail into the models. Referring back to the departments A, B, and C mentioned above, it would be a waste of time to spend effort mapping department B in detail since it is an insignificant component of the overall process at this time, particularly in the context of the 20% improvement goal identified above. So if you find yourself really getting into the fine details of a process make sure it makes a difference to the analysis you want to perform, and the end goal you want to achieve.
Just as almost everyone in business periodically uses a spreadsheet to better understand, quantify, and communicate results, almost everyone in business should periodically use simulation of a process model when doing the same with business processes. One of the most challenging parts of effective process improvement is the change management associated with migrating the people involved with the current process to the new process. Being able to show quantifiable times and costs, along with a visual representation of how the new process would work, is a very powerful tool to help manage that change.
Happy simulating, and let us know about your successes or if you need help achieving them.