Wednesday, 6 May 2015

PIU Hosting the York CoP Spring Event

As members of the Yorkshire Lean Community of Practice, PIU were delighted to host the spring event last week. York CoP is a York based community of Practice (CoP) concerned with Lean management, process improvement, service excellence and a number of other continuous improvement tools and techniques.

Yorkshire LEAN was set up following the 2014 Lean Management Conference, hosted at the University of York. The CoP is designed to provide a network and forum for people to share tools, techniques, ideas and experiences around the lean process agenda across Yorkshire.

Every couple of months a member of the CoP hosts an event, which usually consists of a chance to network with other members and guests, a talk by an external speaker or a member and a workshop outlining a technique/tool.

The spring event included a talk delivered by Rachel McAssey, outlining who PIU are, what we do and the services we offer, with some examples of past projects. This was followed by a workshop led by myself on ‘Scoping a Project’.  After discussing the importance of scoping a project and the key pieces of information you need in order to adequately scope the main focus of the workshop was on writing a problem statement. We split the group into teams and asked them to write a problem statement based on a series of problems relating to the comment, ‘It is difficult for people to regularly participate in community of practices and other informal networks’. We asked them to use the Take 15 technique to help them formulate a problem statement. This technique helps you to formulate a succinct problem statement as a group. It encourages input from each individual and an output that has been formulated and agreed by the group as a whole. By designing a succinct problem statement (in fifteen words or less) you allow your problem to be clearly and consistently communicated. If you would like to try this yourself or see how it is done, you can visit the tools page on our website at and download the ‘How to’ guide.

Many thanks to all those who attended, it was lovely to see people from across Higher Education, Industry, the NHS and Local Council. I hope you all found it useful! If you would like to hear more about the York CoP and their upcoming events, please visit their blog at  

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