makigami team instructors
Preparation 3: Who is going to do it?

Who is the Process Owner?

This seems obvious however can be difficult. Many organizations are functionally organized, not process-oriented.
The processes then will often flow through different departments, resulting in no clear ownership of the whole process. This may be the right moment to rethink (the consequences of) your organizational model.

Nevertheless, it might be good to define an owner of the process since some-one with sufficient seniority will have to help the team to maneuver the future improvements through the organization.

When a process-owner is found, the next question is:

Who will be in the team?

Working with an expert

A classical approach would be to hire an –external- expert to analyze your process. When implementing SAP or QS/ISO etc. usually a (group of) consultant(s) does the job.

You may have had some experience with ‘experts’ coming to analyze and make a proposal. Chances are high you may expect the following outcomes:

  1. Either the expert misses vital information or details, lacks insight in your specific situation or -in any other way- is not able to see the whole picture clear enough.
  2. Or the experts’ proposal is not accepted by the crew. The crew either doesn’t recognized the solution, or for some other reasons is not supporting the idea. The proposal is now filed and never implemented ór the implementation becomes energy- and time consuming,
    leading to a result nobody really satisfies.
  3. The costs of the analyses are sky-high.

An alternative would be to do it with your own crew, the people directly concerned. 

! Makigami Process Improvement is ALWAYS performed with a team of people directly involved in the process. Those are the real experts, the people who –together– know every detail about the process.

This team ideally consist of 5 to 7 people from different functions, disciplines, sex, and experience. The more diverse the better.

Having at least óne team member that is a complete outsider, asking ‘outsiders questions’ can help the team to look from new angles seeing the process from a different perspective, opening new views.

  • Compose a multi-disciplinary team of 4 to 7 members; the more diverse the better
  • Assign a team-captain; the spokesman of the team

Criteria for team participation

There are 3 main criteria to include someone in the team:

  1. The team member brings knowledge that adds to a 360 degree perspective on the issue.
  2. The team members’ role contributes to the team dynamic.
  3. The team member is essential to make the implementation successful.

There may be know ‘blockers’; people you may expect to sabotage progress, the typical “can’t do” types, or maybe your union representative.

Include them in the team so their concerns can be discussed and taken seriously. And to involve them in the solution. It is easy to say “No”. it is less easy to take responsability to improve. This is the moment to do so. 


Including representatives form suppliers or customers can do miracles! You might be surprised how happy some are to be able to join and work toghether!

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