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Continuous Improvement

The YSM Office of Continuous Improvement is a team dedicated to partnering with business areas to strengthen and standardize financial and operational processes through the utilization of structured problem solving and quality methods (e.g. Six Sigma, Lean, Project Management, Change Management) with the goal of implementing sustainable changes that result in more efficient processes and effective controls. We can help your team use data to make decisions, manage processes, and measure process performance to identify strengths, gaps, and improvement opportunities.

Questions & How-Tos

  • When should we engage your team? When you have identified a pain point in a function your team performs (manual, complex, error prone, high risk) that you want to see improved.
  • How do we engage your team? E mail Tom Maddalena at We will schedule an information gathering session to determine next steps.


Do you have data available to manage the processes you perform?
  • Do you have data available to manage the processes you perform?
  • Can you easily get data for cycle time for processes performed by your team (how long does it take from start to finish, by process type, by person, by time period, etc.)?
  • Are you able to show visuals of process characteristics and performance (volume, types of transactions or work performed, re-work or errors) without having to manipulate data?
  • Do you know what to look for in data to identify trends, backlog, work in progress, etc. to manage capacity and caseload of your team?

Change Management

Is your team about to undergo or implement a significant change?

  • Will there be resistance?
  • Do you need tools and techniques that will help you manage the change and increase the likelihood of your team willingly adopting the change?
The Office of Continuous Improvement can help with all of these items using proven and structured approaches to enable your team to achieve its goals with effective and sustainable improvements.

Project Management

Is your team working on a project or initiative that needs structure, definition, task, or timeline management?

  • Are you unsure of how to prioritize the work of projects and day to day tasks?
  • Do you need help with creating a timeline or plan that factors in milestones and resource needs?
  • Does this effort require a structured approach to establishing goals and measurable success criteria, setting expectations with a clearly defined scope, and consistent communication to stakeholders?
  • Are you having challenges mobilizing the project and executing through to completion?

Process Engineering

Is your process a candidate for improvement? Below are some considerations for identifying improvement opportunities:
  • Is it high risk (if done wrong, there is regulatory, legal, financial, or reputational risk)?
  • Are controls manual or reactive?
  • Is it done inconsistently?
  • Is it error prone or are there multiple reinspections to identify errors?
  • Is it performed often (daily or weekly, by many people)?
  • Are there high dollar transactions? – need to define “high dollars”
  • Is it manual (lots of data entry, managed using excel, word docs, etc.)?
  • Are there multiple handoffs (many people involved)?
  • Does it take too long (missing SLA’s/deadlines, longer than peer organizations)?

Send us Ideas!

Do you have an idea that will help with cost savings or process improvement initiatives?

Here are some sample ideas to get you thinking:

  1. Implementing automated systems in place of manual procedures
  2. Cutting down on paper usage in specific areas where it is unnecessary
  3. Energy efficiency measures, like promoting power-off hours
  4. Regular review and renegotiation of specific contracts that you know could benefit
  5. Implementing preventative maintenance of facilities and equipment
  6. Reviewing purchasing processes, for example coordinating purchases to take advantage of bulk buying discounts

We want to hear your ideas!