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Have you ever been stuck in an airport security line because of one bottleneck? It's not just frustrating--it's also inefficient. The concept of "flow" is important in business as well. This meet-up defined "flow" in the process context as well as the biggest driver of creating flow. Specifically, we focused on the biggest driver of creating flow: planning processes to "pull" instead of "push".
What is Process “Flow”?
Highlights and Q&A - NYBPP Meetup
07.26.2018 | CAVI CONSULTING
Samuel is the co-founder and chief process scientist for Cavi Consulting, a process
science consultancy helping businesses to remove obstacles to energy flow and
more effectively automate, scale and grow.
Samuel has consulted for small-to-enterprise level companies across a wide range of
sectors and verticals, including financial services, resources, legal services, media
and digital services, in both the for profit and nonprofit domains.
Education and Certifications
Samuel holds an MBA from the University of Richmond, and a B.A. from the
University of Virginia.
Samuel is certified in Lean, Six Sigma, Change Management (PROSCI), and Project
Management (PMP and CSM).
● Energy flow
○ Defining Flow
○ Understanding Energy Flow
○ Business Energy Flow
○ Measuring and Improving Flow
○ The Power of Pull
○ Flow Strength and Value Creation
○ Is there an upper limit to flow rate in a process? How do we know what it is?
○ Does this flow relate to cognitive flow?
○ Is all value measured the same way with the same metrics?
○ If your company makes custom services or products, can you still consistently measure flow?
What is Flow?
● Flow represents directional, continuous,
● Flow has power and requires energy to be opposed!
Understanding Energy Flow
Process science is the study of how energy flows
through the universe, specifically through nature,
humans, and businesses.
When applied to business, process science helps
professionals accurately see and understand the
pattern of energy flowing through an organization
so that it can be managed for efficient business
Business Energy Flow
The energy that flows through business is human labor (physical energy) and money (representation of
physical energy displaced in time)
Measuring Energy Flow
It is easier to visualize with a process map, but flow is the amount of units of value can be created through a
process (units/time). Cost and time measures associated with a single unit through the process qualify flow
If a process wants to create more value, it has
to have more energy “flow” through it.
Reducing energy in to a process and yielding
more value out of it is a matter of removing
obstacles to this energy flow.
Process Improvement is the act of increasing
value creation from a process by identifying
and removing obstacles to energy flow
Increasing Energy Flow Increases Value Creation
By identifying and removing obstacles to flow, your company can expect:
● Improved quality and value creation of all outputs
● Less energy required for (reduced cost) of operations
● Faster cycles for business changes and continuous improvement activities
● Improved ability to measure, analyze, and control processes
The Power of Pull
Using a “pull” rather than a “push” system is foundational to effective process design and increased flow. Allowing
consumption to pace inventory is a “pull” approach. The market, or environment, sets the pace - your job is to
● Reducing WIP, and producing outputs in a market-aligned, just-in-time fashion, has a big impact on waste
reduction and smooth process flow-through.
Flow is Created by Value Creation
Between two equal benefits with different costs,
given conditions of energy scarcity, you can see
that a pattern, or a “pull” is created. People will
invariably conform to putting their energy where
value creation is highest; value being defined by the
conditions of the environment around you. It
follows that over time, people will stop spending
energy on benefits that yield less value than similar
options, and the inferior option will eventually
cease to exist. It is in this way that all processes that
produce value create a “pull” from the environment
● Flow is directional, continuous power found moving within our universe
● Energy flows through processes to create value
● In business, human labor and money represent the energy flowing through the process
● Measuring flow is done by measuring units of value creation per unit time being created by a process scope
● Process Science is the continuous application of removing obstacles/barriers to a business’s energy flow. By
improving energy flow, the business can produce more value (increase profits, reduce costs)
● Pull sets the pace of processes because it is aligned with universal value creation
○ If your process is designed around pull principles, it will have increased flow!
Question 1: Is there an
upper limit to flow rate in
a process? How do we
know what it is?
● Process Entitlement is the best process
capability that could be expected from the
current process design.
○ In other words, this is the best level
of performance you can expect
given the inherent limits of the way
your process is set up.
● Constraints can further decrease
productivity and prevent a process from
reaching this best possible outcome of
● The entitlement state of a process exists so
that you can set realistic ranges in which
you can expect to improve.
Question 2: Does this flow
relate to cognitive flow?
Cognitive flow is increasing natural energy flowing through
your body. Business process flow is the same concept:
increasing energy flow, except it is increasing the energy for
human labor through the process. Both have measurable
benefits associated with more energy moving through a
process at a faster rate.
Question 3: Is all value
measured the same way
with the same metrics?
Because benefits are subjective, value needs to be quantified
with different, applicable, metrics based on the service or
goods being provided.
Question 4: If your
company makes custom
services or products, can
you still consistently
Even though each product/service may be different, you
have a stable operating project (even if it is producing
unique projects) and will find there a common value
production that underlies all the work.
It is defining and measuring this common value
creation which will be how the process flow is
Thanks for coming!
● NYBPP Meetup:
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● You can view all of our past slides over on
○ Slide Decks from Past Meetups
● Also, join our Facebook Group!
○ https://NYBPP Meetup Facebook
● Finally, check out more process insights at: