Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks
HNPW 2024 (29 April - 10 May 2024)

Session title: Working Well
Organizer(s): CHS Alliance
6 May 24 09:00-10:30   (Salle 2)

In this session, participants will learn how to pursue excellence in how they work every day through seven simple habits. You will learn about Lean, a continuous improvement approach developed by Toyota, to improve how you work, reduce burden on employees, and strengthen alignment to the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). You will discover what an excellent process looks like and learn seven ways to improve your own processes. Then you will make or plan a small improvement to how you work. Finally, we will share insights and discuss next steps.

By the end of the session, participants will:
• Understand how the pursuit of Process Excellence strengthens alignment to the CHS.
• Learn seven habits they can practice every day to solve problems and improve how they and others work.
• Make or plan an improvement to a problem they currently experience.
• Know how to grow in their knowledge, practice and benefit of Lean continuous improvement.

Why is this important now?
Because the gap between resources and needs continues to grow, and we need to achieve more with the limited resources entrusted to us. Humanitarian actors can apply proven and familiar Continuous Improvement principles and practices to help more people in a better way while reducing burden on employees and strengthening alignment to the CHS.


10 minutes - the external and internal challenges of humanitarian work and how excellence helps to better align with the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)

5 minutes - individuals brainstorm several small, internal problems that can be addressed (for example: a task is not well-defined, or there are frequent mistakes, or there are significant delays)

5 minutes - case study

10 minutes - presentation of Process Excellence

30 minutes - The 7 Habits of Process Improvement

20 minutes - pick one of the 7 Habits and apply it to your challenge (for example: define the task, prevent a mistake or reduce delay)

10 minutes - reflect, discussing learning, opportunities and next steps


Andrew Parris, PhD, is the Process Excellence Manager at Medair. Andrew earned his PhD at MIT, worked in aerospace for 11 years, for World Vision for nine years and at Medair for seven years. He also partners with and co-teaches a course in the Humanitarian Operations and Supply Chain Management Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Andrew has adapted Lean Continuous Improvement principles and practices and made it easily understandable and applicable to the humanitarian and development sectors. He trains, coaches, facilitates and promotes Continuous Improvement in Medair and other NGOs. He is a “Master Black Belt” in Lean Six Sigma.

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