Services – Process Assessment and Improvement2019-01-21T14:14:16+01:00

Process Assessment and Process Improvement

Keeping up to date with the latest industry standards and processes can be time consuming. 3sK offers a unique service that incorporates the essence of ISO 26262, ISO 15288 and Automotive SPICE® into a simplified approach that your business can adapt with ease. 3sK can assess your existing process against these standards or provide you with bespoke frameworks to ensure you start off on the path to success. We are also able to support you in defining and deploying process improvement.

We understand that teams require lean, agile and usable processes which conform to the relevant standards. There is little or no value in defining and deploying complex processes with the aspiration of achieving compliance with standards if they don’t balance the needs of your business. 3sK have qualified and experienced specialists in engineering process, who are equally knowledgeable with practical engineering development, enabling us to stand apart from the usual auditors and engineering service providers.

3sK can support you within the following activities:

Assessments & Audits

Automotive SPICE®

  • Informative Process Assessments with gaps, strengths and recommendations to robustly start your Automotive SPICE® journey
  • Pre-Assessments for confirmation of readiness prior to formal assessment
  • Formal Assessments with support of our INTACS certified partners

ISO 15288

  • Informative assessment of your System Engineering process
  • Identification of strengths, gaps and opportunities

ISO 26262

  • Audit of Functional Safety development processes in line with ISO 26262

Process Improvement


  • Identification of process improvement opportunities
  • Prioritisation of process improvements
  • Kanban approach in development and deployment of process improvements
  • Use of Kaizen (organised use of team knowledge) to identify and improve process
  • Process Value Stream Mapping, removal of process waste
  • Process Modelling (Business Process Modelling Notation BPMN 2.0.2)

Systems Engineering:

  • Recommendation and support in deployment of Model Based System Engineering
  • Support in defining Systems Engineering development frameworks compliant with ISO 15288 and Automotive SPICE®


Process Assessment / Audit:

Firstly, lets discuss audits and assessments.

Automotive SPICE® defines process assessment as “a disciplined evaluation of an organizational unit’s processes against a process assessment model”, whereas ISO 26262 defines assessment as “examination of a characteristic of an item or element” (i.e. assessment evaluates whether functional safety achieved by the item).  ISO 26262 defines audit as “examination of an implemented process”. The Swedish Standards Institute have published a Process Assessment Model, based on Automotive SPICE® and extended to cover ISO 26262. Terms are mixed within this standard between Assessment and Audit. 3sK correspondingly can support with assessments and / or audits, whatever you view on terminology! Herein, we refer to these as assessments.

When 3sK conduct an assessment, our approach is adapted to the situation. We jointly define which process assessment model to use as the reference, usually ISO 26262 or Automotive SPICE®. Other references may be agreed upon, whether these are international standards or internal standards.

We also need to agree the scope of the assessment, for example, which of the 32 processes within Automotive SPICE® are to be assessed. 3sK can support you in defining the scope, and if required or requested, we can provide training on the standard so that we can make a joint informed decision.

Process Assessment

3sK can evaluate where the biggest potential benefits of process assessment and subsequent process improvement may reside and conduct a targeted assessment. 3sK can support in identification of processes with low capability, for example, by analysing quality issues, product defects and scheduling concerns.

3sK offer the following services:

  • Informative Assessments ->

3sK assess compliance to standards and establish process capability with respect to efficiency, value addition, methodology, and uncovering “hidden factory” activities. We find that informative assessments offer excellent return on investment. You will benefit from our experience in many ways.

  • Formal Assessments ->

Assessments against a standard by reviewing your processes, interviewing the team, and seeking evidence of compliance via work product reviews. We may engage one of our accredited partners to issue formal certifications. We will plan and execute the whole activity.

An example output from an informative assessment is shown. This will be complimented with a report prioritising all findings, recommendations and strengths, plus an informative assessment rating verse the process assessment model.

Our team members have conducted informative assessments at OEM’s, Tier 1 and Tier 2 organisations, in UK, USA, India, China and EU. You will benefit from this experience through understanding your strengths and weaknesses relative to the cohort. As you would expect and demand, we always maintain full confidentiality of our customer base.

Process Assessment Results

Process Improvement:

3sK can lead or support you in implementing process improvements. Identification of opportunities to improve will come from the informative assessments and supplemented by Kaizen (strong team engagement).

Each potential improvement will be evaluated and prioritised, based on benefit and effort. High effort improvements will be decomposed, enabling rapid realisation of value add and maintain momentum.

3sK use Kanban for planning, defining, deploying and validating process improvements. We will share live Kanban boards with you and the team, so everyone is aware of the current status.

We will also constrain the number of process improvements in each phase,  ensuring we maintain throughput to full completion.


3sK internal processes are modelled using BPMN. Our high level process assessment and improvement process is shown below as an example. We can support you with process modelling if required.

3sK Process Assessment Process

Work Products

Below are examples of the types of activity 3sK can undertake, but we can adapt and extend to meet your needs.

  • Process Assessment
  • Implementation of Continuous Improvement framework
  • Instigating and operating a Process Improvement initiative
  • Process definition, modelling and deployment

All work products are compliant with relevant standards appropriate for the domain, such as Automotive SPICE®, ISO 26262, ISO 15288.

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