From Frustration to Fulfillment, A Kaizen Story

Steve is a Chief Appraiser of a $40B bank in the Southeast. He deals with FDIC audits, ROVs and gets pinged by his RMs.

He’s got a lot on his plate – strategic planning, quality control, vendor management, risk management and stakeholder communication within the appraisal department.

Steve’s tired of his entrenched inefficiencies with managing the appraisal process.

He’s frustrated, very frustrated, that he can’t provide his team customized tools to work the way he works.

After talking to another Chief Appraiser friend Katherine, Steve learned about Kaizen. This Japanese concept of making small, continuous improvements, sounds like it could help Steve and his staff.

That’s Kaizen in a nutshell. A mindset shift.

  1. Identify Opportunities for Improvement
  • Efficiency Boost: Begin by analyzing current processes to pinpoint bottlenecks, redundancies, or areas lacking in precision. In appraisal departments, this might involve the time taken to complete appraisals, the number of revisions, or the effectiveness of communication between appraisers and stakeholders.
  1. Analyze Processes and Create a Plan
  • Streamlined Operations: After identifying potential areas of improvement, dissect these processes to understand their components fully. This could mean evaluating the steps involved in managing appraisal orders, the turnaround time for reports, or the methods used for vendor management. Develop a plan to address these issues, prioritizing those that will have the most significant impact on efficiency.
  1. Implement Small Changes
  • Continuous Improvement: Make manageable enhancements. This could involve adopting new proven technologies, like YouConnect, to automate and streamline the appraisal and environmental ordering process. Incremental changes are less disruptive and allow for continuous assessment and adjustment supported by a company that has your best interest.
  1. Monitor Results and Make Adjustments
  • Adaptive Strategies: After implementing changes, closely monitor outcomes for any signs of improvement or need for further adjustment. This could involve tracking metrics such as time saved per appraisal, improved accuracy of reports, or enhanced satisfaction among Chief Appraisers and stakeholders. Use this data to fine-tune processes continually.
  1. Standardize Successful Practices
  • Consistency and Quality: Once a change proves to be successful, standardize this practice across the department to ensure consistency, quality and efficiency. For example, if a new software app like Glances my improve your relationships with your RMs that can order, check on status and download invoices and the appraisal without ever leaving their LOS.
  1. Repeat the Process
  • Sustainable Excellence: Kaizen is an ongoing process. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement by regularly reviewing and refining processes. This promotes adaptability and ensures that the appraisal department remains efficient while attracting the next generation.


Steve was so energized to implement Kaizen in his appraisal department. He has taken the Kaizen attitude and is now internally training his staff on best practices and ideation to get their feedback.

He’s enjoying leaving behind the “rinse and repeat” mindset and now encourages a culture of constant learning and improvement.

Steve is no longer frustrated.

Fulfillment achieved.

He’s Zen, with Kaizen.

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