I have spent almost two decades of helping un-stuck businesses and organizations to become agile, efficient and continuously improving.
In all the years of improvement agency work, I have really focused on 4 critical elements of achieving continuous improvement and a high-performance organization.
- Choosing the right improvement method
- Customer-focused application of the method
- Strategic goal-alignment
- Mindset and communication structure
Today, I want to talk about #1 – choosing the right improvement method.
This is on the tactical level, and most of the training agencies will spend 90% of your money on the training of the method.
There are many great methods available like Lean Manufacturing (from Toyota), or Six Sigma (from Motorola and become well-known by General Electric), or PDCA (from Deming) etc.
Whatever method you choose to implement it in your organization, make sure that it is practical and easy to use and applicable in all situations.
We personally use a combined, Lean Six Sigma method but not the way you would expect.
After completing a so-called “industry standard Lean Six Sigma black belt training” of 5 weeks,
- I did not know how to start my project
- What tools I needed from the huge arsenal of statistical analysis
- I had great difficulties working with a less theoretical background (machine operators, welders, mechanics, nurses, etc.)
That frustration led me to combine and use only the essential 20% of the method, which provides solutions for 80% of the situation. Actually, in my years of experience, I had not found myself in a situation that the simplified LSS would not be sufficient in solving a problem.
Also, we can now work at every level of the organization, achieving company-wide involvement so that everyone speaks the same “improvement-language”.
I’ve conducted a small research among process improvement professionals to find out what improvement method should be used and in which situation.
This FREE report reveals the critical elements of Lean and Six Sigma methods.
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