When Lean Six Sigma & Continuous Improvement Go Wrong

(and how to improve your chances success)

the real cost of continuous improvement

How many successful corporate and industrial initiatives are there?  Does lean six sigma, continuous improvement  & other methodologies really work?

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Did not clearly define the problem

Most great ideas are simple, and the cornerstone to this is our trusted team members who do the job everyday. “Ground Truth” should be your guide and I encourage you to develop problem-solving techniques that can be shared with the team. Although there are many tools and methods, these 4 steps will help with all issues and can help find the optimal solution or problem solving approach for the specific task.

Focus on the part and not the whole

In the below article by the Harvard Business Review, an interesting perspective is given on the enticing distractions that execs and leaders have to overcome in today’s competitive landscape.  The right strategy is explained in detail

cookie cutter approach

Since the Toyota production system became mainstream and many practitioners of all things lean came on the scene, these methodologies have been  applied incorrectly in droves.

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4 step process to solve any problem

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1. Define the problem

Focus on the problem, not just its symptoms.  Often it is helpful to use tools such as flowcharts to draw out and visualize the  steps or tasks required.  The idea is to define and get to the root of the actual issue

2. Generate alternative solutions

Considering multiple alternatives can significantly enhance the value of your ideal solution and this can often come from the combined efforts of a diverse team. Once you have decided on the “ideal outcome” model, this target is the basis for developing a road map for investigating alternatives. 

3. Evaluate and select an alternative

Considering multiple alternatives can significantly enhance the value of your ideal solution and this can often come from the combined efforts of a diverse team. Once you have decided on the “ideal outcome” model, this target is the basis for developing a road map for investigating alternatives. 

4. Implement and follow up on the solution

Facilitate the implementation with the help of others. Involving others in the planning and implementation is an effective way to gain buy-in and support while minimizing resistance to change.

Continue Learning

Enjoy our favorite articles and additional resources to help you get great work done! 

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