This element pegs accountability and process ownership. Real time performance measurement also allows people to better understand the cause-and-effect relationship between their actions and the improvement goals.
Some improvement opportunities are fruit on the ground or low hanging fruit, and can be harvested through several quick-strike Kaizen Blitz efforts. These are the obvious localized no-brainers that we trip over everyday. The solution is not rocket science. It is simplicity, action, and common sense.
The scope and complexity of the improvement opportunity increases, but so do the potential benefits. Lean Manufacturing typically focuses on speed, elimination of waste, standardization, and flexibility/ responsiveness. Most Lean efforts begin on the production floor, however, the philosophy and tools are equally applicable in “soft process” areas such as new product development, distribution/ logistics, supply chain management, accounting/ finance, and customer service.
These are the highest impact opportunities because we are deep core drilling into the hidden Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ). Making a dent in these areas often results in cost reductions of 2%-7% of annual revenues for successful organizations. Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology that strives for perfection in the organization’s entire value chain. Six Sigma examines variation and root causes of current performance, with a focus not only on the production floor, but on all key business processes. With Six Sigma, the entire organization is placed under the microscope. The methodology and statistical tools provide structure, discipline, and a logical progression for achieving breakthrough improvements. Executives continue to send their employees off to Six Sigma, Lean, or Kaizen boot camps to learn the tools, but they are often disappointed with the lack of results. Executives who develop a working knowledge of Six Sigma, Lean, and Kaizen are much better prepared to build the right infrastructure and lead their organizations to both financial and human success.
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