What Organizations Want From Their Continuous Improvement Efforts

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in Continuous Improvement, Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Organizations have different reasons and needs when trying to implement continuous improvement.  Whether it be Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen, etc., there is no one size fits all.  But everyone will agree they need to do something to improve their operations or they face being passed up by the competition.

I’ve listed some of the reasons I hear from my clients and what they expect from a continuous improvement process and their employees.

  1. Techniques and tools that are simple and easy to understand.  Techniques the average employee can learn and implement, that doesn’t take a PhD to understand and explain.
  2. An organization that works together as a team.  Everyone moving in the same direction for the good of the company.  A company that uses data to make decisions instead of opinion and hear say.
  3. Employees that have a structured process that guides them through the steps from problem definition to successful completion.
  4. Employees that are able to grasp the current situation, define the problem quickly, and take action.
  5. Employees that are able to collect and analyze data to get to the root cause of the problem.
  6. Employees that are able to identify and eliminate waste in processes that cost the organization money.
  7. Employees that are able to identify and reduce variation in processes, products, and services to make them more consistent and improve customer satisfaction.
  8. Employees that are able to solve problems quickly, i.e., in a few days and not weeks or months.
  9. Employees that are able to analyze and use data to make better decisions based on facts.
  10. Employees that are able to identify and implement solutions that address the root cause and that are simple and effective.
  11. Employees that are able to look at the system, modify the method, procedures, work instructions, etc. so the problem does not reoccur down the road.
  12. A process that ensures employees are following the method and keeps waste and variation are at a minimum.

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