Tag Archives: Continuous improvement

Why Six Sigma fails in the real world

This may ruffle feathers of the Black Belts among you but I’m going to highlight an example to explain precisely why the majority of pragmatic clients aren’t interested in the upper levels that Six Sigma goes to. I’ve found through experience over the years that a client is more interested in building a continuous improvement […]

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Dark Matter

What goes around comes around Part 2: Standardize or Innovate?

In a recent post on BPMRedux, What goes around comes around, I wrote about the swing between the need for process automation and the rise of workforce collaboration in the enterprise. And sitting on the train home there was another thought which struck me, two process improvement schools diametrically opposed to one another. On several […]

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Heavy baggage

BPM: Three simple letters, so much baggage

It would be easy to think, looking at the technology landscape or at the procurement departments of most technology buyers, that the world is comprised of problems and solutions that exist in relative separation from one another. Analysts like Gartner, Forrester, IDC and others contribute to this by putting software into narrow categories that underrepresent […]

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Pomegranates, a clean kitchen and process improvement

I eat a lot of pomegranates these days. These fantastic fruits provide potent antioxidants and have anticancer properties. They also reduce blood pressure and atherosclerotic plaque. Pomegranates are in season and taste delicious. But my wife was starting to hate them. Deseeding Like all things in life, I started out as a pomegranate deseeder novice.  Several months ago, I used to do this by […]

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Microchip Implant

Let’s implant microchips in our kids!

Just kidding, but I got your attention. Also, full disclosure, I’m from Texas. You may have seen the recent news story on the use of RFID student badges (not implanted microchips) in a school district in San Antonio, Texas. You can read a summary here. Enter Financial Pressures The main driver behind the school district […]

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Hawk Eye

Keep Your Eye on Process Improvement

In my consulting and research I’ve seen many companies launch process improvement programs such as Total Quality Management, Business Reengineering, Lean, and Six Sigma. Many got significant benefits, including lower costs, faster time-to-market, and better customer experiences. But after one round of improvement, they gave up and let their organization get flabby again. Organizations, like […]

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Twins fighting it out

Keeping up with the little guys

The following is a guest post by Sukki Sandhar, a London-based technology executive with extensive experience in the global wireless telecom market in business development, sales and industry marketing. Sukki’s years of both product and customer-facing work in a highly dynamic technology space give him great insights into how software is created, sold and used.  Having […]

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The False Tradeoff in Redesigning Work

In theory, actively engaging your front line employees in improving the way work is done makes perfect sense. It allows front line workers to learn by doing. It builds capability. It gets the work done. It builds emotional commitment to changes. Yet in practice, leaders seldom choose to actively engage the front line when redesigning work. Why? […]

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old mill machine

Can disruption really happen this fast?

One process that we all hate performing is expense reports. If you don’t hate them, you’re probably an accountant and nothing can be done for you. For the rest of us, it is a dreaded requirement. In my workplace, the process for expense reports is a pretty standard one. We have to send PDF’s of […]

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The cost of not knowing

I am exposed to organizations doing some very innovative things with their organizational processes. They are state-of-the-art in managing leveraging process-improvement tools, such as Lean, Six Sigma, or other homegrown or hybrid improvement methodologies. They focus a great deal of effort in refining processes, better managing processes, and/or reducing waste from their organizational processes. I […]

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You can’t handle the truth

It came as a surprise as I left the Navy officer’s life that so many people thought my former world was so different from the ‘civilian’ world I was entering.  In my first assignment with Perot Systems, I heard comments like, “Life is easy when you can just order someone to do it,” and, “Everything […]

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New ways to collaborate for process improvement

To make big improvements in productivity and customer service, people in an organization must collaborate across corporate hierarchies, functions, companies, and geographies. Emerging social networking technologies offer new ways to overcome these boundaries. Leading companies such as IBM, Ford, and Avery Dennison are making major improvements in key processes by creating online communities to share […]

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Process: Holding out for a hero?

A recent blog post by Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog) created one of the “POW!” moments for me. The writeup was about organizations that always deal with “problems,” and what happens when there are no more problems to solve. Problem solvers don’t function well when they don’t have any problems to solve. They often seem lost. We’re […]

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Operational Improvement Has Improved

If you’ve had a bad experience with an operational improvement effort (like Six Sigma or Business Reengineering), or if you haven’t given it much attention lately, you should take a fresh look. Many companies and executives have been disappointed with these efforts when results weren’t sustained and inefficiency crept back in. But improvement has improved. […]

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Weave Change

Weave change into your HR processes

Profound changes in an organization must be led from the top, but human resource professionals can play a big part in making them happen. Consider HR’s role in accelerating Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates’ operational improvement initiative. This 4,500-employee Massachusetts healthcare group embarked on “Care Improvement” three years ago. Chief Human Resources Officer Dan Michaud told me how HR has […]

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Felix Baumgartner at 22 miles up

Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are

“Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are.” If you aren’t familiar with this statement, they represent the words Felix Baumgartner spoke just before stepping out of a capsule on the edge of space 24.2 miles above earth with nothing but a protective suit and parachute to help him back […]

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