Is what you are doing truly adding value?
Not long ago I came across a wonderful quote from Peter Drucker, probably our most noted management author. He stated “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
Unfortunately, continuing to execute what does not add value to a product or service (the definition of waste according to the father of TQM, W. Edwards Deming) continues to be a part of the application of Six Sigma and Lean efforts. This is why our Process Advantage® approach involves a re-examination of process from the ground up. We encourage those involved in the existing process to examine what they are doing now and employ innovative “breakthrough strategies” or enablers to achieve the end results needed, but without unnecessary steps or expense.
The reason we continue doing what “should not be done at all” is that normally those who created the current methods are the ones deciding what needs to be continued. Because they own the design of current methods, it is difficult for them to see or even adopt major changes to those methods.
This is why we employ design teams of workers actually executing the current process to design innovative new solutions. They don‘t own the current design, but they do own the inefficiencies and frustrations that the customers of those processes, be they internal to the company or external, complain about.
It takes courage for management to trust that those actually executing process are the best architects of improved methods but in my experience that is the only means to avoid the pitfalls that Drucker cautions us about.
What’s been your experience? Send me your thoughts via e-mail.