Avoiding Catastrophic Failures in Process Improvement

First Friday Book Synopsis

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Brad Power for the Harvard Business Review‘s “The Conversation&# series. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, and sign up for a subscription to HBR email alerts, please click here. * * * Do you have a process improvement [.].

2011 ASA Deming Lecture by Roger Hoerl – Need Any Country be Poor?

Deming Institute

And he discusses six sigma (which certainly has issues) but as I have written before if you want to learn what value six sigma offers listen to what Roger (and others such as Ron Snee, Gerry Hahn…) say. For those interested in improving the management of our organizations (hopefully that matches the readership of this blog) there is value in reading their views on six sigma.


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Ten Types of Organizational Change

Change Starts Here

The HR and finance groups within a university installed a new software system to automate tasks and have better information for decisions. An airline adopted Lean Six Sigma concepts to increase agility and reduce waste across the operation. Organizational change, or the change that happens at work, encompasses many different types of projects.

Improving Your Company Starts with You

Strategy Driven

Many of these things – and more – are described in detail in methodologies like lean and Six Sigma. Do You Understand Finances? Another aspect that many leaders can often stand to improve about themselves is their ability to handle finances. Many leaders wrongly attempt to improve their companies with a bottom-up approach, focusing on the smallest issues and hoping to work their way up.

CPA 50

Balancing Push and Pull Approaches to Improvement

Harvard Business Review

These mandated-from-above programs include Lean Six Sigma initiatives with experts (" Belts ") in command, big IT implementations, and reengineering of major end-to-end processes. An executive in the company's finance operations adopted a Six Sigma belt-driven approach to reduce costs in the company's global shared service centers. The $6 billion company launched a Six Sigma initiative in 1998 in one of its major groups with help from consultants from GE.

Zero-Based Budgeting Is Not a Wonder Diet for Companies

Harvard Business

In comparison to other methods (such as Six Sigma or activity-based costing), ZBB typically does not address operational excellence in core processes (marketing, sales, supply chain, procurement, manufacturing) or fundamental cost drivers such as portfolio complexity, organizational complexity, customer complaints, and quality issues. In another company, commercial discounts was essentially a black box for the finance chief and CEO.

Diet and Exercise Tips from Process Fitness Fanatics

Harvard Business Review

The stories of how they have kept their processes fit are less well known than those of famous process fitness fanatics such as Toyota, with its Toyota Production System (also known as Lean), and GE, with its Six Sigma program. In 1999, CEO Chad Holliday talked with Larry Bossidy and Jack Welch at GE, and decided to launch a Six Sigma program. DuPont started with Six Sigma's classic focus on reducing product defects.

Put HR Skills on Your Performance Improvement Team

Harvard Business Review

My team would have people with deep functional knowledge and skills (strategy, sales, marketing, finance, and information technology) to align surrounding processes. Coco has a unique background because he's not a career HR professional; he started in operations at GE , where he was trained as a Six Sigma Black Belt process improvement expert. If you do Six Sigma in isolation, the work force doesn't have time to implement the changes.".

How GE Stays Young

Harvard Business Review

Under CEO Jack Welch in the 1980s and 1990s, they adopted operational efficiency approaches (“ Workout ,” “Six Sigma,” and “Lean”) that reinforced their success and that many companies emulated. While Lean and Six Sigma continue to be important, the company is constantly looking for new ways to get better and faster for their customers. GE is an icon of management best practices.

Avoiding Catastrophic Failures in Process Improvement

Harvard Business Review

The maximum time to results should be three to six months. Engage the finance organization. Finance was on board at the company in our story. As I noted in a previous post "Keep Your Operations in Shape by Focusing on Management Processes," performance measurement (which is usually managed by finance) is one of four critical management processes for improvement program success. The system must be reviewed and validated by finance.

When Learning at Work Becomes Overwhelming

Harvard Business Review

This technology knowledge is piled on top of existing expertise nurse executives are expected to have about clinical practice, patient experience, finance, safety, employee relations, process improvement, leadership development, and managing interdisciplinary teams. Young management accountants today are supposed to acquire competencies in a dizzying array of topics, such as advanced presentation skills, Six Sigma, quantitative methods, and even leadership.

What Social Entrepreneurs Can Teach Your Company's Future Leaders

Harvard Business Review

Access to finance , designing operational processes and systems , and building strong, talented management teams are just a few obstacles that many cite. As the business environment becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, few leaders express confidence in their companies' ability to adapt. A 2010 IBM survey found that 79% of global chief executives foresaw "high or very high complexity" over the next five years, but only 49% felt their organization was prepared to handle it.

What Cincinnati Could Teach New York about Hurricane Readiness

Harvard Business Review

P&G committed corporate leadership, foundation grants and a modification of Six Sigma so nonprofits could more effectively manage to agreed-upon results. These post-Sandy times will require local government and business leaders to have frank discussions about the investments that will be needed to secure continuous business operations, how they will be financed and how the cost of those improvements will be fairly shared.