Which process improvement technique?

I introduced and supported a “Business Process Breakthrough” program that uses some principles of Six Sigma and that relies on simple measurements like cycle time. The method uses a number of creative techniques for unearthing root causes and for finding cures.

I developed this method while running an engineering company and broadened its scope while consulting to a machinery manufacturer and a processed food manufacturer. The results were: dramatic improvements in throughputs with minor investments. The ROI was very big.

I later used this method for customer acquisition process and distribution process leading to good results.

In my opinion:
TQM is too abstract and indirect for most managers and process players.
TOC is really a problem solving framework and a not problem defining technique.

Both above techniques fail to provide pro-active look-ahead controls in the hands of managers.

Lean methods specify a philosophy and asks managers to manage accordingly. They have limited diagnostic and control abilities.

Six Sigma: is the most powerful but extremely demanding in terms implementation and therefore rarely gets applied to wider business processes. It is usually restricted to manufacturing sub-processes.

The biggest gains can be obtained in wider business processes for which the method I developed has been very effective in terms time to see results (3 to 6 months typically) and easier acceptability by managers. The method provides both diagnostic and controlling tools to managers.



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