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By Barry Jeffrey, Feb 17 2015 11:09AM


1. Leadership is exactly that, Leadership. It cannot be delegated to someone else.


One of the very fundamental points about Lean Sigma is that it will require people to think and perform differently. When asking an organisation to change its Leaders and all levels, need be ‘active teachers’.

The direction needs to be clear from the top down. Not localised in anyway. The senior team needs to be "Engaged". That means process improvement activities are in the schedules and that turn up and attend. It should not be seen as an initiative that is assigned to others.


2. Don't forget Middle Management.


Middle managers are notoriously difficult to get on board. They often struggle to see the big picture when faced with both upward and downward pressures. This layer of the structure requires extra attention to penetrate. Take time to get the Middle managers must get on board. Help them to understand for the approach. If leaders lead, middle managers will follow and the cultural shift will be easier.


3. Narrow and deep.


Focus on small stepped changes rather than large projects. It is better to execute a series of smaller, tightly-focused activities that get finished quickly, rather than something that takes months, costs a fortune and achieves little.


4. Go to the Gemba.


The Gemba where the work is done. Always observe the Actual Processes as they are performed, and talk to the People who perform the process. Issues cannot be solved in a meeting room.


5. Communicate, communicate and then communicate again.


People are naturally nervous of change and the reasons for it. Make sure that communication is a two way process and listen. Ensure you over-communicate to offset the natural fear.

6. Learning by doing

Do not fall into the trap of thinking Lean Sigma is just another training exercise. Most of principles are common sense and require little training. In fact most improvement is accomplished with the simple tools. Focus on training people in the discipline of seeing problems from a customer perspective and address them head-on.


6. Learning by doing


Do not fall into the trap of thinking Lean Sigma is just another training exercise. Most of principles are common sense and require little training. In fact most improvement is accomplished with the simple tools. Focus on training people in the discipline of seeing problems from a customer perspective and address them head-on.