Continuous improvement programs are great for manufacturing but how do they apply to service businesses? The usual answer to this question is that process excellence works across functional silos. It is horizontal, transversal and industry agnostic. Although true, this answer does not always address the concerns of the leaders in service businesses and financial institutions.
Good times, bad times, you know we’ve had our share…. Anytime is a good time to reexamine the principle of “getting Lean” or improving processes by applying a set of tools that will deliver significant reductions in cost and lead time. Sigma techniques as championed by “blackbelts” is often the rallying cry.
But what about Quality (with or without a big Q)? Is quality or Total Quality now passé, having been supplanted by Lean and/or Six Sigma? Are all of these synonyms? Are they just dressed-up, consultant-speak ways of describing historic “best manufacturing practices?” Do they work together, or do they Continue reading Quality, Lean and Six Sigma: Often Misunderstood