Perhaps I am overendowed with self-confidence; or perhaps nothing more than plain old hubris. Then again, maybe some things are just as obvious as they seem to me. Take 5S, for instance. Really? There’s a place for everything and everything in its place. If you got it out, you put it back.
Six Sigma: Know what you want to do, do it, check back later to make sure it worked. Rinse and repeat.
Root cause analysis: ’nuff said.
It boggles my mind to think there is an entire industry thriving on the codification of the obvious. I have to wonder if there is any real value in these seminars, schools, and materials. This particular line of thought (read: rant) comes up often with me, and I always end up like a dog chasing my own tail. The circular logic starts with the previous paragraph. I bemoan that my personal experience has shown that very few leaders demonstrate any understanding of what I would call the basics. Judging by the lack of leadership skills in the business world, apparently there must be a need for basic management and operation training.
It then occurs to me that quality process training can transform a basic axiom, such as 5S, into a valuable tool by teaching the methods to employ that basic idea at a companywide scale.
I’m guilty of stating that Six Sigma, reduced to its core tenets, amounts to nothing more than: The faucet is leaking where it joins the water pipe. Applying thread tape stops the leak. Checking on it the next day reveals that the repair is still holding. Make sure to use thread tape on any future faucet installations. Although Six Sigma on a personal level may indeed be that simple, it’s a different beast altogether when applied to the production of 3,000 DVDs a day.
Design for process is next to godliness in my eyes, and training for such is very valuable indeed.
At this point I realize that belts and certificates give employers and prospective employers an indication that a person has at least some basic ideas and tools in his repertoire.
And finally I settle down with a nod of appreciation that there are so many high-quality consultants, materials, and training programs out there, helping the current crop of leaders to become that much more effective.
Of course tomorrow I’ll come across an article dealing with time-use studies, and the whole cycle will begin all over again.