If ever there was an ultramarathon in business, process improvement is it. It requires discipline, patience, consistency, and lots of hard work.
When process improvement methodologies first came into vogue in the 1980s and ‘90s, they challenged 50 or more years of conventional manufacturing wisdom, enabling companies to improve manufacturing quality, reduce production waste, eliminate bottlenecks, streamline processes, and cut costs.
Twenty or more years down the path, many variations of standard process improvement techniques and tools have been introduced. Along with them have come many opinions about which techniques and tools are most effective.
However, one incontrovertible fact remains: Lean Six Sigma continues to be one of the most prevalent and consistently productive approaches to process improvement. By following the six tenets described in this paper, companies can continue to leverage Lean Six Sigma for solid results in the modern ultramarathon that process improvement represents.
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