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Processes are usually broken in an organization because trust, communication, and accountability are broken.

“Standards should not be forced down from above but rather set by the production workers themselves.”

Taiichi Ohno, Father of Lean Six Sigma

Process Improvement

Click here to see what's NEW for 2023

One of the best ways to increase profits and sustain revenue growth is to ensure your teams are set up for success. This can be done by ensuring they have clearly defined roles, processes, and procedures. I know, from experience, that broken and inefficient processes lead to breakdowns in communication, fractured relationships, and decreased trust between leadership and employees. And, eventually, if left unaddressed will lead to loss in revenue and customer dissatisfaction.


That's where process improvement comes in...the path to continuous improvement.


As a Six Sigma Black Belt, I use many Six Sigma tools such as Root Cause Analysis techniques like the ‘5 Whys’, Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA), and Kaizen Events to help organizations get to the core of a problem so they can create efficient solutions to solve them.. These tools, along with using the DMAIC methodology, allow me to help my clients treat the disease, rather than only the symptoms.

  • What is the project

  • As is process map

  • Scope, Deliverables, Timescales

  • Define Key Metrics

  • Collect & Validate Data

  • Define measurements of success

  • Current state analysis

  • Dependencies & Compliance

  • Develop potential solutions

  • Validate potential improvement

  • Re-evaluate potential improvement

  • Develop standards and procedures

  • Implement statistical process control

  • Verify benefits, savings & profit

Kaizen Events

Kaizen means "change for the better" in Japanese. Kaizen events are designed to create change for the better in your problem processes.  Conducted over five 8-hour days, Kaizen brings one or two individuals in every business unit that touches your problem process together to document the "current state" of the process, analyze the issues, and re-imagine a "future state" process that solves the problems and makes their jobs (and, in a way, their lives) less stressful and frustrating. The biggest challenge with Kaizen's is getting leadership to trust that the people in the process know the process much better than anyone standing on the sidelines (even those who "used to be" in the process).

If you want your employees to adopt process changes, you have to trust them to make the changes. When done correctly, in addition to its problem solving benefits, Kaizen events also have some unexpected benefits:

  • More team members have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership

  • Practice defining and documenting baseline metrics

  • Improved cross-functional collaboration and communication

  • Repository of knowledge expands

  • Priorities and responsibilities become clear

  • Increases/improves ownership of the process increases

  • Improves process/procedure documentation

  • Improves trust in leadership

The most rewarding aspect of leading a Kaizen event is witnessing growth in the participants. "Wall flowers" (those who typically don't speak up) find their voice and confidence during the daily report outs. "Smartest Guy/Girl in the Room" recognize there are other "smart guys/girls" in the room and learn how to do more listening than they do talking. Participants come in one way and leave transformed in a way that benefits everyone.

Here's an example of some of the work that comes out of a Kaizen event:


This is a small section of the "current state" Project Management Lifecycle process for an IT service provider. The driving force for this process improvement project was to streamline the time it takes to initiate a project, as well as decrease the amount of waste moving the project toward completion. 

It was discovered, as it usually is, that there are re-work loops or, as I like to call them, Rework Circles of Doom. The team, as most do, got excited about all the ways they could solve the problem and make their jobs easier.


At the end of each day, the team conducts a "report out" to their leadership team. They share three things: what they learned, the progress they made, and their plans for the next day. At the end of the Kaizen event, the teams shares the "future state" process, the solutions they've identified to solve the existing problems, and they show the metrics of their improvements.

NEW in 2023!!!

Kaizen Your

What do DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging), team building, and process improvement have in common? More than you'd think. The problem is they are usually addressed in siloes. Want to deploy a DEIB initiative, give people the "option" to participate, alone, with an "option" to discuss their thoughts and feelings, separately. Your team has a problem, so you pull the team together to resolve it. This might temporarily resolve the team issue but it doesn't address the issues and challenges they face with teams in other business units or their key stakeholders. Having trouble with your processes? Pull your leaders together to resolve it with no input from the people in the process who may know it a LOT better.


Kaizen your Culture was designed to address the DEIB, team building, and process improvement efforts together so that you get a real-time look at the current state of your organization, can understand the root cause of the issues, and resolve them so they leave a positive impact on the culture of your organization. Want to learn more?


There's rarely a dull moment in my life. Whether it's the work I do, the people I meet, the books I write, the art I create, or the places I travel, there's always a lesson to be learned or inspiration to share. If you want the news hot off the presses, subscribe now! I promise not to inundate your inbox.

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