Organizational Process Flow: A River of Possibilities

There was a nice article on organizational process flow by Thomas A. Myers from the iSixsigma Network.

Here it is:

Fifteen years ago, a student of mine introduced me to the Toyota Way. As a participant in a project management program and then in a Six Sigma course, this young man (who happened to be across the world from me in Japan) began posting assignments using methodologies from his employer, Toyota.

Later, that student became my teacher, or sensei, and I began to learn about Lean and how to implement it the right way. I had learned about Lean before, but I discovered that in North America Lean was often not applied properly; much of what was important in the methodology had been lost in translation.

My sensei explained to me that organizational flow was like a river that had many branches. It runs downstream from its source until it reaches the ocean. As with an actual river, there are blockages that hold up the flow. Some blockages are naturally occurring log jams, while some are created by busy beavers. Still others are inadvertently placed in the middle of the flow due to poor organizational policies or other management issues. Sometimes the pressure behind the blockage becomes so great that the flow circumvents the blockage becoming a work-around that can take far longer than the original stream.

Read the full article at:


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