In Lean Thinking, how something gets done is more important than the results. Anathema you say, let me explain.
With an over-zealous focus on results, we forget that processes lead to results. So, a near-sighted focus on just the results, ignores the fact of how one got to those results.
Let me illustrate:
So, given the matrix above, we get the following results:
- A Controlled process with good results is expected
- A process not in control with bad results is expected
- A Controlled process with bad results needs to be investigated through PDCA
- A process not in control with good results is luck
By control, I do not necessarily mean statistical process control, though that would apply for some processes in manufacturing, fulfillment, healthcare, etc. Even as simple and as basic as Standard Work is good enough for most companies.
Here’s the point, regardless of business process: predictibility, repeatibility, reproducibility – that’s what we aim for in most business processes. For the more creative business processes or process within the innovation space, we need to approach those a little differently, but some principles do apply.
It’s Your Turn
Do you agree or disagree? If what I claim is right, do you get the sense, like I do, that most companies are awfully lucky?