Forward Motion Associates, LLC
"We did Lean a few years ago......"
Sadly, this comment is surprisingly common today...and it is a painful message to those who believe strongly in the benefits of this philosophy, which includes Lean (aka Toyota Production System or TPS), Six Sigma, ISO Quality Systems and related practices, that when properly carried out over the long term can realize huge rewards for all concerned.
Yet a large percentage of those who have attempted continuous improvement (CI) initiatives make this statement today -- in other words, it was not sustainable.... Why? Where did it fail?
After many years in this business we have come to believe such initiatives were not properly conducted from the outset, although they may have been initially successful. The fundamental shortcoming was likely to be not effectively engaging employees - from top management throughout the workforce - with an understanding of the mission and its personal importance to each one of them as stakeholders. This is the toughest part of CI and must be commenced at the outset and continued throughout the initiative development period, which can take quite some time and a large amount of patience. And yes, there are numerous bumps in the road that must be endured and overcome!
We address this by bringing Wisdom to the table. Why is that important?
Knowledge of and skill with the various CI tools can be developed quickly and there are multitudes of "credentialed" practitioners of Continuous Improvement. We believe such credentials are simply not enough as so many failed initiatives demonstrate. Applying these skills repeatedly over a long period is the only way to accumulate wisdom, which provides a powerful perspective that allows the skills and tools to be deployed at levels of effectiveness not otherwise achievable...in other words, truly effective practitioners have practiced Continuous Improvement on themselves for many years, which is the avenue toward Wisdom.
We are those people. Our practitioners have decades of deep experience and the associated wisdom that comes as a result. The goal is that all projects are self-funded and will deliver significant return on investment long term.
We engage with clients who have already tried process improvement initiatives yet found sustainability difficult to achieve. We also invite those contemplating their first foray into CI to consult with us to help determine their chances of success. Far too many CI initiatives have failed and the cost in dollars and morale is enormous. There is no use in engaging in such efforts unless a full understanding of the road ahead is carefully laid out and the willingness to grapple with pitfalls is embraced.
We can help.
Terry Krauss, MBA
Founder and President