QMT News: January 2009
CONFERENCE REPORT - Lean Six Sigma & Process Improvement
Speaking at the Lean Six Sigma & Process Improvement Summit, held in Amsterdam on 27 - 30th October, professor Dan T. Jones, author of The Machine that Changed the World, says that the recession is an opportunity to implement LEAN - and companies that don't will almost certainly not survive.

Based largely upon the Toyota Management System, LEAN is here to stay. Studying the Toyota system and contrasting it with more traditional management approaches, several key lessons are being to emerge. One of the key concepts, says professor Jones, is  the separation of responsibility for authority and resources. In an interview with QMT, Professor Jones said, “The Toyota Management System has separated responsibility for developing and  improving cross-functional projects and cross-functional value streams.

They have separated the responsibility for ownership over resources, which remain in the functions. Toyota have managed to clearly identify the horizontal value streams that create value for the customer while not dismantling  the vertical functions which is the way we (currently) organise knowledge, careers and budgets. That separation of authority and resources is a new concept and is very profound. It presents big challenges for how we organise management in the future.”

Also speaking at the Lean  Six Sigma and Process Improvement Summit was John Neill, Group CEO of Unipart. One of the themes of his presentation was leadership. He said, when it comes to LEAN,  it is dangerous to assume there is a checklist  for success - that there is a box of tools one can just use. Instead, what is required is a leader who understands the need for a profound cultural transformation over many.

It requires patience and constancy of purpose. For success, support for the LEAN process has to come from the top. ”The world wants to go LEAN, but it is cognitively overwhelming,” said John Neill in an interview with QM, with over 90% failing in implementation.  “If you want to go LEAN, you need to find someone who is an effective guide and coach.” That is why he would recommend implementing the Unipart way of LEAN.   And the Unipart approach has some very notable successes under its belt: for example, HM Revenue and Customs in the UK have achieved an audited £400million worth of benefits for an outlay of £15million.
Dan Jones;
 email: info@leanuk.org www.leanuk.org
John Neill email: john_m._neill@unipart.co.uk Conference:
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