“A process that quickly jumps to a solution … without a good understanding of the root causes, though it may achieve desired results, would not be viewed as a successful project.” – Understanding A3 Thinking (Sobek/Smalley) Page 15.
The truth is, both desired results and the improvement process are equally important. It is easy to understand why it is undesirable to follow the improvement process but not achieve desired results. What is hard, is the major cultural shift from only wanting the results at the expense of following the improvement process.
Due to limited resources, clients want the improvement results, but are asking internal consultants to be the go-getters. I think this model has it’s place early in Lean transformations, but this is a difficult situation to turn around. If clients and their teams are not doing their own time observations, pulling their own data, going to gemba, understanding root cause, and making their own recommendations then their Lean progress is stunted. I view my role as being able to help coach, guide, and teach clients and their teams to “learn to see”. If it is just me doing the majority of it, it comes at the expense of their Lean maturity. This includes someomne else preparing tabels and charts for them in place of gemba but that is a topic for a different post.
This is an interesting situation. Many times, it is difficult to get a culture that wants to change or improve. When you have a culture that wants the results of change, it is important to remain principled and not do it all for them because that is a long term disservice in my opinion.
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