As with anything else, one thing can have various names behind it. At times, they are the same thing, but the basis and the methodology behind it is the same. This is also the case with process improvement, lean, process optimization, or process transformation. Essentially, these elements are the same thing.
While looking at my Twitter feed, I noticed a posting from EY Canada, the former Ernst and Young, that spoke about ‘Optimizing your operations through process transformation’. Click here to see a copy of the post. I opened the posting because I found it interesting due to my Lean Six Sigma background.
In reading the posting, it became obvious to me that they were talking about lean. Instead of calling it lean, they were calling it process transformation. Instead of recommending people to follow the DMAIC methodology (Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement, and Control), they recommended that companies Identify and Diagnose, Design, and then Deliver and Sustain on their process improvement projects.
All in all, with the different terminology, it has the same goal in mind. Identify waste or unrequired steps in your processes, take action to remove those steps, and develop a control plan for going forward. Being an accounting firm, EY Canada focused more on the business processes that occur within an office than the factory floor. In many cases, that is where the biggest savings are from lean activities.
The waste in an office is not visual, in many cases. You can’t physically see a journal entry travel within a computer, but by getting into the detailed process, steps can be identified which don’t add value or many actually add a layer of complexity to the process.
What methodology do you use to identify waste within your business processes? Have you completed a review of your business processes?
Have an awesome week.
Kevin MacDonald is the CEO of L6S Business Consulting Inc. L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin holds his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups, his condo board and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinics on a bi-weekly basis.
Image: F Delventhal from Flickr Common Creative