Balance Process and Results
In the lean world we always stress how important a good process is to achieving results. One of my favorite graphics I have seen is the one pictured below. It shows the four outcomes of balancing process and results.
- Having a Good Process and Getting Good Results is the gold star. We know we have a solid process that will give us the good results we want.
- Having a Good Process and Getting Bad Results is half way there. We know the process works like it should. It just doesn’t give us the results we want so we need to go back and redesign the process.
- Having a Bad Process and Getting Good Results you are gambling. You got lucky to get the good results and it won’t be consistently repeatable.
- Having a Bad Process and Getting Bad Results is just not good. Nothing is working and you should start working on this right away.
I am one of the first to stress process, but as you can see it must be balanced.
When designing a process it must have the right mix of structure and flexibility because it is about understanding, learning and getting the results.
For example, when designing a manufacturing process you may be more prescriptive because of the need to get a particular assembly done correctly.
For a process around coaching or problem solving, there needs to be more flexibility. A determined process should be designed and used but it shouldn’t be as prescriptive as a manufacturing process. It allows for the person to be able to go where the problem is taking them but achieving the desired results is still extremely important.
The need to balance the importance of a good process and the getting good results is a key skill to have when teaching people about lean.