Quality Inputs Lead To Quality Outputs

Quality Inputs Lead To Quality Outputs

The often-used six sigma symbol. Image via Wikipedia

Since beginning my journey with LeanCor after graduation earlier this summer, I have been immersed in lean. Starting out as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, I had already established a very rudimentary foundation of some of the lean concepts such as Jidoka (quality at the source), standardization, stability, etc. Despite coming in with some work experience, even in a lean environment, I recognized something very different about LeanCor right away. It took quite some time, however, to understand this unique quality. What stood out to me wasn't the practice or implementation of lean tools and methods, but rather something different. This difference was culture.

Of the businesses I was a part of prior to LeanCor, a common quality I observed was a focus on outputs. These outputs were measures such as profits, ROI, units sold, or time spent. Individuals and/or departments or teams were responsible for certain aspects of such metrics. This outlook did give some indication of performance, but left uncertainty with regards to what and how to improve. Lean teaches us that quality inputs lead to quality outputs. Focus on inputs allows for actionable metrics and direction for continuous improvement. I've found this to be a rare quality to encounter in the business world, however. Perhaps a lack of connection between inputs and outputs inhibits a quality-at-the-source mindset. Such a mindset is a big part of the culture at LeanCor that stood out to me so much when I first began work here in Florence.

The more ubiquitous contributing factor to the culture at LeanCor, though, is the drive for continuous improvement. It is evident from my experience thus far, that if we are focused on any one thing, it is continuous improvement. This unifying drive is the fuel of the problem-solving fire. An amazing by-product of such an all-encompassing drive is teamwork. The borders around responsibility and blame fade quickly when each person strives for improvement.

Although I still consider green the key word in my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, I feel confident enough to proclaim that culture is the most important part of getting lean right.

Written by Kelcy Monday, Lean Logistics Specialist at LeanCor

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Posted by LeanCor Supply Chain Group

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LeanCor Supply Chain Group is a trusted supply chain partner that specializes in lean principles to deliver operational improvement. LeanCor’s three integrated divisions – LeanCor Training and Education, LeanCor Consulting, and LeanCor Logistics – help organizations eliminate waste, drive down costs, and build a culture of continuous improvement.

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