Yr Gunnarsdottir has posted an interesting piece on the Top 5 barriers to continuous improvement. They are:
- Difficult to foster collaboration between multiple stakeholders
- Difficult to identify which processes to prioritize improvement efforts on
- Ill-suited Process Management tooling
- Governing / controlling change (to meet compliance obligations)
- Lack of employee engagement
The first and last of these are coming out top in the online poll, but I’m left wondering why “useless Leadership” is not top of the heap.
As long as senior managers grasp for the latest silver bullet (Lean, 6 Sigma, BPM, Compliance, or whatever) and think that they can “get middle managers to do it to the shop floor”, Continuous Improvement is just a fantasy. CI has to start at the top, usually with changes in the behaviours of senior managers. The tools, or methodologies are never going to be the answer.
As Tom Peters once said “Most improvement initiatives fail for one of two reasons; system without passion, or passion without system – you desperately need both”.