The sixth and seventh beliefs that must be accepted involve waste and variation. You must accept the premise that every process contains both excessive amounts of waste and variation that are waiting to be identified, removed, and reduced. No matter how perfect you might believe your process is, believe me it has variation and it is full of wasteful activities. Your job will be to locate, reduce and hopefully eliminate the major sources of both. Variation corrupts a process, rendering it inconsistent and unpredictable. Without consistency and control you will not be able to plan and deliver products to your customers in the time frame you have promised. Waste drives up both operating expense and inventory, so improvements in both of these go directly to the bottom line as you improve the throughput of your process and more specifically your constraining operation. Yes, you will observe waste in your non-constraint operations, but for now focus your resources only on the constraint!
- Believing that leveraging the constraint and focusing your resources on the constraint is the key to improved profitability
- Believing that it is imperative to subordinate all non-constraints to the constraint
- Believing that improving your process is a never-ending cycle
- Believing that involving your total workforce is critical to success
- Believing that abandoning outdated performance metrics like efficiency and utilization, reward or incentive programs, and variances is essential to moving forward
- Believing that excessive waste is in your process and that it must be removed
- Believing that excessive variation is in your process and that it must be reduced
- Believing that problems and conflicts must be addressed and solved
- Believing that constraints can be internal, external, physical or policy or any combination of the four
- Believing that the organization is a chain of dependent functions and that systems thinking must replace individual thinking.
If your organization has truly accepted these ten prerequisite beliefs and all that goes with them, then you are ready to begin this exiting journey that has no destination. But simply saying you believe something can be hollow and empty. It is your day-to-day actions that matter most. Review these ten prerequisite beliefs as a group on a regular basis and hold people and yourself accountable to them. Post them for everyone to see. Utilizing the Ultimate Improvement Cycle and true acceptance of and employment of these ten beliefs will set the stage for levels of success you never believed were possible!