Saving America with Lean Six Sigma

With the re-election of President Obama, attention turns from political mudslinging to getting down to the business of dealing with the deficit. No matter where you look, it seems the answer is to raise the debt ceiling. But is this really wise? Those who follow Lean Six Sigma principles say “no”. They realize the tools are there to save the United States from self-harm.

To understand why these experts in Lean Six Sigma believe there is a better way to reduce spending and save America from its current crisis, you have to understand the principles. According to Lean Frog, the Lean Six Sigma plan is so simple, and so proven, it's amazing that it hasn't simply become the method of choice across any industry with budget issues.

Embracing the concepts behind Lean Six Sigma and taking the training courses offered should enable some massive gains in production with less spending. In fact, using the built in waste reduction tools in the plan it is proven that spending can be cut by 25% a year without impacting current levels of service. This is something agencies that are supposed to be self-sufficient desperately need.

Those branches already using Lean Six Sigma; the Department of Homeland Security, Air Force, Army, Navy, Department of Veterans Affairs, and NASA could do better. The track record is mixed, mostly due to a lack of understanding and successful training programs to completely implement the policies necessary.

The issue with the government implementation of Lean Six Sigma is surprisingly similar to what large established businesses have. Existing cultural practices are held over from one “generation” to the next, passed from older worker to younger worker based on experience. Since habits are ingrained and difficult to change without conscious effort, focus on numbers alone dooms implementation of new ideas to failure.

In contrast to established big business or the government, new businesses that rely on Lean Six Sigma principles have an awesome advantage. Their corporate culture is not set or gelled yet. They can mold themselves around the principles easily and enable their workers to fully take advantage of the program.

Thank you to Lean Frog for their contribution to this article.


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