The main goal of Lean Six Sigma is to solve business problems. Typically, I’ve seen problems present in two ways. First, you might see a bunch of errors or defects crop up. You will need to solve these errors to overcome them and move on. Second, you might see an opportunity. What I mean by that is you might be missing out on additional revenue streams with a customer segment because you’re not providing them with a specific product or service they want.
Either way, when you’re using a proven Operational Excellence methodology like Lean or Lean Six Sigma, choosing the right solution is just as important as identifying problems to solve.
With Operational Excellence, when we have problems, we look to proven methodologies to solve them such as Lean or Lean Six sigma. In short, we look to our Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt project leaders that manage these problems to come up with solutions.
The Mythical “Perfect” Solution
One of the challenges that I see over and over again is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project leaders bumping up against the idea that they need to find the perfect solution – what I like to call the needle in the haystack solution.
No solution can be perfect. Even with “perfect” solutions, you’ll run into problems because you’ll find that it’s too expensive, it’s too slow to implement, or it’s overly complex. And guess what? Chances are if you implement a “perfect” solution, it’ll let you down. You were sold on the idea of perfect, but perfect doesn’t exist.
A Perfect Solution Doesn’t Exist
Very few problems in business are wholly unique. Instead of searching for a needle in a haystack solution, look to others who have solved your problem or a similar problem. My guess is that you’ll find many other organizations have either solved your problem or are well on their way to a solution.
Look for solutions that exceed your customer’s expectations, but also look for solutions that manage internal expectations. Have your Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt project leaders ask themselves, “Is it efficient to run? Is it efficient from a cost standpoint? Is it practical to implement?”
Often choosing a readily available solution offers quicker implementation at a lower cost than creating a custom-made “perfect” solution.