A couple of days ago I was asked to review a very impressive resume for an open position in LSS that called my attention. In the very sentence of the self-description section of the resume, the candidate described himself as “result-oriented” person. Is result-oriented a virtue? What about “process-oriented”? How does a result-oriented or process-oriented person fit within a lean six sigma transformation?
Results counts and at the end, they are the only thing that counts. For instance, most of us are in business corporations, and businesses are here to make money. And we make money when we get good results: good products, at the lowest cost and when the customers need them. However, the difference here is about how we get to these expected results. In other words, what processes do we use to get results?Results are the outcome of a process. In lean six sigma, we aim to get good results from a controlled process, because they will be repeatable. That is why the Toyota Production System (TPS) is “process-focus” not result-focus. On the other hand, a result-focus approach or person might not care how the results are achieved as long they are achieved. We can get good results from uncontrolled process if we work harder (e.g. more hours working, more pressure to our teams, more resources for inspections, check and others) and have some luck, but the truth is that this is not a sustainable option. In fact, I had my fare share of firefighting corporate battles in which I was routed to sites that were a “disaster” in order to fix problems. Bad results from uncontrolled process simply mean that we are not doing our jobs and, paraphrasing Albert Einstein, ‘insanity' is to expect different results from doing the same thing over again.
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
― Albert Einstein