LEAN\CPI – Culture or Chore?

LEAN\CPI – Culture or Chore?

How are you looking at CPI? Continuous process improvement techniques are often used to review processes, but are you stopping there, or ingraining the concepts into your culture? And is Lean and CPI the same thing? Do they overlap?

I’m sure several people will happily debate Lean vs. CPI, but again let’s try to keep this simple. One simple explanation that most people seem to agree with is that CPI is a concept, where LEAN is a set of tools to achieve the concept.

As an example, a business may review their customer satisfaction surveys and decide that they need to update their processes to make their customers happy. Management decides to implement a “CPI program” to fix their processes. They hire a consultant who comes in and runs a Kiazen under the LEAN methodologies, makes several recommendations, implement, track and improve the scores.

At the end of the consultants time, the management team is happy because they improved the score and the processes are working better. However this is often how CPI becomes a chore instead of a culture. Can it work? Yes, it can help and there are times and places that this may be a good approach.

Most CPI professionals will agree that building a CPI culture is a better strategy for long term satisfaction of both the employees and the customers. It takes longer, and requires more effort up front, but in the long run it will pay off!

Feel free to contact me to correct anything you see wrong, or just chat about process improvement needs.