Assume that you have recently been hired as the director of continuous improvement of a company. You are an outside hire with limited history of the firm and personal capital at the firm, and you are responsible for lean production, total quality management (TQM), six sigma, and best practice implementation.
Lean production means doing more with less, such as less inventory, fewer workers, or less space. A recent trade in quality management is lean six sigma (also known as lean sigma) that integrates six sigma and lean production.
The capacity for which you were hired has existed for three years with a direct line of report to the vice-president of operations and dotted line of report to the head of information technology (IT), the chief information officer (CIO), and the director of internal controls and audit. You are the second person to fill in this position. You have a team of internal consultants; half of your team has six sigma black belt or equivalent capabilities with the remainder having a solid understanding of operations and IT. You also have a budget for two external vendor resources.
You have taken six months to familiarize yourself with the organization and its people, mission, goals, strategy, and structure. In this time, you have also evaluated current operations. At the end of this period, you are assigned to deliver a report identifying the three most promising avenues for achieving best practices within the company. You have already been told that the company suffers from both aging and complex information systems and that your recommendation must include a major upgrade of those systems. The executive officers anticipate major investments in IT over the next several years. Your best practice implementations, coupled with new technology, must be measurable in terms of speed, quality, productivity, and efficiency or other key performance indicators that you identify in your report.