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Lean Staffing II

(November 01, 2006) We've been waiting nearly fifteen years for someone to come along with a method for bringing Recruiting into the same shape as the rest of the modern organization. We've enjoyed and supported initiatives like Staffing.org. However, there's been no one, in all that time, who fully understood the implications of Total Quality Management (TQM),  Six Sigma and or Lean Thinking.

From Wikipedia (on TQM)

As defined by ISO:
"TQM is a management approach for an organization, centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society."

In Japanese, TQM comprises four process steps, namely:

  1. Kaizen Focuses on Continuous Process Improvement, to make processes visible, repeatable and measurable.
  2. Atarimae Hinshitsu Focuses on intangible effects on processes and ways to optimize and reduce their effects.
  3. Kansei Examining the way the user applies the product leads to improvement in the product itself.
  4. Miryokuteki Hinshitsu Broadens management concern beyond the immediate product.

TQM requires that the company maintain this quality standard in all aspects of its business. This requires ensuring that things are done right the first time and that defects and waste are eliminated from operations.

This stuff is more than a generation old (30 years) in most Western business settings. HR (and therefore Recruiting) are among the few parts of the contemporary organization that are not managed according to the fundamental underlying principles of Measure, Improve, Find and Eliminate Waste, Control Variability, Use Statistical Process Control.

Ask yourself "why?"

Part of the answer lies in the reality that human beings have been the most disposable part of the organization since work started being performed by organizations. The hierarchical model with its pyramid structure represents the implicit assumption that the top knows better than the bottom. TQM is rooted in the notion that the bottom knows better than the top. TQM is all about first line workers becoming deeply accountable (and in control) of their work. It is the method that most firms use to empower workers to identify and eliminate waste in their work processes.

It starts with the assumption that waste is usually caused by the system and its intangible effects on work.

Tomorrow, look at all the waste.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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