“Talk doesn’t cook rice.”
While planning, checking, and acting/adjusting are of course crucial elements of the PDCA cycle I sometimes feel as though the “do” element is under-utilized. In a similar way the improve phase of six sigma’s DMAIC process also seems to get lost in the weeds from time to time.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. We must follow each step in both PDCA and DMAIC in order to get the best results. But, I personally believe if people acted and improved with a little more vigor than they do today the world would be a better place.
I once knew an individual who liked to plan and plan and plan. I mean this person was a planning machine. They had plans for plans. While this was refreshing in some aspects I felt it hindered their ability to actually get something done.
In the six sigma world, especially, I too frequently see people frozen with “analysis paralysis.” At times these soon to be green or black belts become so entranced by all the amazing and almost mysterious tools they lose focus on the only thing that really matters – solving a problem.
I am reminded of the words James Womack used towards of the end of the preface in his book “Lean Thinking.” Dr. Womack simply closed the last paragraph with three powerful words of advice – just do it!
I couldn’t agree more.
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