My understanding of Lean Six Sigma is mainly based on the projects and the people I work with here at Aviva. Being one of the biggest businesses in the UK, Aviva gives me great opportunity to work on complex problems & processes. But it has its limitations. I work exclusively in the financial services market and the projects are entirely transactional and heavily related to people and IT driven processes. This worries me. As Donald Rumsfeld said (rather him than me) “we know what we know, we know that there are things we do not know, and we know that there are things we don’t know we don’t know”

But its OK, as with everything these days, there is some theory and a model for this. You start top-right and work your way around as you become more aware and knowledgeable.

For example, when I first came into LSS I had no idea that I didn’t know about confidence intervals but I learnt about them and now understand them. I’m definitely not top-left, where I can do brilliant things without knowing how I do them.

I don’t know anything about LSS in manufacturing. Nor how LSS is applied in other industries e.g. oil & gas or health. I haven’t seen many other LSS deployment models or businesses with different levels of sponsorship. So I don’t know how we benchmark.

I’d like to say ignorance is bliss but that goes right against the basic principles of LSS. But the more I read and do the more I realise how big the subject really is. So if you are 10-years along the journey do you still feel there is a mountain in front of you and can you see the top?

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