When individuals take ownership, they are more likely to be invested in its success and to work tirelessly to ensure that it runs efficiently, meets its goals, and continuously improves over time. So how can this concept be used in process improvement?

Lean Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology used to improve processes and reduce waste. One important aspect of LSS is the concept of ownership, which refers to the level of responsibility and accountability of individuals or teams involved in the implementation and success of LSS initiatives. In particular, process ownership is a crucial component of LSS that requires individuals or teams to take responsibility for the ongoing management and improvement of a specific process within an organization.

Overview: what is ownership?

In the context of LSS, ownership refers to the concept of taking responsibility for a process or project and being accountable for its outcomes. This means that the individual or team who “owns” a process or project is responsible for ensuring that it runs efficiently, meets its goals, and continuously improves over time.

In this context, a process refers to a set of activities that are performed to achieve a specific outcome or result. Process ownership involves taking a holistic view of the process, identifying opportunities for improvement, and implementing changes to make the process more efficient and effective.

3 Drawbacks to ownership

Process ownership is beneficial in three noteworthy areas: improved process performance, increased accountability, and continuous improvement. As noteworthy as those benefits are, they should be expected. To prepare for the unexpected, consider the following drawbacks.

1. Lack of resources

Process owners may not have the necessary resources or support to implement changes to the process, which can limit their ability to achieve the desired outcomes.

2. Resistance to change

Process ownership can lead to resistance to change if individuals or teams are not open to new ideas or ways of doing things. This can create a barrier to implementing changes that could improve process performance.

3. Siloed thinking

Process ownership can lead to siloed thinking where individuals or teams focus solely on their specific process and are not aware of how their process fits into the broader organizational context. This can limit collaboration and communication across departments and teams.

Why is ownership important to understand?

Process ownership is important to understand because it is a key factor in the success of LSS initiatives. It promotes a culture of accountability and continuous improvement within an organization. Without process ownership, it can be difficult to achieve the necessary level of buy-in and engagement from employees.

When individuals or teams take ownership of their processes, they are more likely to be invested in their success and take ownership of the outcomes. This can lead to greater efficiency, higher quality, and improved customer satisfaction.

An industry example of ownership

One real-world example of ownership in industry is Toyota’s approach to process ownership in their production system. Toyota’s production system is based on the principle of “jidoka,” which means “automation with a human touch.”

Under this approach, each production line has a team leader who is responsible for the overall performance of the line. The team leader is empowered to stop the line if they detect any quality issues, and is responsible for identifying and implementing changes to improve the performance of the line over time.

This approach to process ownership has been instrumental in Toyota’s success in the automotive industry, as it promotes a culture of accountability and continuous improvement at all levels of the organization.

3 Best practices when thinking about ownership

When it comes to ownership in LSS, there are several best practices to keep in mind. Let’s look at the three most impactful.

1. Clarify roles and responsibilities

It’s important to clarify the roles and responsibilities of individuals or teams involved in the implementation and management of a specific process. This includes identifying the process owner, as well as other stakeholders who may be involved in the process.

2. Empower process owners

Process owners should be empowered to make decisions and implement changes to the process. This can include providing them with the necessary resources and support, as well as ensuring that they have the authority to make decisions and implement changes.

3. Monitor and measure process performance

Process ownership requires ongoing monitoring and measurement of process performance to identify areas for improvement. This can involve using data and metrics to track key performance indicators and identify trends or patterns that may require attention.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ownership

Who should be the process owner?

The process owner should be someone who has a thorough understanding of the process and is able to take responsibility for its ongoing management and improvement. This could be an individual or a team, depending on the complexity and scope of the process.

What are the benefits of having a process owner?

Having a process owner promotes a culture of accountability and continuous improvement within an organization. It can lead to improved process performance, increased productivity, and a greater sense of ownership and commitment to achieving the desired outcomes.

How can you measure the effectiveness of process ownership?

The effectiveness of process ownership can be measured through the monitoring and measurement of process performance. This can involve tracking key performance indicators and using data and metrics to identify areas for improvement.

Ownership promotes personal investment

Ownership encourages individuals and teams to take ownership of their work and processes, leading to increased motivation, improved quality, and a sense of ownership and pride in their work. By promoting a culture of process ownership, businesses can drive efficiency, reduce waste, and continuously improve their processes, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased profitability.

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