Robin Barnwell


  • Robin Barnwell changed their profile picture 10 years, 9 months ago

  • Coming from an IT background I am fluent in Techie. I feel right at home talking about NAT, BIOS, ERD, PERL, API, DHCP, IMAP, SMTP, SNMP and so on. With the right audience I can have rapid conversations in what […]

  • Yesterday (9th October 2006) I heard that Edmund Phelps was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Economics for his theories developed in the 1960’s on the interplay between inflation expectations and unemployment. […]

  • I believe Deming may have said something in this area, but given I couldn’t find a famous quote I made one up.

    80% of business issues come from the process and only 20% from the people who work at the business

    If someone told me that, I’d say, No!Look at the things people do that cause no end of cost and impact on a business. Not returning messages or only half-answering questions Not investing time in communications Not seeing a strategy through to completion Not having a strategy in the first place Not making decisions or making them too late Not taking responsibility for the customer Not taking ownership of the process You get the idea…… The fact the process fails seems to be the end-result of poor leadership, planning, and execution. It seems wrong to blame the processwhen 5-whys can rapidly get back to the root-cause. Let me touch on one aspect of this people-dimension. You may have heard of business buzzword bingo, you may have even played it in meetings with words and phrases like “Absolutely”, “Mission Critical” and “On boarding”. But the phrase that fills me with dread is “Lets Be Pragmatic”. I have no problem with pragmatism and sign-up wholeheartedly to being pragmatic. As the dictionary says, “of or pertaining to a practical point of view or practical considerations”. You would be hard-pressed to find someone in business that claimed to be anything other than pragmatic. It’s the non-dictionary definitions that trouble me, the hidden meanings people have like: I don’t like taking risks Our focus should be on the next quarters results My incentive plan is more important Major improvements always fail I do not support this solution Of course in business it is good to have balance and sceptics drive-out holes in a solution. But get the balance wrong and you end-up with a business that can’t deliver change and can’t react to customer demands. The business becomes paralysed into inaction or makes seemingly random and half-hearted attempts to change. I think there are times when we should dream, push the envelope, be radical, take risks, look beyond the here and now, see it from the customer’s point of view. Lean Six Sigma puts you at the vanguard of business change and it is our duty to be bold and square up to the fake pragmatists.

  • Organisation in chaos? Emergencies erupting? Been blind-sided by the unexpected? Project a few years late and still does not work? Need to get things under control? Make way for the Corporate Fire Fighter. (Phew!) […]

  • When I started in continuous improvement (CI) four years ago it was via the traditional Six Sigma DMAIC route. I was indoctrinated into the Six Sigma world and have earned my ASQ CSSBB and can do impressive stuff […]

  • ThumbnailConsider a Lean Six Sigma programme with a number of projects in-flight. It’s a good mix of projects with varying delivery-timescales and range of benefits. Projects are run by dedicated black belts who manage the […]

  • A review of the information covering Lean Six Sigma deployments shows a clear focus on such items as. Roles & responsibilities: – e.g. champion, process owner, MBB, and BB Critical success factors: – e.g. […]

  • I thought I would share my views on a question frequently posed by newly trained belts. I imagine you to may have encountered this situation. I do not have a clear answer but have come-up with a theory. Could be […]

  • I have struggled for sometime to appreciate the relationships between Lean Six Sigma and Innovation. Part of this is because I have never really given it much thought and also a couple of things worry me. I think […]

  • ThumbnailIn our business we are passionate about achieving breakthrough innovations and I’d like to share a few examples of how we really push the envelope. Lets start with the fire alarm. It’s seldom used for real but […]

  • Our Lean Manufacturing program is stepping-up a gear and as part of this we are looking to present the approach to a large audience of about 200 people. And I am looking for some inspiration. If anyone has a good […]

  • In our BB training we use the terms Divergent & Convergent thinking during the Improve phase. We cover a raft of brainstorming & lateral thinking techniques to encourage people’s divergent thinking. So please take […]

  • ThumbnailWe home educate our children and one approach we take is to think up and solve problems. When solving one of these, “how can you measure how tall a tree is?”, the Tan-o-meter was born! The maths is […]

  • ThumbnailHere is further article on the use of IT in six sigma projects.  We are all familiar with using analytical tools such as DOE, regression, and control charts for inferential statistics to model and predict […]

  • Customer relationship, customer insight, customer retention, customer proposition, customer experience, customer journey, customer-centric, customer analytics, customer loyalty, customer value, customer […]

  • ThumbnailOver my career I have taken many personality & skill tests. For example, I know my Myers Briggs Indicator Type, mapped myself across the Insight Discovery Wheel, discovered my rating on the Management Assessment […]

  • I used to work in the IT business and we were always on the look-out for the next “big thing” to cash in on. It was things like moving from mainframes to open systems and onto Microsoft Windows, relational […]