Hello, my name is Peter Herku and I’m specialized in helping companies and teams to improve their effectiveness and efficiencies. If you want to learn more about this, please go to https://herku.com/cig and you sign up for a webinar at which I can explain more about how to improve your effectiveness.

Clients come to me and ask if they can use improvement methods like Lean or Six Sigma in their own situation. They are from different backgrounds, like healthcare, automotive industry, manufacturing industry, service industry or IT. They want to know if Lean Six Sigma can help them. I would like to demonstrate to you now that it’s not important where you work, in what industry or even in which function, because the basic principles apply even in a meeting. Yesterday I had a meeting at a healthcare company and we discussed about a new function that we created, called quality coach. These are health care specialists who have a team of healthcare professionals and the quality coaches are responsible for the quality and safety of the of the patient. These people, though, are new in the function and they really have problems. They are not satisfied with their job and they are actually the bottleneck in improving the whole organization. So they had a meeting first with the CEO, then another organization got involved, also the HR manager, then I was invited to join the discussion and another process professional was also joining us. We had a long, long meeting about this problem. It was not effective at all, so that’s why I thought, okay, I have to tell you about how to do it effectively, as I myself even make mistakes and don’t always use the effective Lean Six Sigma tools to solve these kind of issues.  So how can you go about this, how can you avoid long, long meetings? Probably you all have experienced these. How can you avoid wasting time. How can you avoid that you are not really solving issues or problems?

First of all, what you should do (and I should have done yesterday) is to agree with the people that there is a real problem, an issue that is causing many other bottlenecks and problems in the organization, in the process. Is this problem a priority? If the answer is “yes” (yesterday it was a clear “yes”) then you can move to the next step.

The second step is to make sure all people involved are present. I don’t mean that you should invite e.g. every quality coach to the meeting, but to make sure at least one quality coach is there who can represent the group, who can bring their knowledge and their experience into the meeting. If you realize during the meeting that you are talking about a third party, that you are talking about someone else who is not represented and those people or that function is really crucial, you should first agree on a new team for your meeting. This is what I should have done yesterday. We had a meeting about some someone else, about the function of quality coach, but there were no quality coaches present in our discussion. They know from first-hand what they experienced, what problems they have, so I didn’t have a complete team. I should have stopped there with the meeting (and you should do the same) and first agree on a new team and invite that new team to the meeting.

So first – is the problem a priority and – secondly – do we have the right team at the table, so everyone who is affected by this problem is represented.  

The third step is to apply easy-to-use Lean Six Sigma methods to define a problem, to measure how big the problem is and to analyse the reasons why you have this problem, why the performance is not at the level that you wish to have and then agree on countermeasures together. So that’s the third step -to apply the method with your new team. Don’t try to solve it without the right people at the table, trying to think of some ideas, some possible solutions, because you are just wasting time. That’s what I experienced yesterday. The quality coaches were not represented and we tried to find solutions to a problem that was not even clear yet. so what’s the chance that you find the right solution?

So these are three steps to make your meetings more effective:

  1. Make sure we deal with a critical issue, a problem that has priority
  2. Make sure we have the right team around the table
  3. Apply the correct steps from the Lean Six Sigma method.


Do you want to learn more about the steps of Lean Six Sigma its tools? I have developed a easy-to-use version of Lean Six Sigma. I reduced it to its core essence and I apply only 20% of the tools, 20% of the methodology in order to solve over 80% of the problems. I have been using this method for over 12 years now. If you want to learn how to use Lean six Sigma and stop wasting time with ineffective meetings, go to https://herku.com/cig and sign up for my next webinar.  

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