Transformation Needed for Lean Six Sigma to Work in the Public Sector

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ABC News discusses Newt Gingrich’s support for Lean Six Sigma in Government. I applaud Newt and I do believe that Lean Six Sigma can help take massive amounts of waste out of government. But, as Dr. W. Edwards Deming pointed out, the system itself must change. I don’t take the idea of transforming government lightly. But if we don’t do something about the reasons why the public sector has only tinkered with Lean Six Sigma for the past 25 years, while the private sector adopted the approach on a massive scale, then it’s doomed to have limited success. The limits will probably be in terms of both scope and longevity, perhaps both.

Specifically what needs to be done is a bit complicated. I have thought a great deal about it and I will present my ideas in my upcoming book, tentatively entitled “Common Sense Government: A Revolution in Efficiency.”

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