There was a major article by Bill Gates in a recent Wall Street Journal – “My Plan to Fix the World’s Biggest Problems.” Gates’ solution is pretty simple – define the problem, develop some measurable solutions, and use metrics to track improvements. Continuous improvement, as described, has been around since the dawn of the industrial revolution, probably earlier, but as Gates’ contends, this is simple in concept, but often difficult to execute.
On a more immediate level ….
I’ve been in the business world since the dawn of the handheld calculator and the personal PC. During this time, I’ve seen huge improvements in all types of business processes from making zillions of metal fasteners a day within six sigma variation to closing a set of monthly financials for a multi-industry global business within seconds of the last order being placed and shipped. When I started in industry, a 5-6% scrap rate was acceptable and if you knew what happened last month by the end of the current one you felt in control. [read LinkedIn]