If Quality Improvement Works, Why Aren't Things Getting Any Better?

Improvement Insights Blog

Why Aren’t Things Getting Any Better?

I’ve been in quality improvement for 30 years. Why aren’t things getting any better?

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“I started in quality back in 1989 or 90, so I’ve been at this for 30-odd years. The other morning I was sitting there and I was just kind of depressed. I thought, “Why aren’t things any better?” Right? It still seems like there’s things that are missing, things that don’t work. You can’t get the right order at your fast food restaurant, if you order something at a restaurant sometimes it isn’t what you ordered, it wasn’t cooked properly… oh my gosh.

“One of my staff came and said, “Well, Jay, the thing about Quality Improvement is you can’t see what’s working well; It just works well. You only notice the things that aren’t working well.” That sort of made me think that maybe things are a whole lot better and if all the stuff I’ve been doing the last 30 years had no impact at all it might be a lot worse, right? It might be a lot worse out there.

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Keep fixing the stuff that’s broken, but let’s notice all the things that are working. The vast majority of your organization works perfectly; only four percent is causing half the waste, rework, lost profit and whatever. Let’s attend to that and make that better and just keep going until everything smooths out.

“Let’s create a hassle-free America, hassle-free healthcare. That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s go out and improve something.”


This entry was posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.