Today’s managers are faced with a paradox. On the one hand the number of tools, techniques and technologies available to improve the operational performance is growing rapidly. On the other hand, despite the dramatic success in a few companies, most efforts do not use it to produce significant results. In order to understand and solve this paradox, this article examines the difficulties organizations face in implementing processes and techniques such as lean production, TQM, computer-aided design and developmen … Read more »

Today’s managers are faced with a paradox. On the one hand the number of tools, techniques and technologies available to improve the operational performance is growing rapidly. On the other hand, despite the dramatic success in a few companies, most efforts do not use it to produce significant results. In order to understand and solve this paradox, this article examines the difficulties in implementing face organizations processes and techniques such as lean production, TQM, computer-aided design and development tools, stage-gate product development processes and improved customer service systems. The inability of most organizations to benefit the full benefits of these innovations has little to do with the specific technology. Instead, the problem has its roots in how the introduction of a new improvement effort interacts with the physical, economic, social and psychological structures in which the reaction takes place. Presents a framework to understand how these injuries occur and outlines strategies for overcoming the pathological behavior through case studies of successful improvement.
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from
Nelson P. Repenning,
John D. Sterman
Source: California Management Review
26 pages.
Release Date: 1 July 2001. Prod #: CMR208-PDF-ENG
No one gets credit for fix problems that never happened: creating and sustaining process improvement HBR case solution

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