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Government is a great example of this, and many other industries have the same situation with strong stakeholder voices and customers. Ideally, you want to satisfy both voices.

First, be clear about the process, who the customers and stakeholders are of that process, and their requirements. If we ask questions such as: “How do we satisfy the stakeholder and customer requirements for this process?” Teams can often come up with some very creative solutions to do both. But, often that question isn’t asked. It’s more a debate about which voice matter more. Instead use the genius of the “And.” Satisfy both. It can be done.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.