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The noted father of Quality, Dr. Edwards Deming, famously said that 95% of problems result from the system but that still leaves 5% resulting from people. There are some people who don’t follow the rules. This brings up a few questions. Why are they not following the rules? What’s in it for them? Sometimes it helps to look at what rules they’re not following and ask why. Do the rules take too much time to follow. Are the procedures too time consuming? If so, can we make things easier? Or, if the rules are perfectly rational and easy to follow, are these people unaware of their impact on others when they break the rules? Might it help if they knew? Also, what about leadership? Is management playing their role and holding others accountable? This might go further up the chain of the Alignment Model.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.