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It is difficult to give you a “one-size-fits-all” response to this question. Ultimately, an organization needs to assess their culture, strengths and weaknesses. Put together a move-forward plan that addresses the weaknesses, and leverages the organizational strengths.

What works for one organization doesn’t necessarily work for another. The biggest mistake I see occur, is when an organization launches their journey and they hire Black Belts to fix other people’s processes. This is not a good approach, and creates alot of resistance to process change. Always remember to ask: Are we doing process improvement with people, or to them? If it’s the latter, change your strategy.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner & Executive Advisor at She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at University of California 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.