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A better approach would be to select the steps that potentially have the most risk associated with them. That could mean steps where there is an interaction with a customer. Any of the interdepartmental hand-offs are good are also places to focus since handoffs have the potential to become “dropped balls.” A good approach is to brainstorm with members of the process team to create a list of the steps they consider the riskiest. Do some triage ahead of time so you spend time where it’s most useful.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. 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.