Tag Archives: Six Sigma

GAO Report Identifies Billions in Waste


Lean Six Sigma Experts Pounce On New GAO Report

Atlanta, GA – According to the Government Accounting Agency’s 2012 annual report, released this week, tens of billions of dollars are wasted every year due to unnecessary duplication, overlaps, and just plain waste in the Federal Government.   Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK estimates that these wastes cost taxpayers as much as $100 Billion Dollars every year.

“This is not news to Effective Government Now, the Coalition of Lean Six Sigma professionals who came together in the Fall of 2011 at the invitation of Speaker Newt Gingrich, specifically to work with Newt’s vision that reducing the cost and size of government can be done thoughtfully with common private sector business applications.  We are not limited only to the politically charged choices of raising taxes or slashing needed services”, said Effective Government Now Chairman Jack Merritt.

Last Summer Newt said:

“There are a number of sophisticated management systems that create more productive, more effective patterns of work.

One of those systems is Lean Six Sigma.

If applied across the entire federal government, some estimate it could save $500 billion a year or $5 trillion over a ten-year period. By comparison, the [then] newly created “Super Committee” is [was] merely trying to save $1.5 trillion.

A properly focused Lean Six Sigma effort could reorient government to act in ways that would help balance the budget, grow our economy, accelerate job creation, and make America the most competitive country in the world.

To achieve this future, it will require us to work together to educate the American people, the news media and our elected officials, and win the argument for smaller, leaner, and more effective government.”

Speaker Gingrich had the right ideas nine months ago, and the GAO has just validated his foresight.  Republican Study Committee Jim Jordan pointed out that “… 11 different agencies run 94 different programs to encourage ‘green building’” and “13 agencies operate 209 different STEM education programs.”  The GAO highlighted 51 areas and 130 recommended actions.

The Effective Government Now Coalition believes that neither the Congress nor the President has acted responsibly to address the rampant waste in our government.  Recovery must be driven by both the Executive Branch and Congress.  Both must work together to set priorities and measure results, while holding the Departments and Agencies responsible with Lean Six Sigma.  This will require bold and experienced leadership.  We believe that Speaker Newt Gingrich is the right person, with the right vision, and the best track record to drive this necessary collaboration to fundamentally change the way our federal government spends and, in the future, saves money.

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Filed under efficiency, government consulting, Lean Six Sigma

Ethics, Lean Six Sigma, and Insanity


If we are continually hired to resolve the same issue that was previously addressed, is that insanity, misinformed decision making, misguided, or something else?  What roll should we play?

There is no doubt in my mind that some of the greatest companies in the world have made their name by re-purposing or re-packaging the same item and selling it to anyone that is willing to buy it.  Recycling has become an industry unto itself in which we re-purpose something that has outlived its usefulness or passing something on that  is no longer of use to the original owner.  Over the life of my consulting career, I have continually built upon and improved documents, deliverables, and ideas that I had previously provided to a different customer.  However, something seems to be changing.

I may be just catching on to something that has been happening forever. I would not question it if someone called me naive.  However, I am beginning to grow weary of the requests by numerous clients to reproduce products or deliverables that they have already purchased or funded on numerous occasions.  I could even understand if the organizations hired a consultancy to perform work, were dissatisfied with the results and then hired a different consultancy to finish the job.   The current phenomena is that the clients are continually paying to have the same studies done, the same requirements built, the same recommendations made, etc. without following up on much, if any, of it.  As if they do not believe that the results could be true, they hire another organization to come in and do the work, getting the same results.  On numerous occasions the clients have traveled this road so well that we have returned to one of the original contractors to re-perform the work they had done on a previous occasion.  As a Master Black Belt and your Common Sensei, I find that this seems a lot like RE-WORK, something that as a self-proclaimed CPI professional drives me mad.

Numerous people including Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein have been quoted as saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.  In saying this, I hate to think my clients meet this definition.  Is this an issue of avoidance, is there something wrong with the process, or has our culture moved even further toward a complete and total resistance to change?  I could write it off as the “not invented here” phenomenon that I describe in an earlier post except that more times than not, they are avoiding things that were invented here.  Beyond the question of insanity, beyond the issue of change management or process improvement lays a deeper question of morality and our capitalistic nature.  The capitalist in me says that if I don’t take the work, they will just hire someone else to re-do what has already been done.  No matter how hard I try to persuade them that it is time to implement the recommendations and begin the transformation, I, as have so many of my partners and competitors, get nowhere. I often come to the conclusion that I might as well take the money that they seem so desperate to throw away.  The little voice sitting on my other shoulder is encouraging me to just walk away from the mess with a clear conscience and let someone else deal with it.

Now, what if I told you I consult almost exclusively with the US Government and the money they are using is our tax dollars?  What insights do you have now?

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Filed under consulting, efficiency, government consulting, Health Care, Lean Six Sigma