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Lean Six Sigma Home Project

Defining goals

In December 2009, during one of usual dining table discussions, we talked about reducing power bills.  Of course, each of had our own “pet ideas”. My wife squarely blamed the kids for not switching off the lights. I blamed her for using a portable heater during winter. She blamed me for using the air conditioner instead of electric blanket. As usual, the kids had free entertainment watching us quarrel.

Then we agreed that in 2010 we will reduce the energy consumption by 30%  before June 2010.

Setting a time bound measurable target is very important for any improvement project.  At this stage we are not clear whether 30% is realistic.  I could have comforably set a lower percentage.  I want to challenge ourselves to think and push our limits.  Surprisingly my kids embraced my targets without much debate.  It was a different experience for me as in the business world,  lot of time is spent on setting targets. 

There are two schools of thought in defining goals. One approach is to set tactical goal that are  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound. (SMART) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria)

The other extreme is to have BIG, Hairy, Audacious goals.  These goals are long term, bold and some what uncomfortable (hairy!). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hairy_Audacious_Goal

For my home project, I prefer a tactical goal that is a bit challenging. So, our defined our goal as “Reduce our home energy consumption by 30% before June 2010”.

Please note that this logical step of setting the goal is the first phase in Lean-Six Sigma. It is known as “Define” phase.

In the next posting, I will discuss about building our high performance home team!

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About Murali Ramakrishnan

Murali is the Managing Director of the boutique consulting firm "Process-Symphony". Process-Symphony specializes in IT enabled business process orchestration. http://www.process-symphony.com.au http://www.kloudax.net.au

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