Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Two Effective Approaches to Compliance Efforts

Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Two Effective Approaches to Compliance Efforts

Article excerpt

Book Review: Two Effective Approaches to Compliance Efforts TITLE: Integrating Lean Six Sigma and High-Performance Organizations AUTHOR: Tom Devane ISBN: 0-7879-6973-7



LENGTH: 404 pages

PRICE: $45 U.S.


Compliance with new mandates is a high priority for all publicly traded companies, and firms in industry sectors such as health care, financial services, and banking must deal with additional regulations governing their specific operations.

Compliance projects often involve the organization's highest levels to interpret what is required, while diverse teams are formed to identify gaps and work on viable solutions. Coming from backgrounds as varied as legal, finance, human resources, information technology, auditing, and records management, team members need a standard approach or model that can be understood and applied to compliance projects in a systematic way. "Six Sigma" and "Lean Manufacturing" concepts are gaining ground as potential approaches to compliance efforts. If records and information managers want a seat at the compliance table, they would do well to have a working knowledge of these programs, and this hook is a good resource for them.

Integrating Lean Six Sigma and High-Performance Organizations is not about compliance or records management, per se. The disciplines discussed are methods for attaining and sustaining improvement in business processes. Reassessment of business processes plays an important role in many corporate efforts these days, from designing compliance programs to developing best practices or benchmarking with industry peers. Even ISO 15489 urges a thorough understanding of business processes as the cornerstone for developing records management programs.

In a nutshell, lean manufacturing focuses on reducing cycle time and eliminating waste; its origins are on the fahrioitiun shop floor. Six Sigma is a statistically based method aimed at reducing variation and eliminating defects in a process - whether that process is producing hard goods or answering customer inquiries. In banking, for example, the goal might be to process one check perfectly, then repeat it millions of times per day.

High-Performance Organizations, with origins in the human-resourcerelated discipline of organizational development, emphasizes teams as the basic building block of a culture that increases levels of motivation, ownership, and commitment.

Author Tom Devane's premise is that combining the three disciplines compensates for the inherent weaknesses of each. He believes that there is sustainable advantage in addressing performance improvement on multiple fronts, and he uses real-world examples to illustrate this point. In the introduction, he notes, "Numerous studies over the past 10 years point out that nearly 70% of all change efforts fail." Hc elaborates on the core elements of successful change: Know-now (i.e., what to do for improvement and a set of tools to rapidly implement it); Want-to, or the workforce's motivation to make the changes; and Pay-for, the ability to show that improvement efforts return more in benefits than they cost. All three elements are commonly found in enterprise electronic records management projects, and the book oners tips that could be adapted to such efforts.

The book is organized in two parts. …

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