About Walter McIntyre

I live in Buford, GA, with my wife. Please check out my website, leanmeanprocessimprovemnt.com. I am the author of "Lean and Mean Process Improvement".

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer by Walter McIntyre

Typically, there is not a single voice of the customer.  They are fractioned into multiple groups, each with their own perspective.  Each group may also have different voices in different circumstances.

For the Six Sigma team, identifying the customer involves more than collecting information about who is purchasing the business’s products or services.  Those who purchase the products and services are just one of several customer groups.  Some other classifications are internal supplier/customer hand-offs, customers of competitors, former customers, and potential customers.

Operational Excellence Teams

Operational Excellence Teams by Walter McIntyre

In Operational Excellence, Innovation teams and production teams have different functions and purpose. They also have an area of overlapping responsibly. Both play a critical role in improvement efforts.

Production teams are typically made up of the production line employees, the doers, and have the responsibility to optimize the existing production process within existing SOP’s. They see the production process at the ground level, in fact, they experience it. It is this closeness to the work that makes their engagement so critical on a daily basis. Their’s is the domain of continuous improvement in small, but critical steps.

Being Fearless

Being Fearless by Walter McIntyre

The lens we view the world through can lead us to incorrect and destructive decisions. Perspective is everything when we face difficult problems. It is the difference between being fearful or being fearless. This is true in our personal lives and in our professional lives.

If you are going to tackle the most difficult problems and opportunities at work, or face down Iife’s most trying events, you must move quickly from asking why the problem exists to what you are going to do about it. Not that the “why” is not important, just that it is only the beginning, not the end of successful resolution. Asking why is only a lens to see that the problem exists. Asking what we are going to do about it is a different lens that leads to action.

5S and Lean

5S and Lean by Walter McIntyre

The 5S tools are associated with Lean thinking. The objective of Lean thinking is to provide a business with long-term profitability by developing a more effective workplace, which is accomplished by eliminating waste in the work environment. The result is a safer workplace, improved product quality, and lower costs for both the business and its customers.

Lean thinking may result in a reduction in work force, but that is not its purpose. In fact, the application of lean thinking for the purpose of reducing the work force is not lean thinking at all. Since some companies have done this, lean thinking has been given a bad reputation and has made waste reduction efforts more difficult.

Lean Value Proposition

Lean Value Proposition by Walter McIntyre

The basic Lean and business value proposition in looks like this:

Profit = Perceived Value – Inherent Value

Lean process improvement projects address the Inherent Value piece of this equation. The idea is to reduce the inherent cost of production and delivery of the product or service. A common mistake that teams make is to assume that inherent value issues are not customer driven. This is a case of being inwardly focused instead of a more balanced focus (inward and customer driven).

“I See You” Management

“I See You” Management, by Walter McIntyre

Connectivity between human beings is the beginning of synergy.  It is written in our genetic code and expresses itself in our drive to connect to others and be part of a group. Since this is how we are wired, it only makes sense that the most effective management styles, as far as us humans are concerned, leverages this aspect of our specie’s corporate psyche.

I would call this “I See You” management. I did not coin this phrase, but since I cannot remember who did, I will use it for this post. The way I see things, “I See You” management is based upon three levels of recognition.

Estimating Project Timelines

Statistically Estimating Project Timelines by Walter McIntyre


Why is it that projects more often than not come in behind schedule and over budget? This question drives business executives crazy. Why shouldn’t there be an even split between on time project delivery and late project delivery? These are valid questions.

Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence by Walter McIntyre

Trying to define operational excellence (OE) in a way that fits every organization is difficult.  It is also area of business strategy which is sometimes viewed myopically.  Myopically, in this case is an unbalanced approach to everything in the article below.  Remember , no customers equals no profit.

I prefer to break OE down into areas focused on customers, sustainability, innovation, performance, leadership and people. To be effective OE has to be relevant to all aspects of business operation. Therefore, OE may have a hierarchy of definitions as it is propagated throughout a business.  The core values are the same, but there will be differing levels of granularity, all focused on the core business objectives.  For example, an operator working on a turret has the same high level goal as someone from HR, but different granular objectives specific to their tasks.

Myopic Thoughts

Myopic life Can't see the forest for the trees

Myopic life Can’t see the forest for the trees

Myopic Thoughts by Walter McIntyre

Myopic vision: Near sited. Eye fails to resolve distant objects.

Prescription: Corrective glasses or surgery to focus images on the retina instead of in front of it.

Myopic life: Can’t see the forest for the trees. Impatience and failure to see the big picture.

Prescription: Look for balance in your perspective. Long term success is built on short term success. You can’t master a musical instrument in a day, nor can you accomplish great things over night. The best things in life come after hard work and long waits.

Entrepreneur Life

Entrepreneur Life by Walter McIntyre

For the most part, all of us have a robust fear of failure. We are good at counting the cost of trying and failing. We are also pretty much aware of what we don’t want to lose. The result is that we miss opportunities due to not taking the risk of possible failure.

What we are not good at, is evaluating the risk of not trying. We decide to play it safe. Understand, though, you are guaranteed to fail if you don’t try. By playing it safe all the time, you limit your opportunity for success.