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Chris Niccolls

Washington Needs Continuous Improvement!

By December 21, 2012

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In our on again off again plunge over the fiscal cliff, every day seems like Deva Vu all over again. Last year, the Fiscal Cliff was created by the ""Budget Conrol Act of 2011,"" which was supposed to create a sufficiently horrible set of economic conditions that Washington would come up with a compromise and fix the budget issue. In 2011. Now in 2012, we're trying again. And failing again. It's as if Washington has lost it's short-term memory. They can remember that our colonial forefathers were in favor of war with England, against taxes on Tea and something about everyone owning a flintlock. However, when it comes to agreeing to a budget, we seem to be repeating exactly the same mistakes, about the same issues, without a lot of change.

Of course, it's not just Washington. Too many people fail to learn from mistakes. The same is true for corporations. Even when we do learn and make some progress, we often return to our old habits and progress is lost. In the last century, the idea of "Continuous Improvement" was developed. Instead of our taking a step forward, and then a step back, the idea is that we should take a step forward, and hold onto that improvement. en, with our first improvement carefully locked in place, we take another step forward.

Many outsourcing programs are started because programs "improve" but don't get better. You might have had 10 improvement programs, each of which were successful, yet when all is said and done, cost, quality and every other meaningful metric remains largely unchanged. When you don't some method like continuous improvement, programs temporarily improve, but don't get better. Don't you wish that Washington understood this simple truth?

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