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APBN Lean success factors

On 30th November 2013, 30 staff members from blood services who form the Asia Pacific Blood Network (APBN) participated in a workshop to share ideas, best practices and success factors for effective Lean, Six Sigma and other performance improvement programs being used within their blood services.

The key success factors from this workshop are provided below, for sharing within the region, noting that any organisation will select methodologies most suited to its operational environment.


Key success factors in Lean programmes within the APBN membership

  • Leadership and senior management support is critical to the success of any programme and should commence at the beginning of the project.
  • Different projects and operational areas of focus require different approaches. Sometimes the situation requires a non-standard Lean Six Sigma approach, such as donor services
  • Project selection and scheduling is important to ensure the work programme is achievable yet maintains sufficient momentum to ensure ongoing engagement.
  • Quick wins, early in the programme are essential, even if for small, incremental gain to demonstrate proof of concept.
  • Recognition that implementation of an outcome requires a balanced approach with some compromise, especially if a solution is financially not viable.
  • Use of an external consultant appropriately trained in Lean, Six Sigma or some other business process improvement technique is critical in the beginning of the project.
  • Formal Lean Six Sigma (or other) training is an investment and is best delivered by an external consultant in courses with ongoing support via additional coaching and mentoring/contact.
  • The level of formal LSS training within the workforce varies based on environmental capacity and need.
  • The improvement activity can be addressed and completed using a dedicated team where the project is their prime role or can be undertaken as an additional role by existing staff, built into their routine work day.
  • Small, focussed multidisciplinary teams ensure a wide range of voices and opinions contribute to solution finding process
  • At all times balance perfection against an achievable outcome.


To download a copy of the success factors, click here.


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