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I ONCE WAS A MEMBER of a PIT (process improvement team) that improved ... well, nothing. Oh, we defined the process, articulated why it needed changing, enumerated the process steps, and made changes that charted really well.
The funny thing was that the new process didn't really solve the old process problems. We didn't tackle the biggest problem that faced us, namely the elephants, the company's unwritten rules that controlled the process. Unwritten rules, like elephants, are gray, have considerable weight, and don't move fast; but they can be trained and put to work.
Like many teams, we were afraid to even talk about the unwritten rules that could prevent …