Principle of War #7 – Unity of command

Unity of Command: For every objective, there should be unity of effort under one responsible person.

  1. Objective
  2. Offensive
  3. Mass
  4. Maneuver
  5. Intelligence
  6. Concerted action
  7. Unity of command
  8. Simplicity
  9. Security
  10. Economy
  11. Surprise
  12. Exploitation

This is probably the most frustrating principle to employees when violated. If you have ever asked “Who is in charge?” unity of command was being violated. 

For Lean Six Sigma Kaizen event strategy to work we must have leadership. In our teams this person is known as the “Champion”. A champion is the person who is ultimately in charge and accountable for achieving the objective. Often champions appoint a “Team Leader” to accomplish the objective of a specific kaizen event. Once again, a clearly identified person in charge – we have unity of command.

Champions are important to the Green belts or Black belts by serving as both a protector and motivator. At the end of the day we (Lean Six Sigma folk) are trying to accomplish an objective for a champion. Champions often kick-off kaizen events by articulating expectations and clarifying the objective. A confident Champion will let the team get creative in developing solutions, they tell them what needs accomplished, not how to accomplish it. 

There is only one captain on a ship, there is only one Champion for a Kaizen event. 

Leadership, don’t start without it.