Principle of War #8 – Simplicity

Simplicity : Only do the necessary.

  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

For anyone who was a student of mine they heard this word more than they can count during training. Simplicity is our default setting and is how we think. In fact, process improvement can be thought of as applying simplicity to processes. 

The ISO definition of a process is “any activity or set of activities that use resources to transform inputs into outputs.” When analyzing processes we categorize steps as either adding value or not adding value. If a step is not adding value but we continue to perform it, we have made the process more complicated than necessary. The more complexity that exists in processes the greater the likelihood problems will occur. 

Lean Six Sigma belts do not necessarily have the best solutions, but we do have some of the best questions. One in particular is “what would this look like if it were simple?”. Challenge your teams with that question and see what improvements are developed.

Reduce complexity (aka KISS method)