Hillary Cronin is a Lean Sigma Black Belt Graduate. Hillary recently joined the Research Office team at Munster Technological University supporting them to help deliver on their research ambitions. Prior to this Hillary was Chief Innovation Officer Metabolomic Diagnostics. Hillary agreed to share her thoughts on her Lean journey with us in our latest edition of An Alumni View.
To start you might just fill us in on how you came to undertake your Lean Sigma education with us.
I undertook Lean Sigma through Springboard as I was restarting my career after taking a break to raise my family. I always had an interest in Lean practices and wanted to upskill myself.
Since graduating from your Lean Sigma Course how have you applied Continuous Improvement and what was most beneficial?
Lean to me is my fundamental work culture so I use it in everything I do. My first job many years ago was working with a Japanese company so everything I learned in terms of work practice and culture was Lean. It was only when I did the course that I understood how significantly Lean my work environment was at that time. Understanding the importance of addressing culture in any project is critical. Also, the Gemba principle is a fundamental tool that is hugely useful.
What areas have you found to be most difficult to deal with in your Continuous Improvement journey?
It can be difficult in a work environment that does not understand the Lean Fundamentals. As it is at my core in terms of work, I sometimes forget that not everyone understands the principles.
Have you see any significant change in the application of Lean Sigma over the last 3 to 5 years?
In a general sense I think there is more recognition of its benefits and I sense an increased adoption in large multinationals. It would be great to see widespread adaption in other sectors e.g., SME’s and Public sector.
If you were to reinforce one key point you have taken from the classes you attended what would it be?
People matter – engage early in any project with the key stakeholders.
Is there anything extra you feel would be beneficial to the readers?
Communicate. Communicate Communicate! It startles me everyday how people fail to communicate their message effectively. Know you stakeholders/audience- communicate and engage with them constantly.
Thank you Hillary for a very insightful view into Lean and your advise on people and communication, crucial for everyone. We wish you the very best in your ongoing journey.