Process improvement projects have typically been a labor-intensive and imprecise process. Labor-intensive in that capturing the as-designed vs. the actual current-state process required facilitated meetings, interviews, surveys, and analyzing operational data over an extended time period. Imprecise in that workers will typically act differently when they know they are being watched and measured. The Hawthorne effect was first described over 50 years ago and predicts that workers will typically improve a process while being observed as part of a process improvement project, but will revert to their pre-project behavior once the project has ended and the observers departed.
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