Demonstrating Improvement through Variation Reduction

Date: 29th July 2014

Author: PMI

Service 4.2m households in Midlands & Mid‐Wales with a £761m Turnover

This utility company already had an active improvement programme but wanted to focus more on transformational processes and reducing variation. Using a combination of public, in-house training and senior management workshops we worked with this organisation to train their staff in variation reduction.


This utility company had an active improvement programme which successfully addressed efficiency and safety but as it was dominated by solely Lean activity it wasn’t transformational and had little reference to reducing variation.

The Senior Manager involved in the project knew from his experience that reducing variation is essential both in the detail of everyday processes and in helping managers make better decisions.



  1. The activity around driving these new methods and behaviours into their practice has led to increased awareness of better decisions and interpretation of their data.
  2. CEO has requested wider business roll-out.


PMI’s Contribution

PMI were engaged to train several staff at Green Belt level; utilising the benefits of both public and in-houser training.

The success of the Green Belt projects resulted in further staff being training to Black Belt level.

A further series of bespoke workshops were held for the wider senior management team which consisted of:

  • understanding their organisation as a system,
  • understanding how to better identify useful measures,
  • understanding variation in these measures.