Optimisation is getting the maximum yield with the minimum waste and the minimum effort.

Optimisation applies to every part of an organisation – the way it services customers, the efficiency of processes, the way it generates revenue. All work is a process and optimisation of processes leads to optimisation of the system.

Optimisation can only be achieved over time and with learning and knowledge. Processes need to be understood, measured and then improved.

It is often best to start by identifying the extent of sub-optimisation in a system or process. Sub-optimisation can take the form of waste – wasted time, resources, errors, complaints and so on. What examples of sub-optimisation are predictable? It is important to establish first of all that any type of waste or sub-optimisation is predictable – then we can be confident it is being caused by the system. In this way we can develop confidence that change will lead to improvement.