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Demonstrating Improvement through Variation Reduction

This utility company already had an active improvement programme but wanted to focus more on transformational processes and reducing variation. At the time of the programme they serviced 4.2m households in Midlands & Mid-Wales with a £761m turnover. Using a combination of public, in-house training and senior management workshops, we worked with this organisation to train their staff in variation reduction.

The Customer Challenge

This utility company had an active improvement programme that 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.


  • 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.
  • CEO has requested wider business roll-out.

Our Contribution

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

"Understanding how to identify the right measures and data is a critical part of better decision making"


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