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Room for Improvement: Valerio Tomasso, Amazon

Do Amazon Use Lean Six Sigma?​

Joining us in the Room for Improvement is Valerio Tomasso. Valerio is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, which reported $121.2 billion in sales last quarter.

Valerio is perfectly positioned in the heart of the Operational Excellence team to confirm that not only does Amazon use Lean Six Sigma, but it has, in fact, become intrinsic to the organisation’s goals.  He has witnessed the culture evolve to become one where teams have a clear focus on improving upstream and downstream processes as well as their own.

Watch the full video now for Valerio’s relatable experience of imposter syndrome and how it can be an advantage not to know everything.

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A novel introduction to business improvement

Recommended by Jeff Bezos himself, The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt skilfully demonstrates the application of business improvement theory through the unusual form of a business novel.

Told from the perspective of senior management at an underperforming production plant, it’s a great way to learn about the principles of lean and Six Sigma.  Valerio talks about how inspirational the story was for him at the start of his career – giving it the highest praise possible as he tells us “I want to be this guy!”.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions​

There’s nothing like the feeling of being a small cog in a large wheel to generate an apprehension for contributing to discussions and asking useful questions.

But have you considered this: asking the basic questions and challenging assumptions are the first steps in understanding the current situation, and where the opportunities for improvement may lie.

Valerio’s advice to those starting a career in Continuous Improvement is don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Far from revealing inadequacies, they can actually help by bringing to light a previously unseen perspective for a project team.

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