Earlier this year, I leveled some criticism at consulting firm Accenture for what I believed was a misguided article on their Web site about cost control. I suggested that people at the firm paid lip service to lean principles without really grasping their true essence.
I have no personal experience with George Group, and I am not trying to say anything good or bad about the quality of their work. However, I do know that what it calls Lean Six Sigma is one of the firm’s specialties, along with areas it labels Fast Innovation and Conquering Complexity. Founder Michael George has written several books, including one on Lean Six Sigma for Service (not published by Productivity Press).
In a news release, Mark Foster, chief executive of Accenture’s management consulting and integrated markets group, said the acquisition “will significantly expand Accenture’s capabilities in process excellence and next-generation process re-engineering.”
George Group employs 250 people, which is equal to about 0.16 percent of Accenture’s global workforce of 158,000. So I don’t know how much influence George Group will actually have on its new owner’s operations.
But I hope Foster is right in suggesting there will be a real impact (even though I don’t care for his use of business jargon like “next-generation process re-engineering.”) Accenture is so large that its work has an impact on a sizable number of businesses. If this acquisition improves Accenture’s understanding of lean, and subsequently helps more of its clients become lean, then I hope this deal works out well for both parties.