Actionable Information - most processes can generate it, but its often left uncovered

Actionable information is a frequently used term. Its definition is clear, but obtaining it; that’s not so clear.  

Actionable information is the linchpin in Lean Business Intelligence. Two specific ingredients in Lean BI create actionable information. I'm not aware of any other performance improvement approach that uses them. In Lean BI the sharing of actionable information has one purpose: to make specific opportunities for improvement too obvious to ignore.

The first actionable ingredients are Categories of Performance. It's a fairly straightforward concept, though there are plenty of businesses being run without using them (usually with less than optimal results.) I discussed these in this post.

The second ingredients are Meaningful Performance Benchmarks (for each category), which I discussed in this post.  When these two ingredients are combined they present process owners with an almost inescapable accountability for improvement. Over time, the gap between actual and benchmark levels of performance should close. The meaning in the benchmark helps create the path to attaining improved performance.

Performance improvement becomes a straightforward proposition with Lean BI. But actionable information can only be created when one has a deep process understanding.

So, why aren’t these ingredients used more frequently?

  • They are not part of any currently defined performance improvement approach, like Lean Six Sigma
  • Data manipulation skills, not statistical analysis, are required to obtain these ingredients
  • Creative thinking is required in each business situation, there are no boilerplate solutions 


Lean Business Intelligence will be starting a mentoring program later this year. Candidates in the mentoring program will learn how to create and apply all seven Lean BI ingredients to create a fact based environment for improved results. To learn more about the mentoring program, send me a note and I’ll send you details as they become available.