South East Lean Network: Making Problem-Solving Routine: increasing the problem-solving muscle of your organisation

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  • South East Lean Network: Making Problem-Solving Routine
    January 18, 2023
    1:05 pm - 1:45 pm


In Waters, we recognised that we had a problem with our problem-solving system. The process was not user-friendly, and the projects were too large, thus resulting in loss of engagement and focus. Too few people were involved, and the project cadence was too slow.

An improved system (“C4”) has resulted in problem-solving becoming more routine, enabling quicker throughput of projects and an increase in the problem-solving capability of the organisation.


James Browne, Continuous Improvement Programme Manager, Waters Technologies (Ireland) Ltd.

James qualified with a 1st class honours degree in Physics and Chemistry from Dublin Institute of Technology in 1997. He continued his studies in Dublin City University graduating with 1st class honours, MSc Instrumental Analysis, in 1998. He later qualified as a lean/6-sigma black belt from Air Academy Associates in Colorado Springs in 2007.

James has held a range of positions in the Environmental Analysis and Pharmaceutical Industries. He joined Waters in 2004 as a process chemist in the Wexford manufacturing facility. His current role is Continuous Improvement Programme Manager at the Waters site. This programme has been very successful in achieving and maintaining substantial benefits for the site, while also embedding key lean systems and practices.

Waters Technologies (Ireland) Ltd. was established in Wexford in 1997 as part of Waters Corporation. It manufactures world class mass spectrometers and chromatographic consumables. The site is also heavily involved in the design, development and manufacturing of IVD reagent kits. It currently employs 340 people at its facility in Wexford Town. Their lean transformation programme has been one of the key enablers of the site’s success over the past number of years.

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