Do policies ever get in the way of improving a system? David Anderson writes abbot this in Superstition and Boiling Frogs.
A lot of what I teach nowadays revolves around the idea that management has the power to change policies in an organization and that policies control a lot of the sources waste (muda) and bottlenecks (constraints). ...
There are two particularly common problems which can be non-obvious to everyone in an organization that are easily exposed with transparent data. [Boiling Frogs; Superstition]
My favorite question to ask in relation to this discussion is, "Which is harder: changing the physical process or changing a policy?" Changing a physical process involves reconfiguring equipment or creating a new layout in the plant or even revalidation. Changing a policy is a matter of making (and communicating) the decision to operate in a new way. Which would you rather do?
As David highlights in his article, once you have the right view of the organization and the right data, the policies that get in the way of the goal become obvious.