Will Staff Reductions Fail Like Lean Programs?

A recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review, 22 January 2010 entitled "Where Process-Improvement Projects Go Wrong" talks about how many lean process improvement projects like Six Sigma fail over time.  I can't help but compare this to the recent trend in businesses to attempt to "do more with less" and wonder whether that experiment will fail as well.  The author talks about how a spring stretches to accomodate the stress, but over time loses its effectiveness and many times actually fails.  Its seems to me that staff reductions where the thinking by management is that they can get by doing the same or more with less staff is poised to fail over time as the employees left "holding the bag" are stretched to the breaking point and eventually give way.  As a manager, you should be concerned about this potential and be on the look-out for signs that your employees are overworked and in need of relief.