In a recent post to the ReliablePlant blog the ability of Lean Six Sigma to achieve dramatic improvements in quality and sustainability were discussed. The article made recommendations for how plants can reap substantial rewards from a Lean Six Sigma program. The article points out that Lean by itself encourages a sustainable, cost-effective outcome, but that Six Sigma is needed to determine exactly how many problems, defects, flaws, inaccuracies, etc., are occurring and then provide a systematic methodology to eradicate them.

Keys to Achievement

The importance of dedicated effort and patience in a successful implementation cannot be overstated. A few of the core requirements that are necessary for companies or facilities to succeed with Lean Six Sigma include:

  1. Organizations must have a compelling reason for implementing Lean Six Sigma.
  2. Senior management must be 100-percent invested in and committed to achieving Lean Six Sigma.
  3. Companies must be willing to invest in appropriate, qualified resources for the initiative, whether those resources are employees, materials, technologies or a combination.
  4. Stakeholders and participants must work together as a team.
  5. Team members must be empowered to carry out initiatives without the need for constant evaluation and approval.
  6. Organizations must commit sufficient time and resources to training, which is crucial to achieving a positive outcome.
  7. When companies work on their priorities, they should focus not on improvements that create change quickly but rather on those that have the most impact on quality.
  8. The feedback loop is pivotal to incremental and long-lasting improvement and cannot be bypassed.

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