Lean Six Sigma combines the best of two different concepts that result in more efficiency with less effort: Lean and Six Sigma. A “Lean” process implements actions that speed up processes, make them more productive and delivers a standard of excellence. Lean is achieved by removing Waste which is basically any activity that is not necessary to get a job done. Six Sigma by definition is simply a method of efficiently solving a problem. If utilized properly, Six Sigma greatly reduces the amount of defective products. The Six Sigma process uncovers areas that are causing issues in order to come up with ways to address these issues.
One of the greatest benefits of utilizing a Lean Six Sigma process is the impact that it has on revenue growth. It gives businesses the ability to do more with less. Costs go down as a result of removing “Waste” from a process. Waste, simply put, is any activity within a process that isn’t required to manufacture a product or provide a service.
5 phases (DMAIC) of the Six Sigma Process:
1. Define the goals of the improvement activity. The most important goals are obtained from customers. At the top level the goals will be the strategic objectives of the organization, such as greater customer loyalty, a higher ROI or increased market share, or greater employee satisfaction. At the operations level, a goal might be to increase the throughput of a production department. At the project level goals might be to reduce the defect level and increase throughput for a particular process. Obtain goals from direct communication with customers, shareholders, and employees.
2. Measure the existing system. Establish valid and reliable metrics to help monitor progress towards the goal(s) defined at the previous step. Begin by determining the current baseline. Use exploratory and descriptive data analysis to help you understand the data.
3. Analyze the system to identify ways to eliminate the gap between the current performance of the system or process and the desired goal. Use statistical tools to guide the analysis.
4. Improve the system. Be creative in finding new ways to do things better, cheaper, or faster. Use project management and other planning and management tools to implement the new approach. Use statistical methods to validate the improvement.
5. Control the new system. Institutionalize the improved system by modifying compensation and incentive systems, policies, procedures, MRP, budgets, operating instructions and other management systems. You may wish to utilize standardization such as ISO 9000 to assure that documentation is correct. Use statistical tools to monitor stability of the new systems.
Lean Six Sigma Certification is available in 4 different levels (Black, Green, Yellow or White Belt). Black is the highest and with completion of this training you would be well qualified to lead various Lean Six Sigma projects. The lowest is White Belt and it provides enough knowledge to be familiar with the concept of Lean Six Sigma and understand its benefits. contact us today to discuss what would work well for you and your company!