Lean Six Sigma – A strategy for business success, Part 1 of 3

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Lean Six Sigma – A strategy for business success, Part 1 of 3

We put together the following guide for Lean Six Sigma. Because it is long I will break it up into three posts. I hope you find it useful and welcome any comments.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”
Charles Darwin

What makes a successful organisation? Being better, faster, cheaper than the competition? Delivering value in the eyes of the customer? Eliminating waste in all processes? Using less to do more? Does this criteria for success apply equally to manufacturing and service organisations? Yes, is the answer to all questions and getting there is a major challenge to Ireland’s future prosperity.

We need to move away from “the way things have always worked”, to better and smarter ways of doing business. All of us can and absolutely need to improve if Ireland is to move forward and be successful.

How do we know what is better and smarter? Where do we start within the company or organisation? How do we measure success? How do we know what success is?

Let’s start at the beginning.

Achieving success involves a number of key elements…

➢ Customers:
You must start by focusing on the customer and identify their critical to quality requirements. What exactly do they want/need? When do they want it? How should it be delivered? Where should it be delivered?

➢ Processes:
You must ensure that your processes are designed and managed to meet these key customer requirements.

➢ Measurements:
There must be appropriate measurements in place to understand how well you are meeting customer requirements and more importantly, how well the customer feels you are meeting their requirements (two completely different things!!).

➢ People:
You need to involve your people, ensuring they are effectively equipped (trained) so that they are able and feel able, to challenge their processes and improve the way they work.

➢ Tools:
Improvements are implemented project by project. Don’t boil the ocean, start with low hanging fruit and work your way through the organisation using a systematic, data driven, problem solving and process improvement approach (more about this later).

➢ Leadership:
No change happens without the correct Leadership, Support and Management Behaviour, this is the real key to success.

To be continued next week

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