Lean Six Sigma – A strategy for business success, Part 2 of 3

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Lean Six Sigma – A strategy for business success, Part 2 of 3

Continuing from last week …

Before we put this all together look at the following “principles” and see how they could be applied to your organisation.

Principle #1
…‘Define Value’

Principle #2

…‘Identify the Value Stream’

This is all the steps and actions required to bring a specific product or service through the three critical transformation processes:

• Idea transformation – concept to market launch
• Information transformation – order-take through scheduling, to delivery
• Physical transformation – raw materials to final customer

Principle #3
… ‘Make the work flow’

➢ Every time the flow of work stops (be that a product flow in a company or a document flow in a service department or a patient flow in a hospital) we consume resources that adds costs but generates absolutely no value.

Principle #4
… ‘Respond only when the customer pulls work’

➢ Overproduction is the worst form of waste as it generates all other waste types e.g. transportation, inventory, waiting, paperwork etc.

Principle #5
…‘Strive to seek perfection’

➢ The real benchmark is zero waste, not what your competitors are doing!

Together the elements and principles all add up to one thing: Lean Six Sigma
It is the methodology being used by many progressive Irish and International organisations to achieve lasting business success.

In simple terms…

Lean is an approach that seeks to improve flow in the value stream and eliminate waste. It’s about doing things quickly.

Six Sigma uses a powerful framework (DMAIC) and statistical tools to uncover root causes to understand and reduce variation. It’s about doing things right (defect free).

Picture 8

Bringing them together, Lean Six Sigma

Since its development and application by World Class companies such as Motorola, Honeywell and General Electric two decades ago, Six Sigma has become the fastest growing and most successful approach to continuous improvement spanning all industries, regardless of size, position in the supply chain or service provided.

The focus of the Lean Six Sigma Methodology is to gain an understanding of what drives variation in processes so that it can be reduced and controlled, and to eliminate waste in all its forms.

Key success factors differentiating Lean Six Sigma from other quality initiatives:
• Major emphasis on analytical approach, leading to accurate data-based decision making
• Project driven using a defined set of problem solving tools
• Top management leadership focused on success and driving bottom-line savings
• Structured training at various levels to deploy tools and methodology, so that they become “the preferred way of working”

Picture 6

To be concluded next week …

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