I wrote an original blog post a while back on unusual lean six sigma projects called the ‘Usual Suspects – Part 1’.
This is the sequel, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Line Up Room!
Typical lean six sigma projects focus on everyday process and metrics that most companies use. For example in manufacturing – yields, defects, cycle times, downtime, lead times, set-up and changeover times and in the transactional and service industry – call duration, number of errors, service level agreements, over and under payments. These would be considered – the usual suspects, the same type of projects focused on the same type of processes.
However, since the ‘Usual Suspects – Part 1’ we have come across a range of quite innovative and uncommon projects. For example;
· Reducing the number of reports in a financial services company
· Reducing the cycle time of the interview process whilst maintaining or reducing the level of turnover in the organisation
· Reducing the level of scanning of customers files
· Optimising the use of Online payslips
· Reduce the waste and cost of customer issued literature
· Increase the use of ‘Green Statements’
· Better meeting management
· Application of Lean Principles for Quality Systems
· Reduction in Canteen Operating Costs
If you notice the common theme here is that these projects are being carried out in departments and functions which in many organisations are always ‘left out’ of continuous improvement or process improvement Programs. It has always been the manufacturing, engineering, materials, customer service, and operations processes.
The morale of the story is that it doesn’t always have to be the ‘usual suspects’