LEAN Sigma 6
Duration - 2 days
Lean 6 Sigma (L6S) is a combination of two process improvement methodologies ‘Lean ‘(derived from the Toyota Production System) and ‘Six Sigma’ (developed by Motorola, General Electric and several others).
The aim of Lean 6 Sigma is to improve processes by removing waste without reducing quality. If this sounds like an impossible task it isn’t – an uncontrolled process generates a huge amount of unnecessary actions and outputs none of which contribute to the customer’s satisfaction (or the satisfaction of people working in the process for that matter). L6S focuses on effective techniques which are simple to understand and deploy and which adopt a “low tech” approach to problem solving. A major element of L6S is utilising existing staff to make improvements instead of relying on external consultants – this has benefits in getting effective solutions in place quickly and boosting staff morale.
L6S covers a number of areas from Management Style through to root cause analysis, although it sprung out of manufacturing, modern L6S is applicable (when tailored) to just about any business environment which finds itself charged with “ doing more for less”.
Benefits of Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma increases your organisation’s revenue by streamlining processes. Streamlined processes result in services that are completed faster and more efficiently at no cost to quality. Lean Six Sigma increases revenue by enabling your organisation to do more with less such as provide more services using fewer resources.
Lean Six Sigma reduces your organisation’s costs by:
- Removing “Waste” from a process. Waste is any activity within a process that isn’t required to provide a service that is up to specification.
- Solving problems caused by a process. Problems are defects in a product or service that cost your organisation money.
Lean Six Sigma enables you to fix processes that cost your organisation valuable resources.
Lean Six Sigma improves the efficiency of your organisation by:
- Maximizing your organisation’s efforts toward delivering a satisfactory product or service to your customers
- Allowing your organisation to allocate resources/revenue produced from your newly improved processes towards growing your business
Lean Six Sigma enables you to create efficient processes so that your organisation can deliver more products or services, with more satisfied customers than ever before.
Lean Six Sigma develops effective employees within your organisation by:
- Involving employees in the improvement process. This promotes active participation and results in an engaged, accountable team.
- Building trust. Transparency throughout all levels of the organisation promotes a shared understanding of how each person is important to the organisation’s success.
Basically, Lean Six Sigma develops a sense of ownership and accountability for your employees. This increases their effectiveness at delivering results for any improvement project they are involved in. Quite often, this benefit is overlooked by organisations who implement Lean Six Sigma, but its underlying advantages dramatically increase the chances of continued success of Lean Six Sigma, and your business.
What levels of training are provided?
Typically a belt structure is as follows:
The foundation level
Understands the goals, philosophy of L6S and has a basic toolkit which can be used to improve existing processes
Yellow belts are the foundation of L6S and are usually people working on the ground charged with carrying out improvements usually under the direction of the next level up the Green Belt
Often a part-time practitioner
Typically a Manager or Team Leader who directs an area of the business. The people working in the area are often White or Yellow Belts and their improvement actions will be co-ordinated and facilitated by their Manager/Green Belt
Green Belts understand how to run simple (informal) improvement projects and also manage their teams in a Lean way
Black Belt/ Master Black Belt
Usually full time change agents (this is changing and we see many department heads taking this role now days).
More experienced in the statistical side of Lean 6 Sigma and often used to help change the corporate culture
There is no generally accepted authorisation body for L6S (although many companies are competing at the moment).
Traditionally, competence is assessed at an Organisation level with each having their own definition and certification. This is a sensible approach as there are many tools for L6S but your business probably only needs a specific handful to make a change.