Variation is Evil", said Jack Welch the CEO of General Electric in 1998. His statement was a result of the lack of consistency in order to delivery times for General Electric. His statement essentially meant that time is nearly as important a metric as is quality…
Although Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma have been practiced for several decades now, Lean Six Sigma itself is a relatively new initiative being followed by companies worldwide. Whereas Six Sigma is focused on reducing variation and improving process yield using statistical tools, Lean is primarily concerned with eliminating waste by following a defined approach to implement various Lean principles. Lean brings action and intuition to the table; Six Sigma uses statistical tools to uncover root causes and provide metrics; Lean Six Sigma is a combination of both and provides the tools to create ongoing business improvement (Smith, 2003). The synergy of Lean and Six Sigma bring in the advantages of both, achieving results consistently superior than what either system could achieve alone.
Lean Six Sigma is different from Six Sigma in the sense that it marries the principles of both Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma concepts to produce a much enhanced system. Six Sigma is a process for eliminating defects and variation through the development of a disciplined data driven approach. However Six Sigma alone cannot dramatically improve process speed or reduce invested capital. Although it can bring a process under statistical control, variations will still exist in terms of delivery times, assembly times, routings, etc. Incorporating Lean principles within the Six Sigma framework enhances speed and quality by improving and streamlining the processes and creating excellent customer service. According to Badurdeen (2008), "to get to Lean Six Sigma an organization should first incorporate Six Sigma into their process improvement and then engage in Lean Six Sigma to speed up the processes after the systems have been broken down into smaller components".
Selecting the Right Team
As such, rightsizing Lean Six Sigma teams should be the first priority for businesses that want to ensure the success of 'Lean' projects and realize the full potential of such projects. Some of the factors that characterize an efficient Lean Six Sigma Team are:
High level of efficient communications amongst implementers, management officials and other entities associated with the 'Lean' project.
The team members are accountable since decisions and actions taken by the team can be traced back to individual members.
Team works with a reduced cost of operations because the lesser the numbers, the less will be the amount of resources used for performing the same tasks and duties
The team constantly strives in increasing efficiency in solving complex problems and issues and employees know the exact person to contact if they encounter problems during the implementation phase
The team shows less chance of conflicts and ego issues.
One way we evaluate the success of a Lean Six Sigma initiative or strategy is to measure the involvement in LeanSix Sigma by way of numbers of people involved, i.e., numbers trained, practicing, certified, etc.
DMAIC is a standard improvement model; it is a structured, disciplined and rigorous approach to process improvement consisting of 5 logically interlinked phases. The 5 phases are discussed in the following section (George, 2002).
Define: This is the first step which aims at clarifying the goals and value of a project. A set of tools such ...
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Lean 6? – Root Cause Analysis process capability from the external customer’s and VOP perspectives Introduction Six Sigma has emerged as a method of identifying, classifying and solving problems that affect the overall productivity of a business. Large industrial names such as GE and Motorola have proved the efficacy of utilising Six Sigma over and over again.
Six Sigma uses a variety of quality management procedures and groups the workforce into a special infrastructure that is based on the employee’s skills (Pande & Holpp, 2002). Every Six Sigma project follows a specific sequence of steps which has its own objectives.
It functions by redesigning and the continuously improving the business processes. On the other hand, Lean Sigma or Lean Management covers the process improvement of a business that focuses on the management approach of minimizing waste and maximizing value (Meredith and Shafer, 2010).
The precursor of Lean Six Sigma was the Six Sigma which was first developed by Motorola in the 1980s. “Six Sigma is primarily a methodology for improving the capability of business processes by using statistical methods to identify and decrease or eliminate process variation.
The root cause may also be internal in origin, such as lack of motivation and initiative among employees or a flaw somewhere in the production line, which is as difficult to isolate and quantify. This problem has become so common in present-day efforts to achieve operational excellence that management scholars advocate the adoption of the Six Sigma methodology, which is basically about defect identification and prevention, cycle time reduction and cost savings.
ly developed to improve manufacturing processes, it has also been used by many organizations to improve other areas of their business” (Guarraia 2009). Lean on the other hand had its roots back to production system of Toyota Production System which was “traditionally
This paper examines the application of the Six Sigma concept to a fictional organization. The paper will be based on a scenario whereby the writer should apply the principles of Six Sigma to a business with production teams spanning across
Six sigma operates using two methods (DMAIC and DMADV) that each have further five processes that can be used to improve on hospital efficiency and increase on hospital profitability, in our case. Six sigma was first used in the
To this end, they each end with a good deal of value created for not just the producer or manufacturer but also the consumer or end user (Meredith and Shafer, 2014). Having said this, it is important to stress that
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