Lean Six Sigma

Introduction:

Six Sigma is a powerful concept that can be used for pursuing continuous improvement, identify and eliminate causes of error in business process. This powerful method is focused on the outputs that are critical to customers. By using statistical and non-statistical tools and techniques, the methodology attempts to tackle process variability. With Six Sigma, organizations can increase revenue and achieve greater customer satisfaction.

The origin of Six Sigma originates at Motorola in the yearly 1980s; they deployed this strategy in order to achieve 10x reductions in product-failure levels in 5 years.  Six Sigma is based on the DMAIC methodology and is a data-driven quality strategy. This data-driven strategy can be combined with the benefits of Lean, which focuses on removing waste and streamline a process. This methodology is called Lean Six Sigma.

In this article, we will provide useful links as the first steps for understanding the methodology.

  1. MIT has a broad online lecture that covers Lean Six Sigma. The lecture notes can be accessed on the MITOpenCourseWare. Access The Lean Six Sigma course by clicking here – MIT Lean Six Sigma Course
  2. Goleansixsigma.com is a useful resource with free library of Lean Six Sigma templates.
    Access the library by click here – Goleansixsigma FREE Library
  3. Isixsigma is a B2B media business that offers information about Lean Six Sigma. It is filled with different materials such as case studies and interviews. Access their Lean Six Sigma content by clicking here – isixsigma Lean Six Sigma Page

Comments from the author:

Lean Six Sigma is a powerful strategy for delighting the customers, identifying waste and eliminating errors. Its data-driven approach can help organizations maximize the efforts for creating efficient processes in order to deliver excellent product or services to customers.  However, achieving the full benefits of the methodology and the mindset behind Lean Six Sigma is not easy a mission. It requires attention from management, skilled leaders that can run projects and commitment from the whole organization.

The weaknesses of Six Sigma are the cost of training of employees and the statistics involved in the concept. The amount of statistical gathering and analysis can make this method complicated to understand and apply.

Six Sigma is a straightforward method (DMAIC) with defined tools, but in order to reach the full potential of the tools one needs to understand the mindset behind the principles and practices. Those organizations that apply Lean Six Sigma as a business strategy can tackle rising costs, increasing competition and continually improve their products and services to satisfy their customers.

Credits:
Feautered image shows the steps in the DMAIC process. By DanielPenfield (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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