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Lean Six Sigma is a process that incorporates two key elements of Continuous Improvement: Lean and Six Sigma. It is a process of improvement to prevent defects, remove waste, increase efficiency, and improve working conditions to benefit the Customers and the organization. The combination of tools and methods of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies improves the processes and thus the entire business. To attain positive results, reduction in variation is the major goal of implementing the Lean Six Sigma methodology. Every employee should be involved to assure improvement is constant and sustained. If every employee participates in continuous improvement, he/she will work efficiently and effectively thus improving the profitability of the organization.
For Lean to work, an organization needs to change its culture. Lean Six Sigma is all about the way people think. Teaching only the tools leads to improvement, but without the application of the tools typically do not result in breakthrough improvement. The success of a Lean Six Sigma transformation rests with the organization’s leadership. Only when leadership understands the process, supports the projects, allocates resources and leads by example will a Lean Sigma transformation succeed.
The Lean Six Sigma comprehensive set of tools and analytical techniques are used to discover and solve complex problems. The tools identify actual root causes, and solutions are implemented to improve operations. The process will only give the desired results if the right set of tools and techniques are implemented. To understand the methodology of Lean Six Sigma, we need to understand both the Lean and Six Sigma tools and how they are applied.
Lean originated at Toyota Corporation and soon became a critical process in continual improvement. The fundamental objective of Lean is the eradication of waste. Lean can be described as “a set of tools that help in the detection and the steady removal of waste.” If the waste removal issue is addressed successfully, then any company is set to grow while minimizing costs.
Effective problem-solving methodology involves four key steps:
- Identify – Identify the root cause of a problem. Identification of an issue is key for any problem-solving activity. If the problem is identified appropriately, the problem-solving activities are highly effective.
- Fix the problem. Make use of appropriate tools to fix the problem.
- Check if the problem is properly fixed. This is a crucial step as you always want to be alert to the possibility of a recurrence.
- Maintain – Implement the necessary Lean tools to sustain the corrective actions.
Here are the five principles of Lean Manufacturing:
- Value – The product or service that a customer considers important
- Value Stream- The steps involved in delivering the value of the products and services
- Flow – The uninterrupted flow of activities adds value to the customer.
- Pull- The value stream is only processing products and services that the customer wants. We should be sure to understand the customer demand before initiating the work.
- Perfection- The continuous assessment of delivery of products and services to the customer.
Six Sigma Methodology
Six Sigma originated at Motorola. It focuses on reducing process variation, defects and assuring process control. The identification and elimination of anything that causes variation in the process provides process stability and product consistency. Technical tools like statistical data analysis, design of experiments, SPC, and hypothesis testing can be used to reduce variation.
Six Sigma includes five process improvement steps:
- Define- The problem is defined. The process is analyzed, and expectations for the process are defined from the customer’s perspective. This is done to enhance the customer experience
- Measure- The present performance of the process is measured to verify the actual performance.
- Analyze- This phase analyzes the actual problem using the measured data. The true root cause is identified.
- Improve- The possible changes are implemented, and solutions are designed and evaluated so that variation is reduced or eliminated.
- Control- The measured changes are implemented, and the process is put under control.
Lean Six Sigma is one of the most influential problem solving and continuous improvement methods used by most organizations today.
There are six belt levels of Lean Six Sigma:
1. White Belt- Understands the goals and structure of Lean Six Sigma.
2. Yellow Belt– Understands basic Lean Six Sigma concepts.
3. Green Belt– Starts and manages Lean Six Sigma projects.
4. Black Belt– Has advanced Lean Six Sigma knowledge.
5. Master Black Belt- Works with leaders to identify gaps and select projects.
6. Champion- Executive leader who drives the initiative and helps the team in selecting projects.
A certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt is trained in the Lean Six Sigma methodology and tools. He/she is a part of team who leads limited improvement projects. Quality Support Group offers Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training and Certification worldwide. By attaining this certification, you will be able to use Lean tools and techniques to improve processes in the organization.
Quality Support Group is dedicated in providing a wide range of training courses taught by our experts. If you are looking for Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification, Quality Support Group is one of the best resources to attain the knowledge necessary…
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