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What is lean, six sigma and lean six sigma??

Author: Lean Sixsigma
by Lean Sixsigma
Posted: May 28, 2020

Lean Six Sigma is a business methodology that focuses on process improvement by eliminating problems, removing waste and inefficiency, and improving working conditions to provide a better response to customer needs and satisfaction.

The methodology is a combination of the powerful tools of Lean and Six Sigma, that once combined together provides the most effective and efficient ways to achieve the organisational objectives by applying the right kind of tactics.

Defining lean

Lean is a philosophical way to eliminate unnecessary steps during the creation of a product so that steps that add value could only be taken into consideration. It uses PDCA- Plan Do Check Act Cycle, an iterative four step management theory that talks about how one must plan their desired results, perform it or bring it to action accordingly, measure/ monitor the results and then finally take necessary steps to fill in the gaps between the desired and the end result.

The five principles of lean that it follows are:

  1. Value- Value in lean determines everything that a customer feels is important and is willing to pay for it.
  2. Value Stream- Value stream in lean refers to the set of business activities that creates a flow of value involved in creating and delivering products and services to the customer.
  3. Flow- Flow can be defined as the degree to which there is no interruption occurred during the set of activities that add value to the customer.
  4. Pull- Pull system in lean is used to reduce waste elements and making sure that the value stream is only processing products and services for which there is customer demand.
  5. Perfection- The constant assessment of value stream performance to identify and improve the operations for better customer satisfaction.

Defining six sigma

Six Sigma approach focuses on identifying the waste that results from variation within the process. According to experts, once the variations are eliminated the results would be precise and would have no deviation in them. It uses DMAIC- Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control: a data driven improvement cycle that mainly focuses on optimising and stabilising business propagandas and designs.

The five phases of six sigma can be briefed as:

  1. Define- In this phase, the boundaries are set and goals are defined to obtain maximum satisfaction of the customers.
  2. Measure- In the phase of measure, the current performance of the delivery of products or services are measured to ensure there are no variations occurred.
  3. Analyse- The analyse phase of six sigma focuses on identifying the root cause of any business problem during the production process.
  4. Improve- In this phase, a solution to the problem is determined and the various formats to implement the changes are identified.
  5. Control- The changes in this phase are implemented. Control Phase in DMAIC approach is to ensure that the gains obtained during Improve are maintained long after the project has ended.

For the longest time, Lean and Six Sigma has been taught and practiced as two different methods, but to get the best of both worlds, the line between the two has been blurred. Lean and Six Sigma shares the same end goal but take different approaches to identify the root of waste. Lean Six Sigma, thus, is an improvement methodology designed to remove waste, eliminate problems, increase efficiency and improve working conditions to provide the best to a customers’ needs.

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About the Author

Focuses on depth of interpretations drawn from analysis for correct project and Critical to Quality (CTQ) identification, establishment of correct data collection mechanism with validation being focus of discussions.

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Author: Lean Sixsigma

Lean Sixsigma

Member since: Oct 09, 2019
Published articles: 12

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