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Lean Six Sigma
All organizations, both public and private, are continually looking for ways to work faster, reduce costs, and ensure high standards of consistency and quality. Meetings play an important role in helping to define the vision of an organization and track progress as members work towards the set goals. However, meetings can be frustrating if they tend to waste a lot of time, do not have a clear agenda or fail to take advantage of the human resources present. This is why managers and executives should consider using tools and resources that help run meetings and make them more efficient and productive.
Lean Six Sigma explained
What is Lean Six Sigma? This is a methodology used to improve processes by eliminating problems, removing waste and inefficiency, improving working conditions, and ensuring a better response to customers’ needs. This practice helps to improve the operations of an organization by combining the methods, principles, and tools associated with both Lean and Six Sigma, making for a powerful methodology.
With Lean Six Sigma explained, it is important to understand how the methodology can benefit organizations that deploy it. There is no doubt that Lean Six Sigma programs can create a noticeable, sustainable transformation that is required to drive the growth of companies. Some benefits include increased employee involvement as they participate in the implementation of relevant programs and improvement of teams. Since improved processes require less time and result in reduced errors in work, this methodology also helps to reduce costs. Organizations that use this method for meetings and getting work done also enjoy a more efficient team, higher yields, increased customer satisfaction, and a culture of quality improvement.
Some of the high profile Six Sigma examples include General Electric, Wipro, Microsoft, and Motorola. After deploying the methodology, General Electric recorded increased growth and profit, with the company enjoying cost savings in excess of $2 billion.
The history of Six Sigma
The history of Six Sigma as a measurement standard dates back to Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1855) who introduced the concept of the normal curve. Since the 1920s when Walter Shewhart showed that three sigma from the mean is the point where a process requires correction, a number of measurement standards came to the scene. However, it was not until 1986 that Bill Smith in Motorola formulated Six Sigma. It was also during this time that Motorola developed the standard and created this methodology, eventually adopting the cultural change associated with it. The results were powerful bottom-line results in the organization, with more than $16 billion in savings linked to Six Sigma efforts. In 1988, Motorola became the first company to win Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.
Once the benefits of Six Sigma became clear, tens of thousands of companies around the world adopted it as a way of doing business. General Electric launched the Six Sigma initiative in 1995, Honeywell adopted Six Sigma in 1998, and Ford adopted the methodology in 2000.
Over the years, Six Sigma has evolved in remarkable ways. While it was just a quality system, it has now become a way of doing business. Today, it is seen as a vision, a philosophy, a goal, and a methodology.
Lean Six Sigma principles
Six Sigma uses either the DMADV or DMAIC methodology to reduce product variation and defects. The Lean method, on the other hand, is a philosophy that focuses on eliminating waste and providing the best customer experience. With Lean Six Sigma, organizations combine the best practices to improve the process. To produce the best results, managers and executives should consider these Lean Six Sigma principles for organizations.
Focus on the customer
This is one of the most important Lean principles. Generally, the main goal for implementing any change should be to deliver maximum benefit to the customer. This means that a focus on the customer should involve setting a clear standard quality from the beginning, taking into account the demands of the customer or market.
Find your problem and focus on it
During the re-tooling process, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of desired changes that emerge. Attempts to broadly change the product or alter the company could derail the process, making it important to focus on the initial problem and concentrate on refining that specific area.
Remove variation and bottlenecks
After identifying the problem, the next step will be to minimize the chances of defects. One of the factors that contribute to waste and mistakes is long, intricate processes. If you are to achieve efficiency and quality control, you should find ways to streamline and remove such functions.
Communicate clearly and train team members
The fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma require that team members are familiar with the methodology, know the goals of the project, and are updated on progress. In order to reduce the risk of the project failing, the management should ensure the process runs smoothly by facilitating the training of team members and promoting clear communication.
Be flexible and responsive
Change and Lean Six Sigma are closely tied. For such projects to be successful, any faulty or inefficient aspects have to be refined or removed. While this can be challenging, it will help to deliver a leaner, stronger, and more competitive organization.
These principles can be applied to any industry, helping to cut costs, promote quality, and optimize operations. For example, Lean Six Sigma principles in healthcare can contribute to the success of many LSS projects, with the main benefits being better service delivery.
Six Sigma process and implementation
When it comes to deploying Lean Six Sigma, the first step is for the organization to decide to use the methodology. Once this is done, the leadership can follow these eight stages of Six Sigma implementation for a successful process. Apart from being familiar with Lean Six Sigma DMAIC, it is also important to understand the Lean Six Sigma principles DMAIC.
- Create a burning platform – having a compelling reason for implementing the methodology will provide motivation to sustain the improvement initiative. The management should familiarize themselves with the burning platform, understand how Lean Six Sigma will help address the problems, and learn more from how is the Lean Six Sigma DMAIC process defined answers.
- Put resources in place – part of the process involves hiring the right resources at the right price. This includes material, technology, and employees. In addition to successful deployment, all employees should be able to work together as a team.
- Teach the methodology – if Lean Six Sigma is to survive, the employees involved should be trained. This not only helps to increase awareness but also makes the team members powerful change agents to drive the initiative towards the organization’s vision.
- Prioritize activities – the organization should then focus on listening to the customer, identifying critical-to-quality criteria, and ensuring Lean Six Sigma efforts are linked to business goals. This involves knowing what to overlook and where to take risks.
- Establish ownership – it should be clear who owns the initiative. Ownership, such as setting up a committee to be responsible for the entire team, will create empowerment and a sense of pride. This is likely to result in more accountable, engaged, and committed team members.
- Take the right measurements – organizations can only improve what they can measure. By getting the cost of quality right, it will be easier to measure process performance and use the data in objective decision making. Many of the great DMAIC examples have relied on taking the right measurements.
- Govern the program – proper governance will help to sustain momentum by clearing any hurdles and ensuring the project adheres to timelines. While poor governance can derail the project, too much governance can cause the vision to fall apart.
- Recognize contributions – rewards and recognition will play an important part in implementing Lean Six Sigma. Rewarding team members ensures they remain satisfied in their roles, builds enthusiasm, and drives innovation.
In the end, it is important to remember the role that DMAIC Six Sigma plays in problem reduction and quality improvement. Afterall, DMAIC is a model and acronym, standing for:
- Define the problems and objectives
- Measure what needs to be improved
- Analyze the process
- Identify and implement improvements
- Control the improved process to assure that the improvements will sustain
Six Sigma achievement
What is Six Sigma certification? – This is a process of verifying an individual’s command of Six Sigma methods and techniques. A belt classification is used to reflect the position of the individual in the organizational infrastructure, their specific job roles, and their aptitude in implementing the methodology.
The Six Sigma belts hierarchy has the Six Sigma white belt, Six Sigma yellow belt, and the Lean Six Sigma green belt. Higher levels are the Black belt, Master Black belt, and Champion, with the relevant certification on completion of training at each stage. For instance, an individual will obtain a Lean Six Sigma yellow belt certification upon successfully completing the Lean Six Sigma yellow belt training.
There are numerous benefits of being at higher Lean Six Sigma belts. Certification in this methodology will benefit both employees and the company. Knowledge of the Lean Six Sigma methodology will not only impress employers but also strengthen teams by leveraging the capabilities of each team member. Through hiring staff with Lean Six Sigma certification, organizations are likely to improve the general performance of their workforce, increase customer satisfaction through efficient workflow and service delivery, boost shareholder confidence, and improve business partnerships.
Training and certification for Six Sigma
It is clear that Six Sigma certification can offer great benefits to both employees and organizations. As such, executives and managers should consider either offering Lean Six Sigma training or encouraging employees to seek the related certification.
Today, it is possible to take a lean Six Sigma online course and obtain your Lean Six Sigma certification both affordably and conveniently. However, with the different options available, it is important to invest time in order to choose an accredited Lean Six Sigma certification online, training that will equip you with the knowledge and skills required in the workplace.
Another factor to consider when seeking to learn more about this methodology is the Lean Sigma certification cost. Generally, pursuing a Lean Six Sigma certification online will be cheaper than attending traditional classroom lessons. In addition, leaners should consider looking at the individual Six Sigma belts cost, since this will help them to go through Lean Six Sigma training online a step at a time. Today, there are a number of universities offering Six Sigma certification online, giving access to experienced faculty and valuable resources for grasping the relevant techniques and methods.
In summary, one should not compromise on quality even as they look at Lean Six Sigma certification online cost. The benefits of being a Six Sigma champion certification holder will only be clear through quality training that focuses on the fundamentals and practical aspects of the methodology. By the time learners get Six Sigma green belt certification online, they should be able to create value within the organization.
Tools and resources for Six Sigma
Even as teams within an organization learn to improve their processes and meetings guided by Six Sigma, they should think about ways of making the implementation simple and efficient. There are Lean Six Sigma tools, templates, and resources that organizations can rely on to ensure successful Lean Six Sigma efforts.
Some examples of Six Sigma tools that can be of great value include DMAIC template, Six Sigma pdf, DMAIC pdf, and DMAIC ppt. In addition to having a guide on how to implement the methodology, a DMAIC process map will allow both the management and team members to establish whether they are on the right track. The different tools and resources for Six Sigma would also come in handy in helping to define the Six Sigma training agenda. Having a clear agenda during training will help to make the most of the resources available and to keep the entire team motivated. Regardless of the Lean Six Sigma training modules to be used, Docket software can provide the tools and templates to run meetings more effectively. Using relevant software like Docket will go a long way in helping to support the Lean Six Sigma process and ensure a successful implementation for the best results.