Lean Six Sigma Principles
- Is quality performance becoming a worry?
- Are you missing customer delivery times?
- Are your operating costs spiraling?
- Staff stress levels going through the roof because of different ways of producing the same product / service?
If this is familiar then Lean Six Sigma could provide a solution to reduce waste, improve quality and save time and money.
Lean Six Sigma is a very powerful business improvement methodology, it’s tried and tested in multiple sectors and has demonstrable benefits in improving quality, reducing product lead times and crucially saving money.
There are numerous tools associated with the methodologies. Whilst the term Lean Six Sigma might denote a single approach it is actually an amalgam of two sciences i.e. Lean and Six Sigma. It would be quite easy to write a thesis on each subject (I’m sure many have already been written) and it would take too long to cover the subjects here.
Below is an outline of the principles of Lean and Six Sigma. The aim is to give you an idea of what the main philosophies are and some of the common questions that are asked.
In its most basic sense Lean is about identification and elimination of waste. Six Sigma is about identification and elimination of errors/variation.
What is Lean?
The origins of Lean come from Toyota almost a century ago. Toyota Production System (TPS) was an enabler for Toyota to move from loom manufacturing to car manufacturing. Since that time not only it has developed into a finely tuned improvement science, it has also been ‘copied’ from businesses, large and small, right across the globe.
At the forefront of all Lean Six Sigma activities is the customer – whom without there would be no business. What we do, how we do it and when we do it is all done in response to the needs of the customer. If there is no customer ‘Pull’ i.e. demand there is no product manufactured.
The key principles of Lean are;
- The Five principles:
- Specify Value – Value Add / Non Value Add / Waste
- Identify the value stream
- Create flow,
- Establish pull
- Seek perfection
- Identification and elimination of Waste – 8 Wastes
- Continuous Improvement – PDSA
Every manufacturing business, large or small, faces competitive pressures to lower costs and reduce “variability,” and defects. Six Sigma is a production philosophy that uses data, processes, and tools to eliminate defects and bring performance close to perfection i.e. zero defects.
Achieving Six Sigma means that no more than 3.4 defects occur per one million “opportunities” to create an acceptable output. The name itself is the statistical measure that describes that defect rate. Six Sigma refers to six standard deviations between the mean of a process and the specification for whatever output is being measured. Specifications are determined by customers.
In practice Six Sigma, as a process relies on the “DMAIC” framework:
- Define: Precisely and concisely articulate what the problem being tackled is. An outcome of this might be a clearly defined Problem Statement.
- Measure: Establish performance baselines from which the current state can be understood
- Analyse: Using the data collated in the Measure phase, analysis is undertaken to narrow and prioritise data sets, identify variation and to determine potential root causes
- Improve: From a shortlist of potential root causes to identify the actual root cause, test and implement a solution(s)
- Control: Embed changes and sustainability to ensure the organization does not backslide to previous ways of working
Lean Six Sigma – Common Questions
Lean Six Sigma implementation is complicated?
Exceed Excellence has extensive, hands-on implementation experience. We’ll guide you through each step to ensure that you get the right implementation for you and your organisation
Lean Six Sigma is just for big companies?
Exceed Excellence has helped organisations of all sizes implement Lean.
Lean Six Sigma is only for making cars?
Exceed Excellence has helped organisations in both public and private sectors; including – NHS, Electro-components and Telecommunications
Lean Six Sigma implementation is expensive?
Working with Exceed Excellence we’ll ensure that you get the right implementation plan for your circumstances. Our expertise ensures value for money!
Is Lean Six Sigma for me?
Give us a call and lets start a conversation about how we can support you in your quest to improve operational performance and save time and money . Call now on 01709 680188.