The Complete Guide to Lean Six Sigma and How It Can Help In Process Improvement

Let’s start from the basic understanding of Six Sigma: It is a business methodology, use of organizations tools for quality improvement that also tracks how many defects there are in a present process and methodically search to eradicate them. Six Sigma is a logical approach implemented in improving of processes and products through the reduction of variability.

In the year 1984, Motorola Company’s engineer named Bill Smith developed the Six Sigma management system as he was employed to assess defects and improve overall quality. This was the thought behind the introduction of Six Sigma. Since then, the tools, strategies and cultural standards that sustain the management system have been adopted by project teams and upper management in a wide range of industries to boost operational excellence.

Furthermore, the meaning of the word “defect” has broadened to take in account of any deficiency in business processes that puts off a company from meeting its customer’s satisfaction and needs. The key principles of Six Sigma are:

  • Customer focus
  • Improve continuously
  • Use data
  • Be thorough
  • Involve people

 Going forward on the next topic we will discuss more about Six Sigma and business improvement.

Why Is It So Important For Businesses?

Six Sigma proponents claim its business plan paybacks consists of up to 50% process cost reduction, less waste of materials, cycle-time improvement, increased customer satisfaction due to a better understanding of customer requirements , more reliable services and products.

Let’s now understand what lean six sigma is about. Lean is a method of streamlining a process, which results in reduced costs, increased revenue and better customer satisfaction. A Lean process is faster, economically delivers satisfactory quality and is more efficient.

The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification offers the ideal groundwork for someone who wants to stand out in a process oriented organization. It also provides individuals with insight on practical aspects and knowledge. LSSGB course can help you to become a better leader by giving you the knowledge and skills for critical thinking and analysis, social influence and leadership abilities, complex problem-solving abilities and Ideation, reasoning and execution of various functions.

Lean Six Sigma methodologies applied by professionals from the same fields has unarguably, have some proven results in businesses let’s see some of them i.e.

  • Reducing errors: With simplified overview in processes and studying the main causes of errors and wastage in organizations, Lean Six Sigma cuts down miscalculations, errors and defects.
  • Increase in revenue: By cutting wastage and enhancing the quality of production, Lean Six Sigma reduces expenses and as a result enhances profitability for companies. In a published report GE (General Electric) made profits over and above $2 billion by implementing Lean Six Sigma.
  • Customer satisfaction: Lean Six Sigma allows companies for the improvement of processes and quality of their products, resulting in improved products at a lesser cost to the end-user. Thus boosting consumer loyalty to the company etc.


What is DMAIC in Six Sigma?

The most familiar and practiced methodology of Six Sigma is DMAIC, which is planned into five phases:  Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. This presents the order that businesses use to follow to improve their processes. Below are the phases explained in brief:

1. Define: The initial phase of the project comprise of clearly defining the problem and the desired outcomes. Exactly understanding what are the symptoms of a problem, Tools that are included in this phase are collection of voice of the customer, Stakeholder analysis.

2. Measure: This stage is based on collecting the stats of the problem defined in the first phase. In order to do this, quality of the process or product must be measured along with production lead time and other variation in the process, depending on the objective. This measurement process gives a quantifiable reference spot on the projects progress basis.

3. Analyze: This is an investigation, during this phase, the project team collects and data usage is done to prove theories of root cause or root causes of the problem. By identifying the causes of the issues, which results in defects and variation, analysis can be done, often in numerous iterations, to establish the true root cause of the problem.

4. Improve: Once the true root cause of the problem has been recognized, supportable solutions can be developed for their resolution. Once improvements have been implemented, the progress alongside the original analysis taken in the measure phase can be scrutinized.

5. Control: The final stage deals with the matter of sustainability in more detailed factor. How will the improvements be continued outside the implementation stage? Also, is there the likelihood about any gains which have been made during the implementation stage will fade away over time? A plan can now be drawn up to monitor progress to make sure the process constantly carries out at the new improved level.


Six Sigma Is a Must-Use Tool For Business Success:

Many organizations have stated considerable benefits after the implementation of LSS in manufacturing, but LSS is not just intended for manufacturing. LSS can benefit different organizations of varying size, in any industry. Because no organization or processes are defect- free and all have problems to solve, all organizations have waste, and at the same time they want to increase profits and reduce costs. LSS is beneficial to Financial services, Healthcare, Retail and hospitality, Office-based businesses and Education. Lean Six Sigma can also benefit organizations in Energy, Agriculture, Mining, Consulting, Construction, Design, Travel and transportation, Hotels, Logistics, Law firms, Public and Government services.

Here I would like to state that, when it comes to lean six sigma green belt certification, there are many different views. Some think it is worth it because the certification can open up a lot of doors, while others think that the time and money spent on the certification may not be worth it. There are pros and cons to this debate, but ultimately only you can decide if this is a course that you need or want to take.

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