Lean Six Sigma

5 Min Read
Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma originally came as a response to the challenges that faced corporations in their approach to business efficiency. Originally described by Jeffrey Liker who wrote Toyota Kata as “a methodology for process improvement“, it has now been adopted and adapted by businesses of all shapes and sizes worldwide. 

One fundamental principle of lean six sigma is removing or reducing non-essential and costly activities from systems that do not add value to the customer’s experience.

Every day, we encounter situations where we have too many tasks on our plates but no way of knowing what should take priority over the others. Lean Six Sigma helps us identify those priorities according to what adds the most value for everyone involved in the business such as investors, business partners and customers.

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What is lean?

Lean manufacturing refers to a management philosophy that originated in Japan. Rooted in scientific methodology, Lean manufacturing has proven highly effective in reducing waste and boosting profitability. 

In short, it’s a set of strategies designed to increase business efficiency, reduce waste and improve productivity through a greater focus on customer satisfaction. It does so by teaching workers how to identify and eliminate non-value-added activities from their jobs.

What is six sigma?

The most basic answer to what is six sigma is that it’s a set of business processes for improving products and services. 

Six sigma is also known as DMAIC (define, measure, analyse, improve and control).

What is lean six sigma?

Lean six sigma is a combination of two methodologies, lean manufacturing and six sigma which are designed to improve processes to drive businesses toward increased efficiency, productivity and improved customer satisfaction.

The term Lean Six Sigma was invented in 1995 by Bill Smith, an engineer at Motorola, when he merged two of the most popular manufacturing philosophies of the time to create something new and even more powerful.

Lean manufacturing, which focused on reducing waste and improving overall efficiency, and Six Sigma (or DMAIC), which allowed companies to improve the quality of their products through statistical process control, led to the creation of Lean Six Sigma.

It has since become one of the most popular quality and process improvement programs in the business world, though it also offers substantial benefits to non-business organisations like schools and local governments.

Difference between six sigma, Lean and lean six sigma?

Six Sigma, lean, and lean six sigma are all focused on improving processes to create more value for the customer. 

Lean refers to removing waste in any process, while six sigma refers to optimizing a specific process. Lean focuses on reducing waste from a system, while six sigma’s goal is to improve quality.

Lean and six sigma are similar in that they both have to do with improving processes in a business. In some ways, six sigma may seem like an extension of lean concepts, but there are important differences between these two methodologies that set them apart from each other. Then lean six sigma embraces parts of both.

Lean focuses on general improvement across an entire company or business, six sigma works at a much more micro level – improving one single part of a business through analysis and measurement.

How does six sigma, lean and lean six sigma all compare?

Here are some main differences between lean and six sigma you should know about and how lean six sigma is a combination of both methodologies.

What is the difference between each methodology? 

  • Six Sigma: Individual process improvement. Reduce waste and defects using a data-driven approach to improve an performance and productivity.
  • Lean manufacturing: Whole of company process improvement. Minimize waste without sacrificing productivity with a systematic process.
  • Lean Six Sigma: A combination of both methodologies Lean and Six Sigma.

The main difference between six sigma and lean lies in their approach. Whereas Six Sigma focuses on defect-free processes, Lean puts more emphasis on refining processes. It seeks to eliminate waste, reduce spending and streamline operations so that they can function as smoothly as possible

What is the concept of  Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a set of principles that help businesses improve their efficiency and quality in production and service.

It’s a way of thinking. Lean is about reducing waste, and Six Sigma is about reducing variability. When combined together, Lean Six Sigma helps you achieve a business breakthrough by eliminating waste, increasing value for customers, and delivering on your mission.

These principles consist of:

What data do we have to work with, what data do we need to see, and which pieces should be gathered in order to decide how well you’re doing?

How does the business measure success, and do different people within the company have differing perceptions of its success?

Process Improvement equals efficiency and productivity

The key to lean six sigma is that it’s process-oriented, not project-oriented. In a way, you could say it’s a comprehensive approach for improving business processes by identifying and eliminating defects.

Here at Checkify we are passionate about process improvement and optimising workflow to get more done.

Processes can be improved to remove common mistakes and try and eliminate human error with a process.

Documenting processes allows best practices to be followed every time a process runs. Why not see how a business process management system (BPMS) can help your business improve process efficiency.

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Productivity Lean / Six Sigma

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