What is lean six sigma?
There are a lot of different management tools and programs that have been developed over the last few decades in order to provide ways to improve processes and products.One of the most popular processes is called six sigma, developed by Motorola.Another approach to process and product improvement is called lean manufacturing.Some people have taken these two approaches and combined them into a management and quality improvement technique called lean six sigma.This article will discuss lean six sigma, what it is, and what it can do for your company.
Six sigma is a data controlled and driven process that is designed to use statistical analysis in order to improve the value and quality of your products and processes based on customer perception.Lean manufacturing is an approach that involves cutting down waste in your manufacturing processes so that you can save money and cut costs, improving the quality of your products and customer satisfaction.
Lean six sigma makes use of both of these approaches.The way that they are related in lean six sigma is generally as follows.First, you will be stretching the manufacturing or engineering or design process by using lean techniques.When you statistically measure deviation between what is considered a perfect process and where your process is, you have to then solve those problems using six sigma and lean manufacturing.When you have improved the status and the condition of the process, then you will use six sigma tools and techniques to ensure the maintenance of the improved process.But before you go through all of this, you need to look at the process itself.If the process is so bad, then stretching it in this way could end up breaking the process.In this case, what you need to do is to use six sigma techniques before you use lean manufacturing techniques.Use six sigma techniques and apply them to the top line problems in the process before you stretch the process itself.
Let's go into the lean six sigma process a little more in depth so that you can understand the relationship between six sigma and lean manufacturing.
When you are working through a process using lean six sigma, the first step is define and measure the problem.This will help you understand if you should start with lean manufacturing techniques or six sigma techniques.Second, you analyze the problem.In order to analyze the problem, what you need to do is conduct a statistical analysis of the problem.Start with a flow chart so that you can see what's going on in each step and activity in the process that you are analyzing.This will help you see which steps are wasting time, and which steps are adding value to the process.At this point in time, you will introduce the principles of lean manufacturing and turnaround time reduction.Some of these principles include zero inventory, zero waiting time, more effective scheduling, better batch to flow techniques in order to cut batch sizes, line processing improvement, and more.
The third step is generating ideas.This will help you understand the concepts of lean six sigma while you put them into practice by coming up with ideas to help improve your processes.In this step, you will come up with a pilot that you will test through an initial run.The fourth step is idea modification.After you run your pilot, analyze its performance thoroughly and then decide what needs to be change.Fifth, you will implement the changes that you have designed for your processes.Six, you should go through and standardize the results.And finally, you should implement constant control and analysis of your processes so that you can keep a close eye on them in order to maintain constantly high levels of value and efficiency.