Integrating Lean into an existing process-improvement framework can result in more high-impact, quick-hit projects. As this experience from one business shows, it's possible to bring in Lean tools without creating ripples in the Six Sigma structure.
Organizations are often challenged with managing seemingly unmanageable work volumes with available staff. By completing a Lean assessment in tandem with capacity modeling, an organization can optimize its staff and avoid gaps or surpluses.
The experience of a European life insurance provider highlights the lessons learned from transferring Lean from the shop floor to the office, as well as providing a deployment model that integrates Lean, Six Sigma and process management.
The relationship between Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma has been questioned. This case study of a digitizing document process clearly demonstrates that Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma can be combined for optimal results.
This case study examines the application of Lean to the engineering services industry in a subprocess of the new product development lifecycle -- the generation of 3D models and manufacturing drawings.
University Medical Imaging (UMI) in Brighton, New York, USA successfully implemented a Lean and Six Sigma transactional process improvement and training program when delays and other issues began to affect patient satisfaction.
Michael George, chairman and CEO of George Group, answers common questions about integrating the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies.
The benefits radio frequency identification (RFID) brings to supply chain management, transportation and item tracking are well known, but it also can provide these data elements as inputs into a quality management system via Six Sigma or Lean.
To improve the results of processes and make them leaner, practitioners need to identify which of the traditional seven wastes (or muda) are present in the process and take appropriate action.
Why does Lean work in some organizations and not in others? In short, the difference between success and failure is in cultural acceptance and the ability of an organization to accept change, not just Lean change, but change in general.
Organizations are quick to adopt the Lean or Six Sigma religion, but management is sometimes underwhelmed with the bottom-line savings. What often gets lost is the discipline in tying activities to clearly defined and auditable financial results. There are several lessons that can be learned that can help organizations translate transparent intentions into visible financial results.
If too much emphasis is placed upon efficiency in service processes, effectiveness and quality may suffer. For an organization to achieve the best Lean improvement in service processes, efficiency and effectiveness need to be appropriately balanced.
Over the last eight years, E-Z-Go, an Augusta, Ga., USA-based manufacturer and supplier of golf carts and utility vehicles, has acheived a remarkable level of buy-in among its workforce. To find out how this was achieved, iSixSigma spoke with Renée Stern, continuous improvement (CI) manager for E-Z-Go's parent company, Textron Co.
Lean government. The very idea sounds implausible. Governments are traditionally seen as guardians of red tape, incomprehensible forms and endless queues. But there are workable Lean strategies for governments seeking to reduce waste and be efficient.
Are you failing to sustain your gains? Your deployment may be over-managed and under-led.
Three examples of gemba walks at Fairbanks Morse Engine demonstrate the importance of the sometimes-overlooked basics of process improvement.
Lean is intuitive, flexible and can be executed quickly. As a result, almost any business or organizational process can benefit from the application of Lean. To gain a better understanding of the method, test its tools on an everyday process.
It is possible to integrate Lean and Six Sigma and reap the full benefits that these methodologies bring to the table. Although Lean may appear to have limited applications, it can offer many possibilities when it comes to value stream integration.
When implemented correctly, heijunka elegantly – and without haste – helps organizations meet demand while reducing while reducing wastes in production and interpersonal processes.
By following four principles of culture change, introduced in an upcoming series of articles, organizations can keep from reverting to their old ways.
It is important to identify and understand bottleneck resources before making improvement decisions. This can be done by creating simple value stream maps that factor in the average wait time, inventory and the cycle time for each step of a process.
Increasing productivity can give a software-development company an edge over its competition. To accomplish this, the organization can use Lean principles to identify and eliminate wastes in the development process and encourage key drivers.
In order to achieve maximum and consistent returns with Lean Six Sigma, combine LSS with systems thinking and TOC into a single continuous improvement approach.
The power of an integrated roadmap is yours for the taking. Both the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies have proven over the last twenty years that it is possible to achieve dramatic improvements in cost, quality, and time by focusing on process performance. Integrating Lean and Six Sigma can help to overcome the limitations of each approach applied exclusively, but you must overcome competing initiatives and camps.
Strategically blending the best elements of Six Sigma, Lean and Work-out is proving to be an effective approach for increasing productivity and optimizing performance in healthcare. Account for the special nature of patient care delivery and the complex environment within any healthcare organization.
Some organizations using Six Sigma are failing to obtain the true potential of the methodology. Those organizations need to integrate with the Six Sigma methodology an effective, comprehensive and a focused approach to solve real-life problems.
With many issues facing the U.S. healthcare system the task of "fixing" it seems insurmountable, but the appropriate implementation of Six Sigma and Lean methods can create a clear path for solutions that will impact the cost and quality of care.
Until relatively recently, many quality professionals considered the term “Lean” to only be applicable to the manufacturing giants of industry. Lean, first created as a part of the Toyota Production System, is an operational approach and methodology embraced by world-class…
A hospital employed Lean Six Sigma methodologies in its specimen collection process to decrease patient wait time, decrease the distance staff needed to travel to complete tasks, increase patient touch time and improve lab turnaround time.
Several cases serve as solid examples of the horsepower gain for Lean and Agile driven by an early Six Sigma base and mindset. They demonstrate the synergy of Lean and Six Sigma used together instead of being used as rival methodologies.
An information technology services company was engaged to provide end-to-end testing for a telecom provider's five lines of business. Each business line had its own way of operating. The company chose to apply Lean in order to reduce waste in these processes.
Implementing the Lean methodology in small teams can have enormous benefit, in one case increasing team effectiveness, as measured by throughput, by 200 percent to 300 percent. Other benefits include better communication (both internally and to the entire organization), improved employee moral, improved work output and increased customer satisfaction.
By adopting five key skills, everyone in an organization can – and should – exhibit Lean Leadership qualities.
This step-by-step guide shows how Belts in the transactional sector can calculate the time needed to complete a process and utilize their resources efficiently.
Lean manufacturing is wonderful when deployed properly and a nightmare when it is not. Well-deployed, Lean can increase efficiency and have other desirable outcomes. Improperly applied, Lean can cause quality problems and troubles for top management.
When completing Lean projects, it is common for new practitioners to stumble in some areas, particularly involving time studies. This article provides solutions to those trouble spots, thus allowing project leaders to achieve their objectives faster.
In services, the most efficient method for cutting waste is to attack anything that is not done right the first time. Completing services right the first time is not easy, but doing so can be an effective way to begin a Lean journey.
Lean Six Sigma applied to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries has a dramatic effect on reducing cycle times and the cost of developing new technologies, products, and protocols for research and clinical applications.
A government agency used Lean Six Sigma to streamline a cumbersome reimbursement process for new hire relocation expenses. The changes eliminate the reimbursement bureaucracy for new hires and save the company $185,000 a year.
Methods such as 5S, Kaizen, value stream mapping and kanban were the top Lean tools mentioned in a recent survey of 1,100 manufacturers.
In the movement known as Lean start-up, a new enterprise starts with an idea about what customers want, not an idea for a product. Quick iterations that incorporate learnings from customer conversations with each iteration, rather than elaborate up-front product planning, lead a business to success.
Will Lean practices take root within an organization and lead to transformational change? That depends on the organization's culture and the role that leadership plays. A signicant aspect of the company culture should be a bottom-up paradigm.
Lean, like other process improvement methodologies, is based on the idea that a business is a series of processes that delivers value to its customers. A process is Lean if it uses the minimum of resources to add value to its product or service.
To help Six Sigma practitioners in financial services begin developing a “waste-sensing” ability, here is a description of seven specific types of process waste that someone is doing somewhere in virtually every company right now.
Organizations can profit from learning to think in terms of Lean, a philosophy that aims to eliminate waste mainly by shortening the time between the customer order and shipment. Lean thinking can be outlined in six steps, and confirmed with review.
Fairbanks Morse Engine had to swallow a tough message from its customers: You are too slow and we are not going to take it anymore! Direct observation of the customer service staff revealed a consistent pattern of interruptions – 70 percent of the time they were unable to convert an order without interruption.
Job processes that include non-value-added work which increase delays and extend work in progress are common in service functions. They usually are accepted as "the way work is done." But a rapid setup method can help streamline those processes.
ome common messages are beginning to emerge from several software-relevant areas - Six Sigma for software, Agile software development and Lean thinking. The three methodologies appear to align with each other more than it appeared at first thought.
Coast Guard Finance Center fix for over-stressed accounts payable process: An experienced Lean Six Sigma consultant with a finance background to lead a project team, break through the complexity, and design a Lean, effective and scaleable process.
Internet use has produced an order of magnitude improvement in many business processes. A number of other technologies are providing a similar effect. Here are 10 of those technologies and examples of how they are helping Lean process improvement.
The Harada method helps individuals achieve self-reliance that in turn facilitates a company’s process improvement journey. This week’s article provides an overview of the method and its genesis.
Gemba walks at Fairbanks Morse Engine demonstrate the importance of the sometimes-overlooked basics of process improvement.
Because the underlying project management principles and team culture of agile projects vary considerably from conventional waterfall projects, developers in an agile setting may want to familiarize themselves with this simple Lean tool set.
To increase plant efficiency, organizations should focus both on broader as well as detailed factors. One way to manage the improvement process is by following the 5V approach, which includes popular Lean Six Sigma concepts.
A good acronym for the way an organization can implement Lean is LEAP – learn it, explain it, adapt it, provide it. The 5As – assessment, awareness, association, adherence and ascendancy – are the steps an organization takes toward implementing Lean.
Manufacturers risk falling into the trap of reductionism by solely focusing on the factory floor. Companies must expand their understanding of value creation and the delivery system, and let customer definitions of value drive their Lean initiatives.
Practitioners must be role models who live the Lean philosophy all day, all night, all the time – this will earn them credibility. If not, a practitioner’s inconsistencies will be discovered and they will fail to capture people’s hearts for Lean.
A misunderstanding of the concepts of tools and their relationship to business processes – along with a name disadvantage – can lead to the downfall of a Lean implementation.