10 Ways To Blow Your Next Lean Event

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A well-run event can be cathartic, exciting, and extremely effective. A poorly run one wastes a lot of people’s time, money, and at worst, vaporizes everyone’s motivation to support any future quality activities. In either case, you can be sure that people will spread the word about how it went.   In no particular order, […]

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Efficiency

Use the 5V Approach to Increase Plant Efficiency

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To increase plant efficiency, organizations need to start broad and carry on to a narrower perspective. Do this by focusing on the 5Vs: voice of the customer, value addition, value stream mapping, variation zero and visual management.

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Volcano Provides Tough Lesson for Europe’s Lean Organizations

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The rumbling and ash plumes have subsided for now over Europe’s skies, but the echoes from April’s Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland are still being felt throughout the Lean supply-chain structures of the continent and across the globe.

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Lean Ceiling Paint

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As we prepare for the arrival of our second child, we’ve decided to repaint the nursery. If you’ve ever tried painting a ceiling before, you know how easy it is to miss spots. Rather than go with normal ceiling paint, we opted for a special paint that goes on pink, and dries white. Pros call […]

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Closest to the Worker

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I’ve used the phrase “closest to the customer” when explaining some aspects of lean – for example, starting improvements with the process closest to the customer outcome then working backwards in the process. Lately, I’ve been using the phrase “closest to the worker” to get people to think about removing non-value-added effort from out processes. […]

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Beware the DOTWIMP: Beyond the Seven Wastes in the Transactional Process

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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. The seven wastes can be summarized with the acronym: DOTWIMP. D: Defect in the output, as identified in the eyes of the customer. O: […]

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(Waste) Walk on the Wild Side

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Ina recent blog post, I mentioned a Waste Walk – and got a few queries about what that is. I see that I have assumed that everyone’s lean toolkit has the same tools, so I apologize for my assumption! Here’s some more information. Most lean approaches use a list of7 or 8 wastes to describe […]

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Eight Steps to a Successful Lean Six Sigma Implementation

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For any organization, the first step in a Lean Six Sigma deployment is deciding to use the methodology. Once the leadership of an organization believes they can benefit from using Lean Six Sigma, they can follow eight steps – from creating a burning platform for adopting the approach to recognizing team member contributions – to […]

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Quality Industry Rallies Around ‘Toyota Way’

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After overtaking General Motors as the world’s largest car maker in early 2009, Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp. is now facing withering criticism from its own shareholders and the U.S. Congress as a result of the accelerating and braking systems in its cars, which have led to the recall of about 9 million vehicles worldwide as […]

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Six Sigma Versus Lean

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Message: 16306 Posted by: Eric Posted on: Thursday, 25th July 2002 My company is actively deploying Lean Mfg principles. To this point, we have not been heavily involved with Six Sigma. Although recently our Customers have heightened our awareness of Six Sigma by asking/ requiring us to participate in their Six Sigma efforts – including […]

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IBM Applies Green Principles to Reduce Waste at Irish Facility

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Businesses today generally understand they need to do as much as possible to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize their environmental impact overall. Societal pressures from customers, increasing regulation and economics all make this a fact of life for them. Most are taking steps to address these issues, consulting […]

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Ask the Expert: The Topic – Integrating Lean and Six Sigma

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Michael George, chairman and CEO of George Group, answers common questions about integrating the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies.

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Integrating Lean and Six Sigma

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Both the Lean and the 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. Whereas Six Sigma is focused on reducing variation and improving process yield by following a problem-solving approach using statistical tools, Lean is […]

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Capturing Financial Benefits from Lean Manufacturing

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Once upon a time there was a company who decided to implement Lean manufacturing. They hired a large prestigious consulting firm who created the grand strategy and trained everyone in lean thinking. Significant operating improvements were identified. It was all documented in a report two inches thick. Teams were launched, a lot of activity took […]

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Applying Lean Manufacturing to Six Sigma

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There are continuing questions about the relationship between Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma techniques. This relationship has been expressed as follows: Stretch the process applying Lean techniques Solve the problems of deviation from the standards Ensure maintenance of the improved status using Six Sigma techniques However, if the system and processes are too poor, stretching […]

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Lean and Six Sigma: Fixing Healthcare a Process at a Time

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With many issues facing the U.S. healthcare system the task of “fixing” it seems insurmountable, but the appropriate implementation With so many different issues facing the U.S. healthcare system the task of “fixing” it can seem insurmountable. Every healthcare executive knows the litany of challenges: rising costs, inadequate insurance coverage, capacity constraints, patient safety concerns, […]

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Is This a Six Sigma, Lean or Kaizen Project?

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This is a familiar question that is often addressed by organizations. In fact, it is the wrong question. These concepts are nothing more than tools in your management toolbox. You don’t fix a watch with a hammer, and you get the same results when you deploy Six Sigma, Lean and Kaizen incorrectly. The fact is, […]

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A Lean Approach to Staffing Brings Optimal Performance

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Organizations are often challenged with managing seemingly unmanageable work volumes with available staff. At times, staff may feel overwhelmed with high work volumes, or underutilized during periods of low work volumes. When a management team finds itself confronting these issues, team members may ask the following questions: How can staff respond to internal and external […]

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5 Lean Tools and Principles to Integrate into Six Sigma

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Increasingly, organizations that use Six Sigma are making an effort to integrate Lean into their existing process-improvement framework. For many, combining Six Sigma’s focus on process quality and Lean’s emphasis on turn-around time results in more high-impact, quick-hit projects. To gain this advantage, however, organizations must face a difficult obstacle: integrating Lean without creating ripples […]

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Get a Feel for Lean: Explore Application Opportunities

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Extensive training and a thorough understanding of complex analytical tools are required to successfully perform traditional Six Sigma projects. Although this careful and methodical evaluation is an invaluable problem solving technique, traditional Six Sigma projects can be time consuming and must be carefully selected. Lean projects, on the other hand, are different. Lean is intuitive, […]

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Lean Taking Root: It Depends on Culture and Leadership

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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. Within a traditionally structured organization, ideas and direction flow primarily from top to bottom, or executive to worker level. This may be expedient in some ways, but it also can […]

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Fitting the Right Belts for Design for Lean Six Sigma

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Every Lean Six Sigma deployment leader must eventually confront the critical decision of how the various Belt roles should be allocated and deployed throughout the organization. Lean Six Sigma has existed for more than 10 years now in a variety of manufacturing, service and distribution environments, and through trial and error fairly standard niches have […]

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Lean Six Sigma Improves New Hire Reimbursement Process

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Roy Madsen, Senior Advisor to the CFO and Lean Six Sigma Champion at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), said his organization had long encountered a classic catch-22: “From 5 to 10 percent of our workforce each year are people hired into entry-level examiner positions, the majority who have to move to a […]

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Improve Software-Development Productivity with Lean

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To survive in today’s competitive software-development market, organizations need to build their capabilities around delivering the best service within customer-stipulated time frames and costs. Increasing productivity – the rate of output per amount of input – is the factor most likely to give an organization an edge over others. Many software-development organizations have realized the […]

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