E-Z-Go Accelerates Six Sigma Buy-in Through Lean

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Employed with Textron for 22 years, Stern entered the continuous improvement program in 2005 as a Black Belt and has since become a Master Black Belt. She currently oversees training in Textron’s CI program and leads value stream mapping improvement workshops. Here are Stern’s thoughts about the evolution of the company’s CI efforts and how […]

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Cost Cutting vs. Waste Reduction

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As hard as it can be to cut costs in this tough economic environment, it’s harder to sustain the reduction once it’s achieved. “Five ways CFOs can make cost cuts stick” (McKinsey Quarterly May 2010) illustrated exactly this challenge and concluded that “Companies must improve their processes and capabilities if they hope to reduce or […]

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Knowledge Worker Productivity

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Lean and Six Sigma have helped many organizations improve quality and productivity in their manufacturing and transactional processes. However, applying these methodologies remains a challenge in a knowledge work environment, such as the life sciences, based on my 15+ years of experience at various companies –from a start-up to a global pharmaceutical giant, as well […]

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How Can Lean Users Sustain Gains?

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How’s your Lean initiative doing? Is it going great? Or is it starting to lose steam? Or is it clearly failing to meet expectations? Have you given up and gone back to the not-so “good old days” from which you had hoped to escape? These are questions I see a lot of firms both asking […]

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Lean Six Sigma Remains Strong in Manufacturing

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A recently released study of compensation trends at manufacturing companies across the country contained some reassuring news for quality professionals: The deployment of Lean and Six Sigma methods remains strong in the manufacturing sector. Within the more than 1,000 pages of the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey on salaries and benefits, conducted by consulting firm […]

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Illustration of two hands holding a process map

Trimming IT Fat with Lean Assessments

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By mapping the entire software application development life cycle, IT departments can see dramatic improvements in efficiency.

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How Lean Can Be Applied to Software Development

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Software and IT experts discuss the best ways that methods such as business process managment and Agile can be applied to a Lean software development program.

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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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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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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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