MONDAY, MAY 28, 2018
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5 Lean Tools and Principles to Integrate into Six Sigma

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.

A Lean Approach to Staffing Brings Optimal Performance

By completing a Lean assessment in tandem with capacity modeling, an organization can optimize its staff and avoid gaps or surpluses.

A Lean-Six Sigma Duo for the Office – A Case Study

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.

Applying Lean Manufacturing to Six Sigma

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.

Applying Lean to New Product Development in Engineering Services

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.

Applying Transactional Lean at Medical Imaging Firm

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.

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

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

Benefits of Connecting RFID and Lean and Six Sigma

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.

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

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.

Building Cultural Acceptance Key to Lean Transformation

When it comes to Lean, 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.

Capturing Financial Benefits from Lean Manufacturing

What often gets lost in the excitement of deploying Lean manufacturing is the discipline involved in tying improvement activities to clearly defined and auditable financial results. Follow these 5 tips for better results.

Cause-and-effect Diagrams and Lean for Service Processes

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.

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

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.

Eight Workable Strategies for Creating Lean Government

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.

Finding the Balance Between Leadership and Management

Are you failing to sustain your gains? Your deployment may be over-managed and under-led.

Gemba Walks Come to Life at Fairbanks Morse Engine

Three examples of gemba walks at Fairbanks Morse Engine demonstrate the importance of the sometimes-overlooked basics of process improvement.

Get a Feel for Lean: Explore Application Opportunities

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.

Harvesting Benefits of Both Lean and Six Sigma in IT

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.

Heijunka: The Art of Leveling Production

When implemented correctly, heijunka elegantly – and without haste – helps organizations meet demand while reducing while reducing wastes in production and interpersonal processes.

How Can Lean Users Sustain Gains?

By following four principles of culture change, introduced in an upcoming series of articles, organizations can keep from reverting to their old ways.

Identify Constraints and Reduce Wait Time in Processes

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.

Improve Software-Development Productivity with Lean

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.

Increase Lean Six Sigma’s Power with TOC and Systems Thinking

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.

Integrating Lean and Six Sigma

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.

Integrating Six Sigma with Lean and Work-out in Healthcare

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.

Introducing Agile Sigma

Agile Sigma is a new business process improvement methodology that integrates the best of both Six Sigma and Agile to enable businesses to deliver improved processes more quickly and effectively.

Lean and Creative Six Sigma to Solve Real-life Issues

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.

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

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.

Lean at Work…: From Factory Floor to Operating Room

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…

Lean Delivers Faster Turnaround Time in Hospital Lab

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.

Lean First…or Six Sigma?

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.

Lean Implementation for IT Company

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.

Lean Increases Small Team Effectiveness Three-fold [VIDEO] – With Jim Benson

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.

Lean Leaders Are Everywhere – If You Make It So

By adopting five key skills, everyone in an organization can – and should – exhibit Lean Leadership qualities.

Lean Line Balancing in the IT Sector

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: Adapting as Important as Adopting

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.

Lean Projects Aided by Understanding of Time Studies

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.

Lean Services: Doing Transactions Right the First Time

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 Can Benefit Drug Discovery/Development

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.

Lean Six Sigma Improves New Hire Reimbursement Process

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.

Lean Six Sigma Remains Strong in Manufacturing

Methods such as 5S, Kaizen, value stream mapping and kanban were the top Lean tools mentioned in a recent survey of 1,100 manufacturers.

Lean Start-up: A Cycle of Continuous Evolution

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.

Lean Taking Root: It Depends on Culture and Leadership

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: Relentless Pursuit of Product Value and No Waste

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.

Learning to Recognize Process Waste in Financial Services

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.

Learning to Think Lean: Six Steps with Review Points

Organizations can profit from learning to think in terms of Lean, a philosophy that aims to eliminate waste. Lean thinking can be outlined in six steps, and confirmed with review.

Managing to Standard Work in the Office

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.

Reducing Delays in Service Processes with Rapid Setup

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.

Resource Page: Takt Time

Takt time helps a company match production with customer demand. iSixSigma has gathered its best resources on the topic here.

Software Development Convergence: Six Sigma-Lean-Agile

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.

Streamlining Coast Guard’s Accounts Payable Process

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.

Ten Key Technologies for Lean Process Improvement

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: Reduce the Eighth Waste – Part 1 of 2

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.

The Many Sides of a Gemba Walk

Gemba walks at Fairbanks Morse Engine demonstrate the importance of the sometimes-overlooked basics of process improvement.

Three Lean Tools for Agile Development Environments

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.

Use a Classification and Regression Tree (CART) for Quick Data Insights

A nonparametric technique, CART employs a "divide and conquer" partitioning approach to explain a continuous or categorical dependent variable in terms of multiple independent variables.

Use the 5V Approach to Increase Plant Efficiency

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.

Using the 5As to Help LEAP into Lean Implementation

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.

Value in Focusing Lean Six Sigma on Distribution System

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.

When Implementing Lean, Live the Methods You Teach

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.

Why Lean Manufacturing Fails

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.

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