Lean Six Sigma

What is Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a synergized managerial concept of Lean and Six Sigma. Lean traditionally focuses on the elimination of the eight kinds of waste/Muda classified as defects, over-production, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and extra-processing. Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in (manufacturing and business) processes. Synergistically, Lean aims to achieve continuous flow by tightening the linkages between process steps while Six Sigma focuses on reducing process variation (in all its forms) for the process steps thereby enabling a tightening of those linkages. In short, Lean exposes sources of process variation and Six Sigma aims to reduce that variation enabling a virtuous cycle of iterative improvements towards the goal of continuous flow.

Phases of Lean Six Sigma

Define

The purpose of this step is to clearly pronounce the business problem, goal, potential resources, project scope and high-level project timeline. This information is typically captured within project charter document.

Measure

The purpose of this step is to objectively establish current baselines as the basis for improvement. This is a data collection step, the purpose of which is to establish process performance baselines. The performance metric baseline(s) from the Measure phase will be compared to the performance metric.

Analyze

The purpose of this step is to identify, validate and select root cause for elimination.It helps data to prioritize key input variables and identify waste.

Improve

The purpose of this step is to identify, test and implement a solution to the problem; in part or in whole. This depends on the situation. Identify creative solutions to eliminate the key root causes in order to fix and prevent process problems.

Control

The purpose of this step is to embed the changes and ensure sustainability, this is sometimes referred to as making the change 'stick'. Control is the final stage within the DMAIC improvement method.

Lean Six Sigma Organization Structure

Yellow Belt

Lean Six Sigma Awareness

Green Belt

Focus on tools usage, DMAIC and Lean principles application

Black Belt

Full time Project Leader

MBB

Black belt trained with at least 2 year years experience. Teaches Lean Six Sigma

Jobs Requiring Six Sigma Certification

Lean Six Sigma certification and experience is either required or strongly encouraged in job postings for a long list of management positions related to production, operations, business analytics and more. A recent search on Indeed.com listed over 17,000 postings that included knowledge of Six Sigma principles in their job requirements. Hiring companies include major manufacturers such as General Electric, 3M, Johnson & Johnson and Corning. Adding Six Sigma certification to your other Lean Management, change management and project management skills and certifications can significantly improve your resume when applying for jobs.

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