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The Five Principles of Lean Six Sigma

Company executives often call in professionals with a Lean Six Sigma Certification when they are having trouble with the quality of the output their company has. The job of these professionals is to decrease waste and increase quality through the various tools and knowledge at their disposal.

The Lean Six Sigma certification and training will provide a good overview of the tools that are used and how to apply them to Six Sigma projects.  Some of these tools include process maps, affinity diagrams and value stream mapping.  This process can be applied to any business or organization, no matter the size or the type of industry.  Whether the business in question is in the manufacturing industry or it is a service provider, the Lean Six Sigma process can be used to streamline the procedures used within the company.

1. Focus on the customer

One of the oldest, yet most prudent, pieces of business advice holds true today. No matter what business you’re in, you should always put customers first. Everything should revolve around your customers and their needs. After all, without customers, where would your organization be?

Before you start making any drastic or even minor changes, establish the level of quality or requirements that you have promised your customers. Every decision you make should bring your company closer to delivering maximum value.

2. Figure out your value stream

You need to see the current state of your process before you can move forward and make improvements. Identifying value stream is indisputably what makes Lean Six Sigma principles so effective. It’s how businesses visualize all of the steps in a given process and highlight areas of waste.

How do a few pieces of plastic and glass on an assembly line ultimately become a 4K television? A value stream map showcases every single step, including purchasing parts, assembling them (and checking for quality assurance), and distributing the finished product. From there, your company would determine which steps add value and which do not (and can, therefore, be removed from the process).

 3. The law of flexibility.

If a process is easily maneuverable, it is easier to work with.  A method of business that cannot be changed for any reason can cause problems.

You need to welcome change and encourage your employees to accept change as well. Put yourself in the shoes of your employees—hearing that one’s job has been automated or certain duties have been removed could cause them to panic. However, you can dispel fears by explaining the benefits of the change and show employees how you have made their work more impactful.

As part of this cultural shift, your company should always look for new ways to streamline the process and remove waste. Keep your eye on the data, examine your bottom line, and adjust your processes where necessary.

4. Keep the ball rolling

The law of inertia states that an object at rest or moving at a constant speed will remain at rest or keep moving, unless it is acted upon by an external force. The same applies to your organization: nothing will change until change is enacted.

This means that if a process has many, many details that have to be performed, it may be slowing down the process.  The work put into the process should be proportional to the results the company sees

5. The fifth principle in lean Six Sigma is the law of complexity.

Simply put, keep it simple.  When a process is complex and difficult, it may have elements that are not necessary. More complexity does not necessarily mean more valuable or more important.  In fact, it could mean just the opposite.

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Company executives often call in professionals with a Lean Six Sigma Certification when they are having trouble with the quality of the output their company has. The job of these professionals ...
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