Lean Six SigmaLean is about streamlining processes and Six Sigma is about reducing defects. The Lean Six Sigma methodology is therefore a way of accelerating Six Sigma by streamlining the process while reducing defects. Lean Six Sigma is applicable to all kinds of organizations including not-for-profit organizations and can produce remarkable benefits in productivity, revenue, profitability as well as customer satisfaction. Here are some key principles of Lean Six Sigma…

1- Customer Focus

The primary focus of the Lean Six Sigma initiative is to create a more satisfying, more valuable customer experience whether this is an internal or external customer. This might be re-visiting processes related to customer care, delivery and implementation,  invoicing, etc.

2- Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping is a method of visually mapping a process flow from end to end.  This can serve as a starting point to help management recognize waste and identify its causes. The mapping includes visually mapping the “current state” while also focusing on where you want to be, or your “future state”.  In effect, this is a visual representation of how the work gets done and how this should be changed.

3- Smoothen the Process Flow

This involves reviewing elements of the process that tend to cause delays, interruptions, wait times, etc. So for example if a customer order has to wait until inventory is received, this might be an rea to focus on to see how customer orders can flow more smoothly and promptly.

4- Remove Non-Value-Added Activities

If an activity in the process does not meet an explicit customer requirement and it can be performed more economically, then it is a non-value add activity and should likely be refined or removed from the process.  Activities that are of a bureaucratic nature requiring multiple internal sign-offs are a classic examples.

5- Involve the  Affected People in the Process

This is not something you want to mandate – it has to be developed with the agreement of the people involved. This might include both staff as well as customers.

6- Think Sustainable

Keep the longer term impact in mind and ensure that this is not a project that depends on a particular manager or leader. This has to be about ongoing communication and continuous improvement.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training in Pakistan