Lean Six Sigma is a powerful process improvement strategy that uses the combined benefits of Lean and Six Sigma. Together they are an extremely powerful and proven combination to drive your businesses bottom-line.
That’s What Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 Companies Do and You Can Easily Apply This Methodology as Well!
As you recall, in our previous article we talked about LEAN and how it facilitates a corporate culture of continuous improvement.
WHAT IS Six Sigma
How Can it Help?
Six Sigma is a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma projects and tools.
It is a data-driven methodology making business more effective and efficient.
The main idea behind the Six Sigma approach is to reduce process variability to the point that the number of defects in the process approaches zero.
The fundamental principle is to improve customer satisfaction by an ultimate performance target of virtually defect-free processes and products with only 3.4 or fewer defective parts per million opportunities (ppm).
Sigma (σ) is a letter in the Greek alphabet used by statisticians to measure a company’s performance by the sigma level of their business processes.
“Six Sigma Quality” Is A Term That Indicates Whether
“A Process Is Well Controlled”
Traditionally companies accepted three or four sigma performance levels as the norm, even though these processes created between 6,200 and 67,000 defects per million opportunities! A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications. The Six Sigma standard of 3.4 defects per million opportunities is a response to the increasing expectations of customers and the increased complexity of modern products and processes.
99% Is Not Good Enough
The “Goodness Level” of 99% equates to:
- 20,000 lost articles of mail per hour
- Unsafe drinking water almost 15 minutes each day
- 5,000 incorrect surgical operations per week
- 2 short or long landings at most major airports each day
- 200,000 wrong drug prescriptions each year
- No electricity for almost 7 hours per month
The Six Sigma methodology provides tools to improve the capability of a business process by:
- Increasing performance
- Decreasing Process Variation
- Reducing Product Defects
- Improving Profits
- Increasing Revenue
To stay competitive, process improvement is an on-going data-driven approach to detect problems and bottlenecks in any process. As a result, it enables businesses improve their performance continuously.
Examples of Radical corporate success
- General Electric: Profited between $7 > $10 billion from Six Sigma in approximately 5 years.
- DuPont: Added $1 billion to the bottom line within two years of initiating its Six Sigma Program.
- Bank of America: Saved hundreds of millions of dollars within three years of launching Six Sigma, and cut cycle times by half.
- Honeywell: Achieved record operating margins and savings of more than $2 billion in direct cost.
- Motorola: The place where Six Sigma began, saved $2.2 billion in a four-year time frame.
Six Sigma uses an approach called DMAIC, which stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It is a statistically driven methodology that is used for improving, optimizing, and stabilizing business processes. Here are the steps of DMAIC:
To See A List Of Industries And Companies That Have Had Success Implementing Lean Six Sigma.
The DMAIC Process
Six Sigma uses an approach called DMAIC, which stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It is a statistically driven methodology that is used for improving, optimizing, and stabilizing business processes. Here are the steps of the DMAIC Process:
Define: What needs to be improved. This step explains the business problem (Project Charter, Goal….)
Measure: Current Baseline situation (Metrics)
Analyze: Data analyzed to identify the root causals
Improve: Solutions are tested discussed and implemented
Control: Process Controls to Sustain the gains.
The DMAIC Process is part of the Lean Six Sigma On-Line Training Course which is included in your subscription to the “Journal of Applied Business. The training course also includes automated basic and complex plug and play excel files for quick statistical analysis (Over 50).
Every Topic included in the Lean Six Sigma On-Line Training Course is detailed, user-friendly, and certifiable, with interactive support.
In our next Lean Six Sigma email article, we will cover
Content included in the DEFINE PHASE.