An American Engineer, Bill Smith, developed the six sigma management approach while working at Motorola in 1986. The approach combines the methods and principles of Lean and Six Sigma into one holistic methodology that can improve a company’s operations. Under this approach, out of all the production opportunities, 99.99966% are free of any defects.
Under the approach, there is only room for 3.4 defects per a million opportunities. The Lean approach was developed by Toyota, which aims to eliminate wasteful processes to improve operations efficiency.
Lean Six Sigma learning is the combination of both approaches; it is a team-oriented methodology that maximizes efficiency and improves business profitability. It also aims to eliminate waste, inefficiency, and problems while focusing on improving working conditions.
1. Simple Processes
Adopting Lean Six Sigma learning will simplify the business process as the methodology will enable you to recognize areas of waste and inefficiencies. Many processes in the organization have embedded problems that often need reworks or workarounds. The remaining procedures are straightforward and frequently much easier to manage and control after the wasted effort is eliminated and rework, and workarounds are no longer expected.
2. Fewer Errors and Mistakes
The Lean Six Sigma approach emphasizes the quality of products based on what customers value. Since customers are the most impactful business stakeholders, the management needs to prioritize continuous improvement efforts to keep the customers satisfied.
Moreover, when the problems are identified in quantitative terms rather than qualitative or gut feelings, it becomes easier to prioritize improvement efforts on the actual issues in the organization.
The approach addresses the mistakes and errors that happen in the organization, and it also helps identify and improve the issue that matters the most.
3. Predictable Performance
Processes that have lesser mistakes are easier to manage, and Lean Six Sigma further reduces the variations in functions. With less variation and deviation, the operations become more predictable cycle time, quality, and costs. The predictability will help you satisfy the customer and decrease complaints.
A certain degree of predictability enables the organization to keep up with the dynamic business environment and customers’ ever-changing needs. It makes it easier to adjust to any instability as well.
These were the organizational benefits of the Lean Six Sigma methodology, but it is also beneficial for individuals who adopt it. The approach makes a person more effective and opens the door for more leadership opportunities.
Personal Benefits of Lean Six Sigma
1. Personal Effectiveness
The approach enables a manager with a problem-solving methodology that can address a plethora of problems. Being an excellent problem solver will enable you to excel at any position in any industry. The methodology teaches you a process of inquiry, analysis, problem identification, and resolution, which you can use to solve many problems.
2. Leadership Opportunity
A Lean Six Sigma project will present you with ample opportunities to interact with senior management and managers from other organization functions. This will increase your exposure to the industry, communication skills, and decision-making skills as you will collaborate and communicate with managers from various positions and departments across the organization.
The Lean Six Sigma methodology aims to improve operations, better products or services, and customer satisfaction. As long as your processes are efficient and customers are satisfied, you can consider your Lean Six Sigma project a success.