Clarifying Your Lean Six Sigma Objective

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Every organization wants results from their Lean Six Sigma efforts, but the type of results or change that is needed can vary a lot.  Some organizations may use Lean Six Sigma as a way to address nagging problems.  Others may be looking for growth and be concerned with a culture that is reactive rather than proactive.  Each of these scenarios could lead to different types of Lean Six Sigma efforts.

Pande, Neuman, and Cavanagh, in their book “The Six Sigma Way,” define three levels of objectives — Business Transformation, Strategic improvement, and Problem Solving.

  • Business transformation creates a major shift in how the organization works through a cultural change.  Examples include a customer focused attitude, building greater flexibility, and abandoning old ways of doing business.
  • Strategic improvement targets key strategic or operational weaknesses.  Some examples include speeding up product development, enhancing supply chain efficiencies, and improving manufacturing capability.
  • Problem solving fixes specific areas of high cost, rework, or delays.  Examples in this area include shortening processing time, reducing part shortages, and decreasing accounts receivables.

As they go on to explain, it’s easy to say “I want it all!”, but identifying which is your primary objective for Lean Six Sigma will help you to arrive at the best implementation strategy.

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