Tips for Implementing Lean Six Sigma

Posted by on Jun 9, 2011 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Organizations that implement Lean Six Sigma (LSS) usually do so because they have a need.  The need may be to increase sales, improve processes, eliminate waste and become more efficient, or reduce costs.  Implementing LSS will change the way the organization thinks about waste and variation and how it conducts projects.
Here are some tips that can help you get off to the right start:
  • Top leadership must drive the implementation.   LSS is a management strategy and thus requires top management to be fully committed and champions of the process.
  • Assign someone as the “Deployment Champion.”  This person will be the one that oversees the deployment effort, schedules training classes, and reports progress to top management.
  • Establish a leadership team.  This top management team, along with the Deployment Champion, meets regularly to review implementation status, metrics, things gone right, things gone wrong, project selection, etc.
  • Prior to deploying LSS conduct management overviews or “yellow-belt” training to inform middle management of their responsibilities as sponsors and champions of projects.
  • Provide statistical software for the teams to analyze processes.  Software, such as Minitab, makes analysis so much easier and the cost is miniscule to the benefits your organization will gain.
  • Your first projects should be small in scope and not the toughest problems your organization have to solve.  Your first projects are a learning experience for your teams using new tools and a new process.
  • Conduct project tollgate reviews on time and make sure project sponsors and champions are asking the right questions and ensuring the tollgate deliverables are adequately addressed.
  • Determine how you will celebrate the successful completion of projects and how you will reward team members.
  • Establish a timeline for becoming self-sufficient.  Companies typically use a consultant to help them get started.  Identify employees who would be good Black Belts and Master Black Belts and develop these people to be the drivers of your LSS efforts.

LSS implementation and deployment, for a mid-sized company, usually takes about 2 – 4 years.  Mistakes are inevitable, but having a plan and sticking to it is the key to success.

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