Business Process Improvement using Lean Six Sigma

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Largely developed at Toyota as part of Toyota Production System (TPS) and responsible for significant improvements in customer satisfaction and productivity in many organisations, Lean Thinking involves the use of simple and yet effective techniques focused on eliminating waste and improving flow in any process. Lean tools such as Value Stream Mapping (VSM) enable an organisation to map the customer journey and systematically identify and eliminate waste improving customer throughput and productivity.

Six Sigma was developed as a Strategic weapon to deliver significant improvements at Motorola and was perfected at General Electric. It has now become the core of any Operations Transformation programme across the globe. It focuses on eliminating variation in key process metrics such as cycle time and reduces defects and errors. Simple Six Sigma tools such as Fishbone diagrams help analyse the causes of defects and errors and eliminate them. It provides a universal benchmark, which aims to achieve less than 4 defects per million opportunities in products and processes. It has helped in achieving significant results in both manufacturing and service industries.

Lean Six Sigma as an approach combines the tools and techniques and offers organisations an integrated approach to solve business problems. For example, very early on in the improvement journey the Lean tools are effective in solving simple problems whereas Six Sigma tools become more effective in solving the more complex ones later on.

Why Lean Six Sigma?

  • Driven by customer requirements
  • Tangible bottom line benefits
  • Breakthrough improvements
  • Operating cost reduction through efficiency improvements
  • Strong focus on managing by facts and data
  • Rigorous and disciplined methodology
  • Wide variety of tools to suit different industry settings

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