Lean Six Sigma is one of the most well-known and powerful tools in the world today and it is widely used when undertaking business process improvement projects.
What is first? What is exactly what we need to know or the main questions when considering a Lean Six Sigma Project in your Organization? According to authors and Process improvement experts like Kimberly Watson &Kristen Nissen there are four big questions or categories to define the framework for a Lean Six Sigma project deployment:
A. WHY you are implementing Lean Six Sigma? Many companies fail to define thoughtfully why is the reason they want it for specific projects. If it is for-profit or cost reductions the project benefit should be always quantified and measured from a business perspective. Of course, there are some not financial benefits, but this need s to be well defined and approved by upper management to avoid misunderstanding or future conflicts. So, for example, a Manufacturing Company may have benefit margin pressures, so the main priority is to reduce operational expenses to be more competitive and increase the skill level of the workforce. On the other hand, a Hospital may be driven by the desire to better satisfy and measure patients' satisfaction rather than focusing on reducing expenses.
B. WHAT is that you need to do to significantly different and better than the current situation to meet the challenge and comply with the Why? Once we know the main reason for starting a six sigma or process improvement project, we should define the main steps, milestones, and the right processes and areas that need to be redesigned, what is what we need to accomplish to succeed?
C. HOW a Six Sigma program will be in place? There are different roadmaps and tools that can be used depending on the project priorities. Some of the most common methods include DMAIA (Define, Measure, Analyze- improve- control), KAIZEN Projects, DMEDI approach (Define-Measure- Explore-Develop- implement); BPM (Business Process Model), Kano Model, etc.
D. WHO will be implementing the program? Big companies now are having staff dedicated exclusively to continuous improvement, also teams with Black belts and green belts which can lead the process (deployment champion) However to ensure or have more possibilities of project success an executive or Corporate VP or Director must be involved as Champion. Some Organizations also consider Third-party companies or Consultants to be deployment leaders, but in any case, company executives are part of the team.
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