Lean Six Sigma

We all know that culture eats strategy every day. You can have the best strategy in the world, but if you don’t have a good culture, you’re going to have a hard time implementing that strategy. Lean Six Sigma is a real investment in the culture of Modalisa-Technology. It communicates to our employees that we really value them and what they do.

Lean Six Sigma DMAIC integrationLean Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology which combines tools from both Lean Manufacturing, which is aimed at reducing waste, and Six Sigma, which helps companies reduce errors. Together they can help companies reap the benefits of faster processes with lower cost and higher quality.

Lean Six Sigma uses a modern problem-solving method called DMAIC which stands for Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control.

Define

During this first phase, a team and its sponsors reach agreement on what the project is and what it should accomplish. Presuming that a draft of the Project Charter is already in place, the main work in the Define phase is for the project team to complete an analysis of what the project should accomplish and confirm understanding with the sponsor(s). They should agree on the problem, which customers are affected, and how the current process or outcomes fail to meet their customers’ needs through « Voice of the Customer or Critical-To-Quality (CTQ). »

Measure

One of the major benefits of Six Sigma is its demand for a fact-based and data-driven analytical approach. Most other improvement methodologies, including Lean, tend to attempt process improvement without sufficient data to understand the underlying causes of the problem. The result is typically many quick-hit projects with short-lived or disappointing results. Combining data with knowledge and experience is what separates true improvement from mere process tinkering. One of the goals of the Measure phase is to pin-point the location or source of a problem as precisely as possible by building a factual understanding of existing process conditions. That knowledge helps you narrow the range of potential causes requiring investigation in the Analyze phase. An important part of Measure is to establish a baseline capability level.

Analyze

The Measure phase has identified the baseline performance of the process. By stratifying (sequenced in order of ranks or order) the data in the baseline performance, it becomes possible to pinpoint the location or source of problems by building a factual understanding of existing process conditions and problems. That helps to focus the problem statement. In the Analyze phase you will develop theories of root causes, confirm the theories with data, and finally identify the root cause(s) of the problem. The verified cause(s) will then form the basis for solutions in the Improve phase.

Improve

The sole purpose of the Improve phase is to demonstrate, with fact and data, that your solutions solve the problem. Your organization will make changes in a process that will eliminate the defects, waste, and unnecessary costs that are linked to the customer need identified during the Define phase. Tools and strategies you will find for the Improve phase will include solution matrices that link brainstormed solution alternatives to customer needs and the project purpose, and methods for implementing desired solutions.

Control

During the Improve phase, the solution is piloted, and plans are made for full scale implementation. Putting a solution in place can fix a problem for the moment, but the activities in the Control phase are designed to insure that the problem does not reoccur and that the new processes can be further improved over time.

Fore more information: Lean Sigma Institute