In today’s environment it is evident that the survival of organizations rests with their ability to innovate- to do things differently in order to grow. In general we can consider two forms of innovation – radical innovation and incremental innovation. Radical innovation can be considered as the ability to produce new products or services to the world that never appeared before – such as digital photography, Internet, Amazon, iPods, etc. Incremental innovation on the other hand can be thought of as new approaches, building on current products or processes to enhance performance. In the end innovation of products, processes and services must add value to the customer.
Lean Six Sigma can be considered as an incremental innovative model that enables an organization to move beyond its traditional performance to new heights.
The figure below shows the definition of both concepts.
We Love Lean Six Sigma because it provides:
- Focus on the customer – helping each area of the organization to understand the value of their service. This concept is fundamental as without an understanding of needs and requirements of internal and external customers, the work provided is non-value added.
- Focus on process improvement – this concept is fundamental to Lean Six Sigma, without being able to identify and define processes, conditions cannot improve.
- Opportunities for collaboration – applying the concepts opens opportunities for collaboration as individuals now use tools to communicate across departments and encourage problem solving.
- Constant and continuous drive for perfection – it creates the mindset of dissatisfaction with the status quo and the need to be dedicated to a culture of continuous improvement.
- Standard Training – it provides common tools and language and a structured methodology for problem solving. There are different levels of training provided to different individuals depending on their role in the organization: Champion, Green Belt, Black Belt.
- Structure for change- it provides a project based approach that allows an organization to identify and instill a discipline for project management with project reviews conducted with process owners, champions and senior management.
- A means to provide total employee involvement – all individuals are involved as they provide input and support problem solving activities.
- Demonstrates bottom-line Business Results – the bottom-line impact of every project must be measured, reported and documented.
Overall, we love it because it lays a path from strategy to execution. Many companies have a vision but are weak on execution. Through the structure, training, organization of tools Lean Six Sigma provides a path for achieving required results. In addition, it can be customized to any industry and any organization.