Lean Six Sigma a way to continuous improvement

28 Feb 2017, Continuous improvement

Lean Six Sigma is the methodology chosen to stimulate and support continuous improvement initiative within SSCE. Let us provide you with more information regarding Lean Six Sigma.

Where is Six Sigma coming from?

The History of Six Sigma finds its roots and terminology being firstly used by Bill Smith at Motorola in the late 1980s as a quality management methodology. Starting from this point of time, Motorola extensively applied Six Sigma as a process management discipline throughout its organization. Shortly thereafter, General Electric implemented the Six Sigma methodology under the leadership of Jack Welch in 1990s. Six Sigma quickly became a widely adopted corporate practice and was implemented internally by many fortune 500 companies as an effective way of improving Business performance. Most Six Sigma programs also cover the aspects, tools and topics of Lean. Six Sigma and Lean are quite complimentary and work hand in hand drawing from each other’s strengths and together offering unmatched benefits to those who follow these disciplined approaches. Six Sigma is heavier on the analytics and focuses on minimizing process variability, shifting the process average and delivering within Customer specification limits. Lean takes a fundamentally sound and practical approach to focusing on eliminating waste and increasing efficiency.

Key elements of Six Sigma process improvement

There are three key elements of Six Sigma Process Improvement: customers, processes and employees.

The customer

The customers define quality. They expect performance, reliability, competitive prices, on-time delivery, service, clear and correct transaction processing. Often, our inside-out view of the business is based on average or mean-based measures of our recent past. Customers don’t judge us on averages, they feel the variance in each transaction we deliver. Six Sigma focuses first on reducing process variation and then on improving the process capability.

The processes

Definition of processes and their measures is the second key element of Six Sigma process improvement. Quality requires to look at a business from the customer's perspective. By understanding the transaction Lifecycle from the customer's needs and processes, it can be discover what the customers are seeing and feeling. This gives a chance to identify week area within a process and improve them.

The employees

Quality is the responsibility of every employee. Every employee can contribute through its involvement and engagement to delivery of high quality services for our clients. The company must involve all employees in Six Sigma Program. The company should also provide opportunities and incentives for employees to focus their talents and ability to satisfy customers. This is important to Six Sigma that all team members should have a well-defined role with measurable objectives.

Six Sigma - Roles

Under a Six Sigma program, members of an organization are assigned specific roles to play. This highly structured format is necessary in order to implement Six Sigma throughout the organization. There are seven specific responsibilities or "role areas" in the Six Sigma program. These are:

1. Sponsor - is usually owner of processes and systems who help initiate and coordinate Six Sigma improvement activities in their areas of responsibilities e.g. Senior executive who sponsors the overall Six Sigma initiative;

2. Process owner -professional responsible for the business process that is the target of a Six Sigma within the business; This is person who knows what is critical about the process and closely cooperates with Black Belts and Green Belts;

3. Leader -senior level executive who is responsible for implementing Six Sigma within the business;

4. Champion - middle or senior-level executive who sponsors a specific Six Sigma project, ensuring that resources are available and cross-functional issues are resolved;

5. Black belt - full-time professional who acts as a team leader on Six Sigma projects;

6. Green belt - spends a portion of their time completing projects, but maintain their regular work role and responsibilities; participates in a Black Belt project team or leads smaller projects;

7. Team member - professional who has general awareness of Six Sigma and who brings experience or expertise to a particular project.

The company assigning their employees to fulfill specific roles adjusts the level of their knowledge to the degree of commitment in change.

Continuous Improvement Team

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