Process Improvement techniques
Lean Six Sigma and Lean Thinking are two important concepts from the Lean movement that can help your organization improve its operations and performance. Lean Thinking, also known as Lean Enterprise, is the central design philosophy of the Lean organization and was first pioneered by the Toyota Production System (TPS), which aims to build a lean, highly functional organization through a series of systematic steps. This methodology is highly applicable to all types of organizations, both small and large, and thus greatly contributes towards making businesses more competitive and profitable.
Lean Thinking and Lean Six Sigma are a well-known combination of two successful Process Improvement techniques
that pave the way towards greater organizational development. The core elements of these processes are determined by the Toyota Process and are used as a base for the implementation of Lean principles within an organization. These time-proven strategies give organizations a clearly defined path to reaching their objectives as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. These strategies consist of six main elements:
Lean Thinking begins with the identification of a problem. Once identified, it is then characterized into a list of requirements, designed according to the framework of the strategy of the organization. Next, it is estimated how best to solve the problem. Lean Enterprise then determines the most suitable process improvement approach that can be used to implement the identified solution. These key factors will then guide the selection of tools and frameworks used by the organization in implementing the chosen Lean strategy.
Lean Six Sigma starts with the analysis of the data that indicate a weakness in the processes or a process that needs to be improved. The methodology then begins to identify the areas in need of improvement, using the tools and frameworks provided by the methodology. Based on the identified problems, the improvements required are prioritized according to the priority level of the project. This ensures that the projects are implemented in the right areas. Lean Six Sigma helps to build a better quality of the organization and make it more profitable in the long run.
Lean Six-Sigma implementation also includes training and workshops to help the employees to learn and adapt to the methodology. The methodology provides the tools and frameworks that reduce wastes and increase the speed and accuracy of the process. This allows the improvement process to run more efficiently and more effectively, while reducing costs and improving quality. Lean Six Sigma improves the quality of the end product or deliverable and increases customer satisfaction. In addition, it improves the business cycle and makes the production process more efficient and effective. Lean Six-Sigma implementation therefore plays a crucial role in improving the quality of the organization's performance.
Lean Six Sigma implementation helps to achieve organizational objectives through various channels and improving the quality of the output. Lean Six Sigma support is provided to the entire organization, including the employees, to make them aware of the changes and improvements that are taking place. These processes result in improved quality and efficiency. This improvement occurs throughout the entire life cycle of the organization, from the planning stages to the delivery stages and includes the planning, creation of strategies, execution, monitoring and controlling the results.
There are many institutes that offer process improvement training programs and guidance to improve quality and operational performance. The curriculum consists of training in core management principles, identifying and solving problems, understanding customer needs, managing and organizing processes, and improving the quality of results. Most institutes include periodic evaluation and review of the training program to ensure that it is still relevant and useful. Process improvement training programs can be completed in as little than five months, depending on the skill of the trainer. Usually, candidates who complete the training finish with a certification that is nationally recognized.
There are different types of training programs that can help organizations streamline their processes and increase productivity. Some of these include Lean Enterprise Solutions, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing. However, most of the trainings provide similar methods, so organizations should carefully consider the type of training that they want to undergo. For instance, in Lean Enterprise Solutions, candidates learn about identifying customer problems and designing solutions; while in Six Sigma, trainees learn about choosing the right tools and techniques, managing processes, and eliminating waste.