Lean and Six Sigma originated as two separate management philosophies. Lean believes in generating the greatest value for customers using the least amount of resources. In other words, it looks to cut out extra processes that waste time, and improve efficiency. Six Sigma, conversely, focuses on maintaining quality and reducing errors that occur in a process.
It is often incorrectly assumed that Lean Six Sigma works only in the domain of manufacturing. Case studies of businesses in several different countries show that the principles of Lean Six Sigma benefit all kinds of industries in diverse environments.
Similar to its operability in diverse industries, Lean Six Sigma has uses for different functions of Management. Three uses of Lean Six Sigma for an Operations Management Professional are explained below:
Increase in the Quality of Processes
An important element of Lean Six Sigma is its focus on the quality of output. It is a system that runs on this principle, and aims to make every product the best version of what a company makes by reducing variation. Thus, it helps in maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.
Six Sigma measures the performance of a business and ranks it on different “Sigma levels”. To achieve Sigma level ‘Six’, its highest ranking, a company has to cut down its defected products to less than four for every million manufactured.
Voicing of Customer’s opinion
The values of Lean Six Sigma stem from what the customer wants. It places end user at the center of its strategy and then works backwards to make processes that cater to the customer’s needs. It is important for an Operations Management Professional to understand and apply Lean Six Sigma in the operations of their businesses, as this will help in chipping away the processes that do not add value for the customer. And as customers’ preferences are always changing, Lean Six Sigma also keeps the business on its toes in a search for constant improvement in its processes.
A Consistent Fact-Backed Methodology
Lean Six Sigma puts importance on the use of data to make decisions. An opinion is put into action if a correlation is found between what is proposed and the profitability or any other aim a business might have. This is important because the decisions have more credibility under such a system and they are more effective in achieving success.
If you wish to learn more about the philosophy and the methodology of Lean Six Sigma, check out LearningManager Lean Six Sigma.