Lean can bring growth, profit, happy customers, and employees

This article provides a high-level overview of the three pillars for a successful implementation of Lean. It also provides the first step in getting started. It will be followed by a series of articles on Lean, People-Centered Leadership and MIS.

LEAN manufacturing reduces waste and increases profits. It is a system for minimizing waste without eliminating productivity. There are three Japanese words that describe the process. Muda – which means uselessness, wastefulness or futility. Muda refers to any resource that uses more resources than needed and causes waste. This can include a waste of employee talent or a waste of space, money, and other resources based on overproduction. The second word is Muri – which means waste created through the overburden. This waste refers to unreasonable work. When a company is poorly organized it creates several types of Muri waste. It imposes unreasonable workloads on employees. It can also push employees and machines beyond their natural limits. Muri can result in errors, accidents, and lost or disgruntled employees. The third word is Mura – which refers to waste caused by unevenness or inconsistency. An example of Mura is the end of the month rush to fill and ship orders, while the beginning of the month is slow due to lack of parts and lack of focus on the month-end target.

Many incorrectly believe that implementation of LEAN means elimination of jobs and employees. This is definitely not the case. It is the elimination of waste and the improvement of the workflow. Many others incorrectly believe that Lean is the tools that assist in the identification and elimination of waste. But tools alone do not solve the problems and eliminate waste.

PCL (People Centered Leadership)

Around the globe, companies have found that the most difficult challenge of all is changing the company to a LEAN culture that values the employee and their contribution. LEAN can fail to deliver results if the company does not educate, include, and value the employee. A Gallup survey found that 87% of C suite executives recognize that disengaged employees are a threat to the success of their business. They also found that only 30% of the population is inspired and engaged in the workplace. 50% are not engaged and the other 20% are actively disengaged. Disengagement costs the US alone $450K to $550K annually. Companies with engaged teams have higher productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction scores. They also have fewer accidents, quality defects, less turnover, less absenteeism, and lower healthcare costs. These inspired and engaged employees come up with the most innovative ideas and help acquire most of the company’s new customers. LEAN eliminates waste, increases profits, and develops and nurtures employees

Therefore, before you invest any money, it is important to get the entire executive suite onboard with a commitment to LEAN and to a People-Centered Leadership style. Not only must they be committed, but they must also remain committed, and they must actively exhibit the characteristics and processes associated with LEAN. Then you can take the next step of convincing the employees that LEAN will not only be a value to the company and the customer but to them as well. They will have the opportunity to participate in the process changes, submit ideas, learn new skills, and they can earn more money and grow in roles and responsibilities.

MIS (Management Information System)

Management Information Systems provides a method to track business and production processes from estimating and quoting through job tracking on the floor or outsourced all the way through to delivery and billing. The system can be on a workstation, the web, or cloud-based. MIS systems help to manage the flow of information and keep your customers informed. It is important to select a product that not only helps you track and eliminate waste but also integrates with your current systems. It must be flexible and scalable for the future business as well. You want a system that will help you manage your workflows and help you make informed decisions. But before you invest in a system and someone to install and work with it, remember the advice provide in the previous paragraph. It is critical to your success to get the executives and the employees committed to LEAN, Continuous Improvement and People-Centered Leadership before tracking waste. If the team is not committed, they will not do the work and some may sabotage the effort.

Now that you have an adequate idea of the big picture, you can take help from the internet and can know more about the same.

Get master black belt certification and learn skills to solve business problems

A master black belt professional is supposed to possess the key skills in regard to process improvement. He or she is required to have learned six sigma and Lean so that can implement their merits to serve the industry well. All this is possible with online master black belt certification as the training is developed for job-focused individuals.

Good jobs happen to only those having specialized skills. The market receives knowledgeable professionals with open arms purely for the ability they possess to create the difference. If you are capable of helping businesses with day to day operations, you can then be sure of great prospects. This is where online master black belt certification helps as it imparts you a superior understanding of process improvement. You enrol in the training and learn how to work in improving processes and systems to organizations you are part of. You will be trained as a competent master black belt and involve in devising plans and strategies for process improvement. This is how you can make the difference to the business.

Similarly, the training is a good step forward towards becoming familiar with the all-important concepts of lean, six sigma and change management and implement their virtues to businesses across industries. An enrolment in online master black belt certification means an opportunity to gain insight about implementing process improvement strategies with ease. In doing so, professionals can help in solving some of the most complex problems related to processes at different levels. The certification is also very beneficial to those looking to understand Six Sigma methodology in a complete manner together with the ways to use it to create the difference to organizations. All this skill helps trainees become a change agent and serve the industry well.

Similarly, the certification is a meaning investment in being at the forefront of utilizing lean and implementing process improvement initiatives in a hassle-free manner. By enrolling in online master black belt certification, professionals can leverage unique methodologies in a given framework of the business and make the due difference. They can use the knowledge about tools and concepts with the strategic goals of the business and help it realize its true potential. With such specialized skills and knowledge, it becomes easy to guide black belts and green belts within the organization and add value through collective accountability. This is how trained professionals are entrusted with the task of leading the change initiative.

Once certified, you will become an expert in Six Sigma strategies and by adopting those strategies, you will help your company to accentuate its growth and profit. Six Sigma master black belt certification program is worthwhile for those looking to polish their skills further and take their career ahead. So, add a new dimension to career and become the asset for the industry.

 

Six Sigma employment advice from the industry leaders

There are a few key points of advice that industry leaders will give to new business members. These are things like getting a good education, follow extra achievements, accomplish as much as you can. Having a good deal of knowledge and skill to offer potential employees is a great way of getting your foot in the door. You should always know what you want and be motivated to reach that goal.

When someone is a recent graduate intent on getting a lucrative position in the industry they have chosen, they are already well on their way toward reaching that goal. In the corporate world, knowing the ins and outs of the basic business functions is a way to climb the ladder and gain better positions. One of the ways that some people have used to give themselves an extra edge in the corporate office is learning and applying the methods of Six Sigma. It is a business strategy used by many successful corporations around to world to increase the quality of their products and services offered while also decreasing their expenditures.

Six Sigma business professionals work on the quality of products and services offered by corporations. When someone works for one of these corporations or is seeking a job with one, understanding how to apply these methods is an added bonus. Six Sigma professionals are experts in their field and have the knowledge needed to analyze corporations from the inside out, looking for issues and problems, collecting necessary data and formulating plans of action in order to improve the quality of the company overall. There are several levels in the Six Sigma belt tier that signify how experienced the individual is with using the methods. The Black Belt signifies that the employee is well trained in the methods and is able to lead a team on any project proposed to them by the company executives. They will choose a team of Green and Yellow Belt professionals for the project. These professionals will be chosen based on their skills and qualifications, as well as their personalities and talents.

Company executives do not mind seeing a Green or Yellow Belt certification on a resume. Green Belt professionals are not as experienced as Black Belts but are sometimes put in the leadership position for a project because they have proven their skills in the industry and with using the appropriate methods. Both Black and Green Belt professionals are qualified to give advice to potential employees on what they need to know to be successful in their chosen field. In order to become a Six Sigma ‘Belt’ at a particular level, one needs to enrol in training. Once this training has been passed, they will become Six Sigma Certified in their level of study.

Employment advice sometimes comes from the instructors of higher learning courses who have retired from the particular subject they are teaching. Whether it is someone new looking for advice or someone who has been in the industry for some time and is seeking updated information, the best advice always comes from those who have the most experience. Six Sigma certification is something that is beneficial for both the employer and the employee, which is often why an employer will enrol an employee in training.

 

Six Sigma, a breakthrough strategy for profitability

Six Sigma is a business management strategy which is followed to enhance the efficiency of the business. The concept was initially developed by Bill Smith, an engineer at Motorola, in the year 1986. However, the first use of Six Sigma methodology as a business strategy was done by Jack Welch at General Electric in 1995. Now, it is being used by most of the industries in the world. With the varying application of its methodology, different levels of Six Sigma came into existence.

What are the various levels in Six Sigma?

Six Sigma with increasing difficulty and importance is divided into three different levels. Which are-
Level 1- Six Sigma Green Belt.
Level 2- Six Sigma Black Belt.
Level 3- Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Before we open the layers of each one of the above levels of Six Sigma, let us first understand what is the basic concept behind this world-famous methodology…

What actually Six Sigma does

Six Sigma is a detector; it basically identifies the defects and errors in the manufacturing system and removes them. This is how it makes the business processing system more transparent and effective.

Level 1-2-3 in Six Sigma-

Level 1 (Six Sigma Green Belt)- The Six Sigma Green Belt course teaches you the basic but important tactics to manage the quality in the business procedure and to create a team of experts in the related field; it also gives you the in-depth understanding of the statistical methods. The core principle for Six Sigma is- DMAIC, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

Level 2 (Six Sigma Black Belt)- Six Sigma Black Belt is a level ahead of green belt. It gets you the in and out of six sigma tools and how to use the specialized statistical software, philosophies, and principles of Six Sigma. Once you complete the black belt course you become a master in managing the team, allocating the tasks to the team members or accomplishing the target well on time, you can understand the dynamics of a team well with the black belt course.

Level 3 (Six Sigma Master Black Belt)- Master Black belts bring you expertise in the strategic deployment of Six Sigma within an organization. You learn the tactics to promote and support improvement activities in all business areas of an organization. You can mentor the Six Sigma teams sort out specific problems with the use of an appropriate tool.

Being a Six Sigma certified professional itself speaks volume about you capabilities to tackle the challenges into a business system and this also increases your value within the organization.

 

 

Business marketing and how it works using Six Sigma?

Without business marketing, companies would have no way to get the word out about their products and services. Advertising is a key area of business, a vital portion of the plan for success that all top executives must take into consideration.

There are many different aspects of marketing and advertising that can be considered. When companies are having problems with this area, they will often call in the assistance of Six Sigma professionals to help analyze and resolve their key issues. Six Sigma is a business management theory aimed at increasing quality while simultaneously decreasing the bottom line.

The problems that surround marketing and advertising plans are usually present because of the short-sighted nature of the employees. Many times, plans for advertising fall short of their intended purpose because of chaotic or unorganized structuring. When business executives want to focus on improving their advertising with the help of Six Sigma methods, they will meet with a Black Belt professional, who will hire a team of investigators to go through the company’s internal functioning to find flaws and defects. This team will consist of three levels of professionals (Black Belts, Green Belts, and Yellow Belts), who will analyze and collect data and discuss findings with the upper-level professionals and the executives of the company.

Suggestions for improvement and resolutions are desired from all team members. Everyone is expected to give the benefit of their expertise to find the best possible plans of action. Once the best plan has been laid out and there are contingency plans in place, the Six Sigma professionals will work with the company on all levels to implement that plan. The Black Belt professional will then monitor the progress of the plan and analyze results of collected progressive data along the way. By keeping a close eye on the progress of the plan, these professionals are able to spot any obstacles that might arise. Being able to eliminate possible obstacles before they come up is better than letting that obstacle derail the project because it was not seen in time.

It takes a conscientious effort from everyone working within the company to make the needed Six Sigma improvements and changes. All employees and executives from the top level to entry-level must be willing to accept change and work with it in a productive and team-driven way. The quality of output through the company must always be the motivating factor behind any changes that are made. The goal is to make the company the absolute best it can be in its industry by perfecting the quality of its products and services in an economical way. When problems arise, the plan for fixing the issue should be a quick and simple fix by continually using Six Sigma methods.

 

Redundancy analysis and Six Sigma

When implementing innovative techniques, though, it is important to remember that not all of them will work. In fact, some innovations may lead to failures or redundancies within the system, both of which cost the corporation in terms of money. Six Sigma tools are no exception, although the system does allow for redundancy correction.

One Size Does Not Fit All

First of all, it is important to note that just because a certain Six Sigma tool worked well in one company does not mean the success will transfer over to other companies, necessarily.

Remember that the idea of Six Sigma is to employ the methodologies in a process where there is an opportunity to reduce waste and defects. Without determining the effects that Six Sigma implementation may have on a business process, the chances of redundancies occurring go up.

This is why Six Sigma professionals make a point of analyzing the techniques used, so they can determine the root cause of any redundancies.

Remember, though, that the implementation of the Six Sigma process has probably occurred over a long time span, in many cases four to six months, depending of course on the size of the project.

Determining Redundancy Causes

In order to determine the root cause of a redundancy, Six Sigma professionals must look at various areas, including choice of project, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), assessment of measurement system, analysis of variance through ANOVA, and statistical process control.

Six Sigma professionals will also look at documents created during the implementation stage to find the root cause of redundancies.

It is important to note that this process is a completely different function, independent of Six Sigma audits within the DMAIC and DMADV methodologies.

Some Six Sigma implementations result in redundancy due to a failure of company employees to embrace the system and the changes it promotes.

While the negative attitude factor is second to the incorrect use of Six Sigma techniques in the first place, it is still a matter which needs to be addressed.

Many times, employees labour under the assumption that Six Sigma results will inevitably lead to downsizing, and thus do not display interest in the project. Departments also have a hard time accepting the process due to the long time span it can take to achieve desired results.

There are no special tools that have been developed at this time when it comes to finding the root cause of redundancies.

Theory of Invention Problem Solving (TRIZ) has been employed by some Six Sigma professionals, but most continue to use the basic tools available for implementation.

The procedures used to find faults during implementation can be repeated in the search for redundancy causes.

In order to ensure the proper detection of any root cause, it is essential that an employee who is senior and has been in the corporation for a long time handle the project.

The knowledge about existing processes and systems possessed by this type of employee will be thorough, thus making it easier for her to detect the root cause.

An employee in this position is likely to have a better relationship with other employees in the department, who may be reluctant to share negative views of Six Sigma with anyone else.

 

Six Sigma And Service Oriented Architecture – The Better Pair

SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) may as well be the latest craze to hit the business world and the effectiveness that it brings about in the company processes is surely noteworthy. That’s because, what this concept aims at is the overall optimization of the available resources which would include both, i.e., technological resources as well as human resources.

At the same time, SOA also takes care that both of these factors that are responsible for better productivity are available within the organization itself. However, one aspect that business must not miss out on is that by advocating SOA alone, nothing can be achieved. This means that simply a standalone technique is not going to do any good for the company.

Therefore, it is important that SOA is combined with an improvement tool so that the company can get the maximum benefits. The Six Sigma methodology is probably the best option available in this respect.

The Consolidation Method

In order to understand how the consolidation process works, it is important to understand SOA. SOA is in charge of handling planning, analyzing and coming up with a new concept based services which work according to the goals and other mission objectives that have been defined during the implementation stage. This is one of the main reasons why Service Oriented Architecture largely is influenced by management decisions, especially during the implementation process.

This clearly points out towards the fact that SOA alone is not all that sufficient when it comes to performing quality checks. This also means that SOA clearly needs to be combined with a quality improvement technique, which in this case would be the implementation of Six Sigma. Using a Six Sigma methodology like DFSS (i.e., Design For Six Sigma), although somewhat untraditional to use along with Service Oriented Architecture, could still help since it takes care of decisions related to the formulation of the plan for introducing new services in the market.

This is achieved with the help of a more practical approach and the available statistics and other relevant data.

Below are the five phases of Service Oriented Architecture:

Definition stage: This is where the Design For Six Sigma comes in, with respect to defining the objectives of the Service Oriented Architecture – especially during the implementation stage of the project. By adopting the DFSS methodology, it becomes relatively easier to curb any chance of project redundancies.

Developing the Concept: During this stage, DFSS simply helps the developers with regards to formulating and coming up with a design as a part of their innovation strategy. This is obviously achieved due to the financial as well as the human resources available at hand. If DFSS is absent in this stage, the developers will surely delay the implementation of the project.

Design Stage: This is an important stage since it helps staff in realizing the reason and the importance of the redesigning of the company’s processes so that the business can assure better productivity – and of course, overall customer satisfaction.

Validation stage: In order to gain complete control over the feasibility of the entire project, it is important that companies comply with the validation stage, which is already designed by the Design For Six Sigma methodology. Once the test proves to be a success, the implementation stage can be carried on in the different processes of the organization.

Control Stage: This is a stage where DFSS steps into the picture, in order to ensure that everything is going according to plan with the help of SOA.

There is no doubt that SOA can be beneficial, but only if combined with the Six Sigma methodology. Once both of them are paired up, organizations will become much more effective and consistent in their business activities.

 

How Six Sigma professionals handle a crisis situation?

These days, most people have a scant knowledge about project crisis. First, let’s take a look at what is a project crisis. A project crisis can be a problem or a set of problems, which makes the project unstable. In a crisis situation, it becomes difficult to return to the earlier stage in a project.

Six Sigma professionals aim to identify and minimize the defects to a minimum. Identification of the problem is the key, half the job is done if the project manager is able to find the real issues confronting the project.

Such professionals try to reduce the level of defects to a minimum. Generally, as a rule, a six sigma professional will try to reduce the level of defects to not more than 3.4 defects per million.

These managers can anticipate the issues, which are likely to lead to a crisis. A proactive approach to the problem helps to solve the problems much before than it appears. Hallmark of a six sigma professional is that he handles such crisis proactively and does not let the crisis become a major one.

A six sigma manager is able to understand complex situations, once he gets a measure of the problem, the project manager will try to resolve the issues by problem-solving. Such managers are adept at problem-solving.

These high aptitude professionals fight at various fronts at a time. as the project manager is dealing with various stakeholders, he has to balance. A six sigma professional has the ability to coordinate among various stakeholders. Communication is the key among various stakeholders involved and a six sigma manager tries to optimize communication to bring in the best solution.

One of the important aspects of training a six sigma manager is assertiveness training. These managers are assertive and work in a way which keeps the crisis manageable. The mental toughness and assertiveness help the project manager going in very tough situations.

Good leadership and assertiveness from the leaders are a “must”. It helps in the crisis situation and the manager is able to take decisions in very difficult situations.

Precise calculations: A six sigma professional is able to calculate quickly and bring the right solution to the issues at hand. A six sigma professional is someone who can calculate and understand difficult situations quickly. Precise calculations help suggest precise actions to overcome the problems. It saves the company’s costs as it exactly knows the steps to handle the crisis situation.

 

Six Sigma And Service Oriented Architecture – The Better Pair

SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) may as well be the latest craze to hit the business world and the effectiveness that it brings about in the company processes is surely noteworthy. That’s because, what this concept aims at is the overall optimization of the available resources which would include both, i.e., technological resources as well as human resources.

At the same time, SOA also takes care that both of these factors that are responsible for better productivity are available within the organization itself. However, one aspect that business must not miss out on is that by advocating SOA alone, nothing can be achieved. This means that simply a standalone technique is not going to do any good for the company.

Therefore, it is important that SOA is combined with an improvement tool so that the company can get the maximum benefits. The Six Sigma methodology is probably the best option available in this respect.

The Consolidation Method

In order to understand how the consolidation process works, it is important to understand SOA. SOA is in charge of handling planning, analyzing and coming up with a new concept based services which work according to the goals and other mission objectives that have been defined during the implementation stage. This is one of the main reasons why Service Oriented Architecture largely is influenced by management decisions, especially during the implementation process.

This clearly points out towards the fact that SOA alone is not all that sufficient when it comes to performing quality checks. This also means that SOA clearly needs to be combined with a quality improvement technique, which in this case would be the implementation of Six Sigma. Using a Six Sigma methodology like DFSS (i.e., Design For Six Sigma), although somewhat untraditional to use along with Service Oriented Architecture, could still help since it takes care of decisions related to the formulation of the plan for introducing new services in the market.

This is achieved with the help of a more practical approach and the available statistics and other relevant data.

Below are the five phases of Service Oriented Architecture:

Definition stage: This is where the Design For Six Sigma comes in, with respect to defining the objectives of the Service Oriented Architecture – especially during the implementation stage of the project. By adopting the DFSS methodology, it becomes relatively easier to curb any chance of project redundancies.

Developing the Concept: During this stage, DFSS simply helps the developers with regards to formulating and coming up with a design as a part of their innovation strategy. This is obviously achieved due to the financial as well as the human resources available at hand. If DFSS is absent in this stage, the developers will surely delay the implementation of the project.

Design Stage: This is an important stage since it helps staff in realizing the reason and the importance of the redesigning of the company’s processes so that the business can assure better productivity – and of course, overall customer satisfaction.

Validation stage: In order to gain complete control over the feasibility of the entire project, it is important that companies comply with the validation stage, which is already designed by the Design For Six Sigma methodology. Once the test proves to be a success, the implementation stage can be carried on in the different processes of the organization.

Control Stage: This is a stage where DFSS steps into the picture, in order to ensure that everything is going according to plan with the help of SOA.

There is no doubt that SOA can be beneficial, but only if combined with the Six Sigma methodology. Once both of them are paired up, organizations will become much more effective and consistent in their business activities.

Can Quality Assurance Teams Use Lean Six Sigma Training?

Lean Six Sigma is about getting results in the most effective way possible. This type of Six Sigma training is designed for people who wish to reduce cost and improve efficiency. Training Lean Six Sigma to staff members will help them recognize issues and wasteful resources that might cost the business more money than necessary. In addition, students will learn about reducing costs and making the best use of the resources available to them.

The main goal of implementing the Lean Six Sigma concept is to speed up the processes without affecting the quality. This can be done by the elimination of unnecessary steps or wastage in the processes. Quality is maintained by the thorough study of the processes based on the data and putting controls in place which help to retain the quality of the products and services. The basis of Six Sigma improvement decisions is the customers and their needs.

The implementation of Lean Six Sigma helps reduction in the operational cost involved in various processes. If you consider a manufacturing unit, obsolete inventory and excess raw material are a major cause of concern.

Effectively working in a team can be difficult with differing personalities and skills at the table. Six Sigma training teaches leaders how to mentor and coach teams so they can effectively work together. You will also learn how to assign tasks to the right people so the most productivity occurs within the team. Teams must be coached from choosing team members to the completion of the project. Six Sigma training is ideal when working in team environments. The training covers most of the members at different levels of the organization like the process owners to the top management. Mentors can assist other team members in understanding the minute details about the implementation, which will ensure the effectiveness of the entire project at all levels.

Managing time can be difficult with quality assurance departments. It is common for a client to come back and ask for changes in the requirements with the website you built that will take 100 more hours to complete. There may be bugs in the system that are not recognized. It is common for businesses to not recognize defects or bugs, and send a product to the client this way. Not only does this let the client down but it makes the business look bad. Lean Six Sigma training teaches you how to find ways to easily recognize defects by putting improved processes in place. This can help employees manage their time more efficiently when changes occur, recognize problems, and find ways to improve them.

Providing a quality product is the overall goal of any quality assurance department. Lean Six Sigma training focuses on many aspects of quality assurance to ensure every process within a business is working efficiently. Six Sigma training can help employees manage their time effectively, eliminate wasteful expenses, effectively work in teams, and much more.