Management of processes after they have been optimized involves constant monitoring and analysis of data to retain the optimization achieved.
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What is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma is a set of methodologies that use the methods practiced in Lean and Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma together involves practices such as DMAIC, poka-yoke, 5S, and lean principles of waste reduction that target waste reduction and process optimization.
A process is selected for optimization and its present efficiency is recorded. According to the specifications of the project and the process, one or various Lean Six Sigma methodologies are applied to identify and remove errors, reduce variations, eliminate waste and increase productivity.
What is Process Management?
Process management ensures that the results achieved by Lean Six Sigma are maintained. Data concerning the output and efficiency of a process is gathered and analyzed to check if the process is giving expected results consistently or not. If there is a reduction in efficiency, the root cause for the inefficiency is identified and eliminated.
By constantly monitoring and controlling results, companies enjoy highly efficient and optimized processes, which leads to the following advantages:
- Improvement in the quality of the product
- Lower costs due to reduction in waste and higher efficiency
- Increase in production
- Improvement in customer satisfaction
Definitions of Lean Six Sigma Methodologies
A Lean Six Sigma project usually involves the use of the following methods of achieving and sustaining optimization:
The acronym DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Identify, and Control. These five steps are implemented in sequence to optimize a process.
- Define involves gathering facts to define the problem, company goal, project timeline, scope of the project, etc.
- Measure involves the establishment of baselines or the optimized level at which a process must work. It helps to measure results during and after optimization.
- Analyze involves analyzing the data to identify root causes of problems to achieve process improvement.
- Improve involves testing and thinking of new methods to reduce or eliminate errors and improve productivity
- Control involves monitoring a process and ensuring that it is working within established baselines.
Poke-Yoke, a Japanese term means ‘mistake-proofing’ in English. In poka-yoke, the design or system of equipment is created in such a manner that it eliminates the possibility of an error. The design of an Ethernet cable is an example of poka-yoke. The cable is designed in such a manner that it can only be inserted in one way. That eliminates the possibility of an error.
The term 5S stands for the Japanese words seiri (sort), sexton (straighten), seiso (shine), seiketsu (standardize), and shitsuoe (sustain). By using these principles, a workplace is made more efficient and systematic, leading to reduction in errors and waste, and increased efficiency.
Seven Lean Principles of Waste
The seven types of waste Lean targets and eliminates are:
Lean reduces waste, and prevents it from occurring, to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Together, Six Sigma and Lean achieve an increase in productivity while lowering costs.
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