Lean Six Sigma, a combination of Lean and Six Sigma aims to improve process productivity while eliminating waste.
The five phases of Lean Six Sigma are:
Each of these phases includes various tools for process improvement and cost reduction.
Six Sigma is a process improvement system in which the ultimate aim of each practice is to achieve improvement in processes.
Six Sigma is also used in process management where process performance is analysed to find the root causes of defects.
Inputs and outputs of a process are recorded, measured, monitored and managed for retaining optimum functionality of a process.
Lean targets waste. The seven elements of waste Lean identifies and eliminates are:
Transport - Avoidable movement of products from one place to another.
Inventory - Overstocking of inventory.
Motion - Unnecessary movement of objects and people.
Waiting - Waste of time and resources in the absence of instructions or clarity in operations.
Overproduction - Production exceeding demand.
Over Processing - Processing that doesn't improve quality.
Defects - Repeated errors and problems.
Six Sigma belts is a hierarchal belt system used to demonstrate the knowledge and skills of a person certified in Six Sigma.
The belts ranked from low to high are: White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt.
There are other roles in Six Sigma, including that of Champions and Leaders.
DMAIC is a methodology for process improvement.
It has these five phases:
Knowledge of DMAIC is essential in implementing Six Sigma,
as it involves process discovery, measurement system analysis, process modelling, etc.
Each of the five phases of DMAIC uses specific tools to achieve defined goals and the ultimate objective of process improvement.
5S is a method for achieving continuous improvement.
It includes these five S's:
Setting in order
These five practices lead to quality and efficiency improvements in operations while reducing waste.
Process mapping (flowcharting) is used in Lean Six Sigma to do the following:
Demonstrate activities to be performed, and how and by whom they will be performed.
Inform team members of their roles and responsibilities.
As a visual representation of the entire process, process mapping helps to build clarity, understand dependencies and spot issues.
Evaluating these factors help in successful project management:
Level of access to the project.
Level of participation of team members.
Identifying process owners and stakeholders.
Level of involvement of process owners.
Knowledge of DOE in process owners.
How many runs can you afford.
Whether to run the DEO at the process or a lab.
What noise variables must be designed.
How large an experimental region will be explored for the DOE.
Poka-Yoke philosophy is used to prevent errors from occurring.
Usually, some function or design of the product is used to prevent mistakes.
For e.g. the car will not start if the driver is not wearing seat belt (functional change for preventing error) or
an Ethernet cable can only be inserted if held with the right side up (alteration in design to prevent error).
Understanding of Lean Six Sigma also includes concepts of:
Each of these concepts uses various tools such as PDSA Cycle; DMAIC; and Muda, Mura and Muri,
to achieve the end result of improving processes and minimising waste.