Cheat Sheet

Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation For Dummies (UK Edition)

From Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation For Dummies by Roger Burghall, Vince Grant, John Morgan

Getting to grips with the methods of Lean Six Sigma to improve business performance and make your teams more productive? Use this helpful Cheat Sheet to remind yourself of the key principles of this powerful strategy.

The Key Principles of Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a powerful, proven method of improving business efficiency and effectiveness. In a nutshell, here are the key principles of Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation to bear in mind:

  • Focus on the customer.

  • Identify and understand how the work gets done (the value stream).

  • Manage, improve and smooth the process flow.

  • Remove Non-Value-Added steps and waste.

  • Manage by fact and reduce variation.

  • Involve and equip the people in the process.

  • Undertake improvement activity in a systematic way.

Using DMAIC in Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation

To undertake improvement activity in your business processes in a systematic way using Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation, you need to employ the useful framework of DMAIC:

  • Define: Projects start with a problem that needs solving. Make sure everyone involved knows their role, why you’re doing the project and what you’re trying to achieve with the project.

  • Measure: The work you’ve done in the Define stage is based on what you think the problem is. During the Measure stage you need to clarify things by seeing how the work gets done and how well.

  • Analyse: Now you know what’s happening, it’s time to find out why, but don’t jump to conclusions. Manage by fact to check out the possible causes and get to the root cause.

  • Improve: Okay; you know about the process and the problem, and the Improve stage is where you need to find a way to address the root cause, so come up with some ideas, select the best one and test it out.

  • Control: You need to ensure you achieve and hold the gain you’re looking for. Putting a control plan in place is vital to ensure that the process is carried out consistently.

Going for a DRIVE with Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation

Lean Six Sigma transformation is a journey and successful business transformation needs drive and energy. The DRIVE model provides the framework to help you travel from where you are to where you want to be:

  • Define: Recognise the need to transform and agree that you want the organization to find its ‘True North’.

  • Review: Assess the organisation’s capability in terms of achieving the change needed.

  • Improve: Prepare for the journey. Shape and scope what needs to be done and implement the agreed actions and projects.

  • Verify: Monitor your progress and performance against the plan to ensure that you are on track.

  • Establish: Ensure that you hold onto the gains made and strive to establish the new ways of working within the organisation.

Using DMADV in Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation

Employ this framework of DMADV to design new products, services and processes for your business, as you use Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation for change:

  • Define: Make sure everyone involved knows their role, why you’re doing the project and what you’re trying to achieve with the project. Remember to think about how you can manage this project and who you can call on for help.

  • Measure: This phase provides the framework for the design, where you need to focus on defining and understanding customer needs. It is important to consider what your process capability is at this stage.

  • Analyse: Now you can move from what the customer needs to how you might achieve this. Identify key functions and characteristics. Analyse the functions to check their capability and ensure that they are fit for purpose.

  • Design: At this stage you need to add detail to the various elements of the design. Create an effective and realistic pilot to test and evaluate the capability of the design.

  • Verify: This is where you want to assess the achievements made and the lessons learned. Verify the results in relation to the original specifications and targets.

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