By John Morgan, Martin Brenig-Jones

Part of Lean Six Sigma For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you’re trying to improve value for your customers with Lean Six Sigma, remember that, in your customers’ eyes, value is what they’re willing to pay for:

  • The right products and services

  • At the right time

  • At the right price

  • At the right quality

For a step to be value-adding, it must meet the following three criteria:

  • The customer has to care about the step

  • The step must either physically change the product or service in some way, or be an essential prerequisite for another step

  • The step must be actioned ‘right first time’

Try to remove those steps that don’t meet these criteria, but recognise that you may want to retain some non-value-adding steps, perhaps for regulatory or financial reasons, for example.

You need to identify and understand the value stream and eliminate waste and non-value-adding steps. As little as 10 to 15 per cent of process steps add value, often representing only 1 per cent of the total process time.