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Why Lean and Six Sigma integrated Approach?

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Lean is the production of products or services using the least of everything human effort, investment in inventory, machines, space, tools, time, development, transport / movement. It is however very simply the reduction of waste from your processes. Lean is therefore the identification and steady elimination of waste through the implementation of perfect first time quality approaches to work, standardization of processes, smoothing of flow, flexibility of work, long term relationships with customers and supplies and reduction in time leading to cost reduction and business improvement. Six sigma is a disciplined, data-driven methodology for eliminating defects in any process. Six sigma’s basic value proposition is that principles for process improvement, statistical methods, a customer focus, attention to processes, and a management system focusing on high-return improvement projects result in continuous improvement and significant financial gains.

Lean Six Sigma is a strategy that combines the methodologies of Lean and Six Sigma into one seamlessly integrated excellence strategy. Using a Structured Lean Six Sigma methodology, you can develop focused solutions to eliminate process root causes without sweeping changes to your existing processes or organizational structure. Lean and Six Sigma when used together will provide a business improvement methodology which combines tools from both Lean and Six Sigma. 

Lean eliminates the waste in your processes, while Six Sigma ensures quality through the elimination of variation in your processes and also provides a structured data driven structure to solve problems and implement sustainable change into your business. Lean and Six Sigma tool integration is that this approach does not require a traditional Six Sigma project defect definition, which would affect a Six Sigma project’s cost-of-poor-quality calculation. With this approach, stable processes that do not have a defect definition can report stable process capability as a best-estimate. Lean and Six Sigma tools are then considered equal, where the process response metric improvement leads to a selection of the most appropriate tool or tools. To avoid tool application contention between lean and Six Sigma organizational functions, it is best to combine any separate Six Sigma and lean organizational functions that may exist. Lean Six Sigma emphasizes that speed is directly tied to excellence. Speed is not the same thing as schedule. Schedule is about when something is supposed to get done; speed is about how fast it gets done. Speed has a bad reputation; it is often equated with hasty, undisciplined work. But if Lean Six Sigma has anything to teach us, it is that we should be looking for opportunities to streamline our core processes. This does not mean we should be compressing already tight schedules. It means that we first determine what our core processes are, and then focus on making them flow smoothly. Six Sigma might lead us to apply practices aimed at improving replication processes to knowledge generating processes. This often leads to slow, unresponsive, change-intolerant practices that are not appropriate for knowledge creation. Quite often the slow, deliberate nature of these practices is mistaken to be a sign of good discipline. 

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