Lean Six Sigma: How to Eliminated Non Value-Added Activities

Lean Six Sigma is a combination of ‘lean’ thinking in which a business strives to eliminate waste and Six Sigma, a quality management strategy that strives to eliminate defects and perfect products and services.  When used together, they help any business or organization reach their highest potential when it comes to profits and customer satisfaction.

When trying to understand what Lean Six Sigma is, it is important to understand that “lean” is a way of thinking in which the goal is to eliminate all sources of waste from an organization or business.  Lean perspectives focus on what the customer or consumer of your products thinks is valuable, not what the organization feels is sufficient.  It is important for organizations to differentiate between the value added and non-value added activities; once this has been established, the next step is to remove the non-value added work so that the flow of the product is a smooth one to the customer.  Doing this in a proper manner is important to the organization.

When a company has a detailed organizational plan and has identified the tools required and who is required to implement the tools, a movement toward lean thinking will begin.  When companies try and do this without a plan, it is guaranteed that chaos will take place within the organization.  The ultimate goal is to improve customer satisfaction by increasing responsiveness and cutting costs within the organization.  Increasing the quality of a product or service goes hand in hand with successful customer satisfaction.

Six Sigma is a successful analytical tool used by many organizations who want to eliminate or reduce variation throughout the value stream.  When organizations are unable to reduce variation, it is extremely hard to have flow.  In order for organizations to implement this tool, they must have a well thought out plan.  When there is not a plan in place, the Six Sigma professionals will not know exactly where to focus their efforts within the organization.  Most activities are considered to be non-value added, so when an expert in this methodology comes along, they are put into a problem which they will eventually be able to correct.

It is important for the organization that all individuals work together to create a lean way of thinking and implement the Six Sigma methodology correctly.  They must work together to create the flow of the entire system.  Once experts have used the lean way of thinking to create a plan for the project, and the tools have been identified, it will be easier to focus the professionals in the correct place.  When the professionals are part of this process, they will gain a sense of pride and feel that they contributed greatly to the success of the organization.  The results are that customer satisfactions have been maximized by the organization.


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