Monday, January 6, 2014

General Discussion On Lean & Six Sigma

“My management prefer Lean, not Six Sigma” or “My management prefer Six Sigma, not Lean”
“My issue is a Lean topic, Six Sigma is not able to handle my topic”

Do you ever receive such statement when dealing with Six Sigma or Lean topic ?

This is nothing new to me, obviously it is a misconception of Six Sigma and Lean. Not only the management level, I notice there are many certified GB and BB do facing the same situation.

Well, I always says that, Six Sigma and Lean is just a business direction or target setting.

Motorola aim for minimum or nearly zero defect rate by setting a target to achieve Six Sigma process capability.

Toyota aim for minimum operation cost  by setting a target to Lean down their operation process flow.

The whole idea behind Six Sigma and Lean is simple – minimize cost, maximize profit.

This is just a wish from the management, but we need an effective solution to make the wish come true.

Somebody from Motorola or GE develop a continuous improvement cycle call DMAIC, and the Japanese develop their approach call PDCA.

I m not going to talk about the tools in detail, anyway, for those experience in DMAIC and PDCA, you may found that the problem analysis tools use in two flow are basically the same.

Now the argument come – which is better then ? since I mention both DMAIC and PDCA are more or less same.

My point is, as a experience guy in continuous improvement, regardless is a quality issue, process capability issue, design issue or productivity issue, you must be able to decide a right tool to use to handle the problem. There is no one solution for all. Personally, I prefer DMAIC flow because this systematic systematically guide me define the problem statement correctly and understand process characteristic before we jump into solution development.

Therefore, the end in mind of continuous improvement activities is to achieve Six Sigma process level and Lean the whole business operation.
There is no such thing as “Lean Problem” or “Six Sigma Problem” .  Actually, both are “Business Problem” !

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