The Lean Six Sigma Methodology consists of five phases: Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control. Whereas Lean Six Sigma consists of tools of both approaches, Lean and Six Sigma, the project management approach follows the Six Sigma phases – the DMAIC cycle.
In the following, read about the application of DMAIC in practice.
The DEFINE phase lays the foundation for a successful project. Hence, the key to success is a project definition based on a real business problem and a description of the project objective and the people needed to solve the problem. Since each process serves one purpose – fulfilling the requirements of the process customer – the collection of the voice of the customer (VOC) and its translation plays an important role. Additionally, a high-level overview of the process (SIPOC) will align the understanding about the scope of the process and its process steps among all members of the project team.
Therefore, the principal task of Define is to establish a well thought-through project charter.
Hence, this project phase of the Lean Six Sigma methodology helps to “organise success”. Read more…
The MEASURE phase determines potential root causes for the problem and ensures the data collection for problem and potential root causes in order to establish the actual process performance. This data will help in ANALYSE to distinguish between vital few and trivial many root causes – the most important prerequisite for IMPROVE.
Therefore, this project phase of the Lean Six Sigma methodology sets the data foundation for all following steps.
The principal task of MEASURE is the data collection. Read more…
The ANALYSE phase examines the in MEASURE selected potential root causes concerning their influence on the problem using the previously collected data.
In ANALYSE, two different approaches play their part. One approach uses tools for data analysis, whereas the other approach features tools for process analysis. Usually, both approaches are necessary to perform comprehensive root cause analysis. However, experience has shown that turn-around-time problems need process analysis tools, while defect analysis requires data analysis tools. The respective other approach supports the principle toolset.
This project phase of the Lean Six Sigma methodology determines the vital few root causes that drive the problem. This information is critical for finding effective solutions. The following tasks in “Analyse” introduce process and data analysis methods. Data analysis is done in two steps, the graphical analysis and the statistical analysis.
The key task of the ANALYSE phase is the identification of root causes for the problem. Read more…
The IMPROVE phase includes the generation of solutions for the vital few root causes, their test and implementation. For these solutions, the effectiveness will be shown to ensure that process changes and sometimes necessary investments yield the intended results.
Therefore, this project phase of the Lean Six Sigma methodology delivers solutions for the problem with a well thought through implementation plan.
Hence, the aim of this step is to generate ideas for solutions and to plan successful implementation. Read more…
Finally the CONTROL phase includes measures to ensuring the long-term effect of process changes implemented during IMPROVE.
Hence, this project phase of the Lean Six Sigma methodology ensures sustainability of the results. Read more…
In conclusion, the Lean Six Sigma Methodology is one of the success factors of this approach and needs to be followed tightly if one expects outcome of a Lean Six Sigma project.