Lean Six Sigma Deployment Strategy

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Structured steps for a Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy are provided in the below “Steps for Lean Six Sigma Success” PDF written by Forrest Breyfogle. With the described deployment strategy, focus is given to the avoidance of silo projects that may initially look good but do not provide much (if any) organization-as-a-whole benefit.  The described approach addresses the issues organizations often have with creating a lean Six Sigma deployment that withstands the test of time.

One issue with a traditional lean Six Sigma deployment’s success is that there is often contention between lean and Six Sigma practitioners and management over which is the best methodology to deploy, lean or Six Sigma.  Organizations need an enhanced system for deploying lean Six Sigma so that the right lean or Six Sigma tool is used at the right time. In addition, focus needs to be given to creating process changes that are to be reflected in enhancements to organizational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

There are several fundamental issues with the traditional deployment of both lean and Six Sigma.  In both cases there tends to be a hunt-for-improvement-projects mentality, whether it is the execution of a lean kaizen event or Six Sigma project.  Using a lean term, this could be viewed as a ″push″ for project creation.  A traditional approach for selecting improvement projects often does not benefit the enterprise as a whole.

To illustrate this point, someone at a conference described the work that they had done at a company.  The person was bragging about how much success he made in a company’s lean deployment.  The person was then asked wasn’t that company sold to a competitor and you lost your job because your company was having financial difficulties?  His response was yes, but we did so much in lean.  A follow-up response to him was that improvements need benefit a company financially, which apparently did not occur in your lean deployment; i.e., what is wrong with this picture?

Lean Six Sigma Deployment Strategy: Issues and Resolution

The above types of issues often happen with a lean process improvement focus; however, Six Sigma can have similar improvement effort issues. In Six Sigma, benefits are often described in how much savings occurred because of a deployment; however, 100 million dollars might be reported as savings but nobody can find the money.

In addition, when times get tough in an organization, often one of the first to get laid off are the lean and/or Six Sigma practitioners.  Apparently the executives often view improvement practitioners as overhead and are not seeing the value of what they have been doing.  What is wrong with this picture? What should be done differently so that improvement practitioner become more valuable?

What is needed is an operational excellence business management system that integrates lean and Six Sigma efforts so that the enterprise as a whole benefits when improvement actions are undertaken. This system is basically a means for lean Six Sigma success. Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) offers such an operational excellence methodology.

For IEE implementation benefits and details see:

Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy

The PDF below provides the structured steps for creating a Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy that is successful. This “Steps for Lean Six Sigma Success” article can be very beneficial to a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations.