Operational Excellence programs like Lean Six Sigma have been around for many years and have proven themselves time and time again to be invaluable in identifying areas where business process improvement is necessary. Lean Six Sigma, in particular, focuses on improving performance by removing waste. The five steps in the Lean Six Sigma process are designed to optimize and stabilize business process and design and are abbreviated by the initials DMAIC:
Imagine a world in which your organization’s most complex issues are solved by a continuous improvement effort and then the new processes are implemented seamlessly into the organization. Where Lean isn’t just a process improvement approach for a few, but a culture shift for the whole organization. An organization that just doesn’t do “Lean,” but where a Lean mindset permeates through the organization. Sounds perfect, right?
One of the most significant stumbling blocks that business process re-engineering initiatives encounter is in the deployment phase of the process improvement process. There is logic and data to suggest that although statistical analyses can improve organizational effectiveness, reduce unnecessary activities, increase productivity, and reduce costs, no process improvement or culture change will occur unless solutions can be implemented through to utilization and Return on Investment.
Jack Welch, retired Chairman of General Electric once said, “Six Sigma is a quality program that, when all is said and done, improves your customer’s experience, lowers your costs, and builds better leaders.” In fact, General Electric, one of the most successful Six Sigma users, once estimated achieving $10 billion savings in just the first five years of implementation. $10 billion dollars! That is nothing to sneeze at.