Where To Begin Your Lean Six Sigma Journey?

Create a vision of why it’s time to start a new operational direction for the future of the business. It’s an opportunity for senior leaders to stand in front of each facility’s workforce, paint the picture of the need for change, and communicate the path intended for everyone’s involvement. 

You’ll want to achieve short-term gains early in the process by using a tools training expert to develop a training plan for things like Pareto analysis, 5S, Value Stream Mapping, Kaizen, etc.

What is Value Stream Mapping?

VSM shows important parameters such as cycle time, lead time, inventory or lead time, percentage complete and accuracy, and the number of operators. It helps identify, demonstrate, reduce waste and ultimately create an efficient flow through all production or business processes.

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Value Stream Mapping is a useful tool that can minimize any operation, not just output.

1. Traditional Value Chain Map: 

Represents the shape of a basic value chain map. It captures the main steps of a process (including inputs and outputs) and the flow of material and information. 

2. Swimlane Value Stream Mapping

A Swimlane VSM captures the same type of data as a traditional map; the only difference is that the action steps are sorted in rows (or columns) based on who is doing the work.

Steps to follow while starting the Lean Six Sigma journey

1. Assessing Change Readiness in the Organisation:

Introducing change or improvement is important at every stage of the journey, but before that, you need to understand how ready people are for change and how they can perform work in a new way.

Create a top-down plan to educate and train the workforce on the new expectations of how everyone must learn to think, work, and behave differently for the new strategy to succeed. Support the need with the necessary resources, e.g., training cost and time, to allow everyone to successfully transition to the “new way we’re going to do things here.”

  1. a) Make sure they implement learning and apply new processes as leaders.
  2. b) It allows them to educate and help their subordinates because people get involved in specific events or projects every hour. 

2. Select the Right People to Run the Initiative 

When you’re just starting, you may need help from outside talent to make it work. Often, when you hire someone outside to lead this initiative when it’s new, it takes time for the person to understand the company’s operations, business, and culture; hence, it’s essential to have your internal team involved. 

Get your finance team involved to:

  • Define how to calculate benefits for each project (appropriate benefit categories) 
  • Create a financial review process to track and report benefits. 
  • Design a review process to ensure benchmarking and completion.

 3. Select an Outside Company to Help You  

Most businesses need the support of an outside service provider to get off to a good start with the lean audit. Companies should look for someone willing to work with them to implement the principles in a way that works with that organization’s culture. Often an outside firm will help ensure that your organization is protected against failures in implementing Lean Six Sigma. 

 4. Leadership Training First 

After the lean audit, we strongly recommend that you begin Lean Six Sigma implementations with leadership training.

Implementation at Process and Enterprise Level 

Implementing tools at the process level alone will not achieve their full potential; they must be implemented as part of a transformation journey. 

Enterprise-level speed and flexibility will produce the most significant gains, conveying a structural advantage that will allow you to outperform the competition in terms of speed and cost.

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This journey to business transformation requires understanding, commitment, courage, and leadership commitment to align the organization. At the start of your process, try and become aware of some short wins, i.e., smooth modifications on the way to bring about instant improvements. (Source)

Contact us to know how we can support you in this transformation, Contact us – at arrowheadco.net.

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