Lean Six Sigma: Beyond the Project to a Business Management System
Presented by Forrest W. Breyfogle III President and CEO, Smarter Solutions, Inc.
Organizations have gained much from Lean and Six Sigma project improvement efforts; however, these efforts did not prevent the occurrence of our current economic crisis. Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM), and other process improvement efforts have helped organizations improve; however, these efforts often occur in silos, where the benefits are not felt at the big picture executive level. Because of this, when financial times get tough Lean Six Sigma programs often find that their efforts are being downsized and that both Black Belt and Master Black Belt process improvement practitioners are being laid off.
Lean conference presentations can describe how all company associates are involved in a continuing effort to identify and resolve waste-reduction problems; i.e., overproduction, waiting, transportation, inventory, over-processing, motion, and defects. Even though there can be significant benefits from these efforts, Lean practitioner conversations at those same conferences can be describing how their organization eliminated much operational waste only to find that executive management decided to close their facility.
One might ask why executive management would close a facility if such a great job was done reducing waste. The reason is that a hunt-for-areas-to-improve approach can lead to much silo improvement effort without major emphasis being given to improve the true Theory of Constraints (TOC) bottleneck. For example, process improvement efforts should be focusing on improving the sales and marketing processes (the system constraint) if manufacturing has the capability of producing significantly more products than are currently in demand. A business example of a company that won many Shingo Prize accolades for their Lean efforts but continues to have serious financial problems is Delphi.
Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) is a re-invention of our current business system that provides the framework for moving toward the 3 Rs of business. Incorporated in IEE is an Enterprise process Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (E-DMAIC) roadmap.
Described in this presentation are the nine logic steps associated with execution of the E-DMAIC system where strategy creation is step five and incorporates a blending of analytics with innovation for this planning creation. The IEE business management governance system has a metric improvement need pull system for the creation of Project DMAIC (P-DMAIC) improvement efforts, which truly integrate Lean and Six Sigma tools in the roadmap’s execution and benefit the business as a whole upon completion.
Forrest Breyfogle is the CEO and President of Smarter Solutions, Inc. Mr. Breyfogle is an ASQ Fellow who has authored 11 books, including a 4-book series on the Integrated Enterprise Excellence System (i.e., going Beyond Lean Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard).