Lean Six Sigma is an altered form of Six Sigma Training, but also a process all its own in many capacities. Knowing the vital differences that come with Lean can prove to add more to your quality improvement projects than you might have thought possible. There are basic fundamentals of Six Sigma that will not be absent in the Lean process, but there are also a few additions to the process that make it what it is.
The eight elements of waste is the focus of the Lean Six Sigma Process. It has been proven that by simply removing these areas of waste, the company will actually improve quality. Below you will find what the Lean process considers wastes, and examples of each.
-Wasted Human Talent: This category includes any employee that is not pulling their weight, thus slowing the process down. It also includes anyone without a specific job function within the process.
-Defects: Any product or process that is not working properly. Before they can be eliminated, however, they will require a fixable solution.
-Inventory: This is when there is to much work that is on a waiting pile. For example, If you are a doctors office and you have to many patients waiting to be seen at one time.
-Overproduction: Having too much of anything before it is needed can get in the way of efficient process operation.
-Wasted Time: many times you will find that you can not go any further until you receive a product or piece of information from someone. Instead of sitting around waiting, this time would be better spent on processes or activities that may need some extra assistance.
-Motion: Simply put, too much unnecessary movement by people. For example, a clinic that sends patients to triage when they have booked appointments is wasted movement because they can go straight to the exam room.
-Transportation: Any form of ineffective transportation that is used to move people or a product. If it is not necessary then it is wasteful and not needed.
-Process Waste: Things that have to be done, but don’t add value to the process, product, or service at hand. For example, a bank manager has to process a lot of paperwork, but this doesn’t help customers or increase the banks ability to serve those customers in most cases.
By utilizing Lean Six Sigma and understanding the areas of waste, you are sure to improve the quailty of the product that is produced by you company.