Today I would like to talk about some magic words: Lean Six Sigma. If you want to become a company that is continuously learning and improving in every area, whether it’s HR, administration, production, inventory management, sales marketing, you name it, then you need three things:
- a method that will help you to learn a new way of working, because if you keep on working as you have been working you will continue get the same results as you got until now.
- you will need an organizational structure to support this kind of work
- you will have to create new routines that will help you to monitor and keep making progress with this new method.
Lean Six Sigma
For now I want to talk about the method. Lean Six Sigma – that are actually two methods: Lean Management and Six Sigma. You can use both or just one of them. The key in order to achieve a new organizational efficiency is that people will not act based on their emotions only or based on their personal opinions, but they will learn to use facts to analyze situations and start working together across departments to solve operational challenges every day.
A Simplified Method
I have a technical background, I’m a chemical engineer. I’ve been working over 12 years in finance as a finance manager and CFO, I help also a CEO position in a healthcare company. I was always looking for better ways to work, looking for the main factors that I can influence to have a better result. Results in terms of financial results, but also in quality or efficiency improvements and lead time reductions. This is how I learned to use Lean Six Sigma. The method itself is huge, it consists of more than 100 methods in itself: Pareto, all kind of charts, all kind of statistics, all kind of diagrams and ways to analyze and visualize situations. The method is based really on mass manufacturing. It was developed by Toyota and Motorola that are mainly focused on production. I realized that I can’t easily use it for example in healthcare, I can’t use it in the service industry, I can’t use it in HR management or in financial accounting. That’s why I had to come up with a simplified version of Lean Six Sigma and this is what I actually use. I applied the 80/20 rule, the Pareto law, to Lean Six Sigma itself. I only use maybe 20% of the method or even less and it enables me to help in over 80% of the situations! Will it help in your situation? You are not working in mass production, are you?
Example 1 – service department
This morning, for example, I was working with a health care company where we are improving two main processes, big processes. One is to improve the service department, which is a general name of different departments together like IT, HR, accounting, financial administration, technical services, maintenance. These departments together are called the service department. They have a problem because there are internal customers, employees, who want a new phone or access to a certain file or a new software or they deal with maintenance problems. the internal customer is not happy with the service level. It takes too much time until a call is completed, it’s not certain what the status of their request is, is it already being worked on or is it still waiting to start. So all the calls (each question/request from the employees is called a call) have a lead time which is varying very much. Sometimes it is very short, but many times it’s very long. So we would like to reduce the lead time so the internal customer who places a request will be happy because their question will be answered quicker and they get what they requested, because that’s also a problem. This is a process that we are working on to improve. Currently we are at the phase of collecting data to create our baseline, because everything we do with Lean Six Sigma is based on facts, based on data. Otherwise you just don’t know whether you improved the process or not. This is just an example where you can see how to implement the improvement method called Lee Lean Six Sigma in other situations than mass production.
Example 2 – HR department
The other project that I’ve been working on today is the HR department. They have the problem that they hire new people and when the new hires want to start in the morning for example at 9:00 a.m. they have no access to the system, no keys, no laptop maybe, no telephone or mobile phone or any other stuff they would need to be 100% productive from day one. So the on-boarding is not going well and need to be improved. That is what we are working on with a small team. Today we identified the process, we looked at how the current process goes, where the steps are that are not very well defined or taking too long. Our objective is for each new employee to be able to be 100% productive from day one, having access to the system, having their keys, materials, laptops, phones, whatever they need. We are doing this again, using the simplified Lean Six Sigma version that I developed, making it easy to use and understand. It doesn’t require statistics, so even without a statistical background, you’ll be able to improve such processes significantly.
Master the method
If you like to master this SIMPLIFIED and more EFFICIENT method, go to herku.com/blackbelt and look at the enterprise plan and enter your data there. We will get in touch so we can talk about about your plans and we can answer your questions. So go to herku.com/blackbelt if you really want to master this method and help your company to improve.