Aug 2, 2013
The analyst’s view of 2012
Aug 1, 2013
Previous month, we were undergoing Six Sigma Training and many members like me had different opinion on the difference between Six Sigma & Lean and we requested trainer to explain the difference between two methodologies/tools.
After the discussions, I really wanted to come up with my own idea on how the differences can be articulated and referred few blogs/sites (Obvious that it has been defined and articulated by many guru’s….Nothing to re-invent J)
Thought, Lets articulate (Of course not more than one page!!!) in my perception and also might help my team members & share my thoughts to broader audience J
Let’s get on to the business… Hopefully this information will be useful for a number of people.
Simple words - Lean is an overall philosophy for continuous improvement which is based on the Toyota Business System.
The six sigma methodology was developed by individuals at Motorola with some outside help.
Lean is about delivering value in the eyes of the customer through the continuous efforts to eliminate waste (Any 8 wastes – Over Production, Waiting, Transport, Poor Process Design, Inventory, Motion, Defects, Under Resource Utilization & Skill).
At this stage, I am sure my team will come back to me with - “Chetan, How wastes can be related/interpreted with respect to Software Industry”
Lean focuses on continuous improvement while demonstrating respect for people. Lean is also a mindset and an enabling strategy which helps organizations to effectively implement business strategies and initiatives to achieve overall objectives.
Lean is about getting the entire organization to make improvements on a daily basis – Its Cultural Change.
I feel that if lean is implemented correctly - Implemented Correctly - Is this a right word --- YES
Lean Implementer's/Lean Leaders should ask right questions in helping the people who they work for, to learn and discover the right solutions to the problems they are trying to solve. Lean requires employee/member engagement, continuous learning and employee empowerment.
Six sigma is a statistical methodology for improvement and focuses on eliminating variation.
Six sigma and lean both utilize the scientific method to solve problems.
Six sigma is primarily a project based and top down approach.
Belts are trained to lead projects and When i discuss with my domain friends on six sigma; friends advise me; often in many organization we end up in doing things to people versus people.
There are many people who view the belt approach as elitist when applied broadly. It does not promote truly effective employee engagement at all levels of the organization.
A large number of companies have found that they have struggled in successfully sustaining the momentum in their six sigma deployments. My observation is six sigma tends to be a push approach.
In my view what we should be aiming to create is pull for continuous improvement throughout the organization.
Six sigma, from my standpoint/perspective, is a methodology that compliments and enhances lean.
Many of my friends who implemented Six Sigma and now started using lean sigma approach have told me they wish they had started with lean and enhanced their deployment with six sigma.
I feel it makes more sense to eliminate as much waste as possible upfront and then focuses on eliminating variation.
As read somewhere, Toyota has always used statistical methods in the appropriate situations. Currently the trend is a major emphasis on lean implementations and a decrease in new six sigma deployments.
I am sure that many people have perspectives that are different from mine. Open to suggestions and we can discuss….