Contact

Teri Stemley

(937) 229-4632
Tstemley1@udayton.edu

Seth Hummel

(937) 673-3732
shummel1@udayton.edu

Who should embark on a Lean Six Sigma project?

If one or more of the following statements is true of your department, Lean Six Sigma may be a perfect fit for you. 

  • We have no ability to effectively solve problems.
  • The cost of poor quality is far too high for us to run our department.
  • We waste too much time.
  • Our lead time is too long and unpredictable.
  • Our employees don’t seem to care about doing a good job. They‘re just going through the motions.
  • We are losing students we can’t afford to lose.

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Does LSS work without Leadership buy-in?

Here’s the quick answer:  YES and NO.  

Obviously, management buy-in is critical and exponentially increases the chances for successful implementation.   By far, the most critical mistake companies make is not having Leadership Buy-in.  It is vital they know what Lean Six Sigma is, what it can do for them and what their role should be within the process.

But, what if you can’t get the top dogs to buy-in?  Don’t underestimate the power of passion.  We’re all familiar with the concept.  There’s that person in your department or on your team who is not a manager.  However, they have tremendously persuasive abilities.  If that person becomes committed and passionate about what Lean Six Sigma can do for their company, there is still a chance for success.  Here’s how: Identify a pilot LSS project that meets the following criteria:

  • The project addresses the organization’s most critical needs.
  • The project scope has a defined beginning and ending. 
  • The project can be completed within 3-6 months.
  • A measurement system for the project already exists.
  • The team working on the project has autonomy to make changes. 

The success of this pilot can then be used to gain leadership buy-in and will hopefully get a snow ball effect going.  Naturally, this will depend on several factors: the size of the department, access to quality trainers/training, motivation of team members, etc. 

It’s not optimal, but it’s possible.

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What are some common problems people make when embarking on a LSS project?

  • Having worked with hundreds of companies, our consultants have encountered many commonly occurring problems. Examples of these problems are: selecting the wrong project, the project scope is too large, the team doesn't’t have the authority to make changes in the process and low team attendance at LSS project team meetings.
  • Learn more about the 7 Lessons Learned from Past Lean Six Sigma Projects. 

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I heard that Lean Six Sigma is all about statistics. Is that true?

  • Lean Six Sigma does not require a Ph.D. in statistics.  In fact, the most powerful ideas come directly from front line employees.  They have the greatest knowledge about the system in need of repair.  They often just need the empowerment to make the necessary changes.  Most of the improvements are driven by the use of four non-statistical tools.
  • Learn more about the 4 Statistical Tools used in Lean Six Sigma Projects. 

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What is the role of leadership in a Lean Six Sigma project?

The role of the leader is to:

  • Set the course for improvement activities
  • Provide training and mentorship
  • Support the teams as they implement their solutions.

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How much time is required to do a Lean Six Sigma project?

This is hard to predict as some projects can be 1-day while others might take 6-9 months. The average amount of time required is 3 months.

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Will the time required to do Lean Six Sigma be in addition to my current duties?

Yes. However, as you will find the amount of effort put into LSS improvement or standardization activities reduces wasteful work, thus freeing up time to focus on only value added activity. Ultimately, you will save time. 

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If we do Lean Six Sigma, will people be laid off?

No! This is a common misconception about Lean Six Sigma.  In truth, the opposite occurs.  LSS is about improving products and services – thereby, increasing growth.

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