Lean and Six Sigma methodologies are stand-alone tools and have been implemented in isolation by many businesses in the past. But there have been recent shift in the paradigm, as more and more businesses are implementing the integrated approach. The aim of this study is to understand the concept of lean and Six Sigma as a combined approach an also to investigate the advantages and the probable challenges in implementing lean Six Sigma in both manufacturing and service industry.
Businesses are always looking out for the ways to improve their bottom line. Business improvement methodology has been constantly developing from the last century (Snee, 2004). While businesses have always ventured for improvement, but improvement as we think about it today, began with the seminal work of Taylor (1911) on scientific management. Among various process improvement methodologies, Six Sigma and lean are considered as the best methodologies widely used by various industries and are currently referred to as state of the art. But, there is a drawback in applying only one of the two methodologies alone, as the continuous improvement may have the deficiency of being slow. In the next section we would discuss the concepts of Six Sigma and lean.
Concepts of Lean and Six Sigma
The six sigma methodology is founded by Motorola and is a well disciplined and structured approach to enhance process performance and to obtain high levels of quality and low levels of variability. A six sigma process is expected to be statistically 99.99966% free of defects i.e, it aims for reduced defect rate of 3.4 per million opportunity (Brady and Allen, 2006). The Six Sigma approach starts with the identification of the need for an improvement initiative.
The lean methodology founded by Toyota help organizations to achieve on time delivery of the right quality and quantity to satisfy customers (Salah et al. 2010). Lean helps in eliminating waste, variation and work imbalance. Waste not only includes unnecessarily long cycle times, or waiting times between value-added activities but also include rework or scrap, which are often the result of excess variability, so there is an apparent connection between Six Sigma and lean.
Lean Six Sigma
The phrase lean Six Sigma (LSS) is used to describe the integration of lean and Six Sigma philosophies (Sheridan, 2000). Figure 1 shows how lean and Six Sigma can be integrated for process efficiency and effectiveness. According to Bendell (2006), the concept of LSS as an approach to process improvement is yet to fully mature as an area of academic research. Smith (2003) has argued that the majority of the efforts to implement LSS comprehensively in organizations have not been realized to its full potential. Specifically, in case of fusing lean and Six Sigma, the two approaches are often been implemented in isolation (Smith, 2003). This has produced subcultures of lean and Six Sigma in an organization, which can cause a conflict of interest and drainage of resources (Bendell, 2006).
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more