A prospective client recently asked for help in making the logical case for Lean Six Sigma. Here are the major points to be made, in my opinion:
So...if ad hoc methods don't work, what's the alternative?
How about: organized improvement efforts that are customer‐focused, methodical, informed by data, and supported by capable (trained) people and engaged leadership?
That's what Lean Six Sigma is.
The name is not important — call it whatever you want: Operational Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Process Excellence, etc. What's important is the combination of: organizational structure, project identification, an architecture of project management that drives critical thinking (DMAIC), the right analytical tools, sound methods, the right people, and leadership support.
Lean Six Sigma has been proven to work for decades.
There is no instant pudding, and LSS needs to be properly executed. Those that have not executed properly have failed with LSS, so it's not automatic. You can think of accounting methods in the same vein: when properly applied, they work, but they can be improperly applied. The failure of Enron is not an indictment of accounting, only a failure of leadership.
Feel the same way? Think differently? I invite you to join the conversation by logging in and leaving your comments below.
P.S. — Here's a related blog post on what NOT to do when implementing a Lean Six Sigma program: Top Ten Lean Six Sigma Deployment Errors