The world is evolving at an increasingly fast pace. This has created a need for streamlining all kinds of business processes. Businesses have multiple processes going on simultaneously. Therefore, all the activities must be in sync with each other. Lean Six Sigma is one such methodology that will help you in achieving the business goals you have. Companies are moving towards automation. Robots are now coming into the picture for performing factory operations. However, to program the robots in a way that they help in the elimination of waste, you need a Lean Six Sigma certification. The certification will give you an insight into what manufacturing wastes are and how the removal of a particular step using robots will add value to the company and the entire manufacturing process.
What is Lean Methodology?
The Lean method adds to the efficiency of the business. Lean provides a systematic approach to eliminating tasks and activities that do not add value to a particular business process. It is based on the idea of eliminating wasteful steps that are involved in any kind of process. The main focus of the lean methodology is to focus on all the value-rich activities of the business.
How does the Lean Methodology help businesses?
The Lean methodology provides multiple benefits to any business-oriented process. Some of these benefits are:
- Reduces the cycle time of the processes involved.
- Improves the delivery time of products and services.
- Eliminates any kinds of defects that might hamper the process.
- Optimises the level of inventories in warehouses.
- Allows better allocation of resources and manpower to various processes.
- Eliminates all kinds of inefficiencies hampering the process that is essential to the business.
- Helps in communicating the necessary changes and aligning the people working for the organisation.
- Allows a company to stay agile in a dynamic business environment by staying flexible and becoming adaptable.
- Eases the process of implementation of several cutting-edge technologies in the organisation.
The main idea of the Lean methodology is eliminating waste wherever possible to optimise business processes.
What is Six Sigma?
The Six Sigma method makes use of a data-driven approach to solving problems. The method makes use of the available data to bring in relevant process variations. These process variations aim to improve the level of customer satisfaction. Also, the application of the Six Sigma method is to make any process about 99.9% free of defects. Six Sigma brings a structure to the process of problem-solving. The method makes use of the DMAIC framework.
The DMAIC Framework
There are 5 basic stages involved in the DMAIC framework. These are Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control.
- Define: This step involves outlining all the objectives of a particular project. It is important to define the objectives of any business process, and this can be achieved by laying down a project charter. A business charter includes the following aspects of the business:
- The Business Case
- The Problem Statement
- The Scope of the project
- The Resources available
- The timelines of different stages of a process
- The possible benefits
- The goals that have to be achieved.
What is Lean Six Sigma?
The Lean Six Sigma method is a broader approach that helps to tackle process difficulties and minimise defects. It is a philosophy of improvement which is both fact-based as well as data-driven. The value that drives Lean Six Sigma is the prevention of defects, unlike the other methods that focus on detecting defects and then solving these defects.
Lean Six Sigma aims at satisfying the customers by bringing a reduction in variation, cycle time, and the waste generated by particular processes. The method also encourages the standardisation of the work and flow of processes to achieve or gain a competitive advantage. The process involves all employees and places where there are even slight chances of any kind of variations or waste.
Lean Six Sigma is a combination of the Lean and the Six Sigma method. The elements of Lean Six Sigma focus on reducing the wastes related to processes. On the other hand, Six Sigma focuses on the reduction of variation in the processes. Both of these processes together become Lean Six Sigma which focuses on improving the process efficiency as well as the quality.
The concept & roots of Lean Six Sigma come from the idea of bringing about transformation in business processes by bringing a stop to process variations as well as process defects. More organisations have started using this to bring about business and operational efficiency as well as improvements.
Even with robots taking over the manufacturing process, someone needs to monitor the inefficiencies in the manufacturing process. There can be several bottlenecks in the manufacturing line which can be noticed by someone who knows about the process. This knowledge will come from a Lean Sigma certification. Robots can perform the activity but are currently incapable of measuring any kind of deviation. Therefore, a certification will hold relevance even if robots take over the entire manufacturing process.
Elements of Lean Six Sigma
There are majorly 3 elements of Lean Six Sigma. They are:
- Customers: The product or the solution provided by any business is finally experienced by the end customers. Consumers have now become a major driving force of economies. They want businesses to support them throughout the product experience. Making processes more consumer-centric is the essence of the Lean Six Sigma method.
- Processes: There is an urgent need for all businesses to define a process value chain. Lean Six Sigma focuses on producing quality output. It also emphasises improving the value chain to deliver the best results in a limited timeframe.
- Employees: Employees are the backbone of any organisation. Lean Six Sigma aims to change things on a grassroots level, and this can only be done if all the company stakeholders are on board.
There are several Lean Six Sigma certifications available on both online and offline resources. Make sure you get certified to become an expert in the domain and understand the process from all angles and levels.
Benefits of Lean Six Sigma
There are several benefits of Lean Six Sigma. Some of them are:
- Makes business scalable.
- Facilitates implementation of new technology.
- Improves the brand value of the company.
There are several other benefits too. The implementation also helps in developing talents across functions within the organisation.
Lean Six Sigma certification levels
The Lean Six Sigma method follows a coloured belt system where each belt is a different tier acting as a level of certification. These belts form a hierarchy, and they can be achieved in the following order:
- Lean Six Sigma white belt
The white belt certification provides an overview of what Lean Six Sigma is and the functional concepts used while implementing the method. It’s more of an overview of things.
- Lean Six Sigma yellow belt
Here, you will learn the specifics of the process. This level focuses on the specifics of how the model works and its application in modern workplaces. You learn the implementation of the process at this level.
- Lean Six Sigma green belt
The green level focuses on advanced techniques of optimising processes. Advanced analysis is conducted to come up with a resolution to several quality improvement projects. People with this certification manage projects at companies.
- Lean Six Sigma black belt
A black belt in Lean Six Sigma suggests that you are a subject matter expert. With this certification, you will become an agent of change, driving the process and optimising resources.
- Lean Six Sigma Master black belt
The master black belt level is the top tier of the levels of Lean Sigma. You are now at the top of the entire mechanism, and you can now drive the functioning of Lean Six Sigma. You can become an extensive leader with a broad knowledge base once you get this certification.
- Is Lean and Six Sigma the same?
No, Lean and Six Sigma are not the same concepts. Lean focuses on the efficiency of processes by finding and then reducing defects. On the other hand, Six Sigma focuses on improving quality by reducing the changes in the variable factors of the business processes.
- How useful is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma is a mix of both Lean and Six Sigma. It uses techniques that are essential in making several business processes more effective and efficient. Therefore, it has proved itself to be of great utility when it comes to process optimisation. Also, customer-centricity and quality improvement form the base of Lean Six Sigma making it more relevant for organisations.
Which Lean Six Sigma certification is best?
Several organisations offer certifications and training in Lean Six Sigma. You can choose a programme that meets all your requirements. You can check out courses online and decide one based on the course offerings.