Everything C Level Executive Needs to Know About Lean Six Sigma in 670 words
Given my 20-year experiences working with C-level champions, there is certain critical information these executives tend to want know about when considering Lean Six Sigma (LSS). This blog describes everything that a C level executive needs to know about LSS to be successful, and it is as follows:
Definition of Lean Six Sigma in 60 words or Less
Lean Six Sigma is the combination of two well established process improvement frameworks that, when implemented, result in improved cost, quality and time to produce and or deliver services. This is accomplished through 1) the reduction and or elimination of process waste such as duplication, rework etc and 2) the elimination of the causes of process errors and business process variation.
The Benefits of Lean Six Sigma
Organizations that implement Lean Six Sigma can expect dramatic improvements in: 1) the time to deliver service or produce products, 2) the quality of services/products, 3) lowering costs, 4) client satisfaction, retention, and growth, 5) employee satisfaction, productivity and engagement, and 6) strategic focus
Who has implemented Lean Six Sigma and What Results Have Been Realized?
Lean Six Sigma has been implemented by organizations, such as 3M, Amazon, General Electric, Home Depot, Xerox, the US army, Marine Corps and Navy, Canada Post. General Electric claimed 2.5 billion dollars in annual benefits, Motorola saved 16 billion over 11 years, Honeywell saved 1.87 billion over 3 years, and Ford saved 1 billion over 2 years through the implementation of Lean and/or Six Sigma.
How Long will it take to implement Lean Six Sigma?
It typically takes 12 to 18 months to implement Lean Six Sigma however, the faster that you can move from a project phase to full implementation the better.
What is expected from me (C Level Executive)?
Your role as a champion (C level executive) and leader in these projects is to motivate all people in the organization to take this transformation journey. You must create a sense of urgency and priority for such a project. You must communicate what the transformation project will mean to employees and what it will mean to them at a personal level.
You should also be involved in selecting the senior resources who will be responsible for leading the Lean Six Sigma project. The resource should be influential, results oriented, be trust worthy and be accountable.
Finally we often hear that projects fail because of a lack of management support; however, I found that the C level executives who are able to give some personal commitment to the project serves as a catalyst for the project’s success. My definition of personal commitment is that the C-level executive wholeheartedly believes in the cause, is willing to put to take some risk in exchange for the expected benefits resulted from the Lean Sigma initiative, and is fully engaged to the extent that they should be.
What will be the most challenging aspect of implementing Lean Six Sigma?
Change management or developing the change model will be the most challenging part of Implementing Lean Six Sigma. You will be asking employees at all levels to change the way they are accustomed to doing work and this will not be an easy task. In addition, resistance from employees may come in many forms, some will be obvious and some might be passive, which is much harder to detect and manage.
Therefore it is critical the person you select to lead the project has to be someone who you trust to be able to manage this resistance and know that they do not have hidden agendas or in some cases are a passive resistor themselves.
In addition I believe it will be critically important to have employees engaged in the project. This concept is is further emphasized in a Harvard Business Review Blog a thttp://blogs.hbr.org/hmu/2010/06/making-your-strategy-work-on-t.html .
In this blog I have provided you some of the questions I am asked from C level executives when discussing Lean Six Sigma and some possible answers. If you are a C Level executive considering implementing a Lean Six Sigma what other questions would you like answered? Please share your answers with me.
Learn how we saved an organization millions of dollars and improved performance by 80%
More Valuable Resources
The following URLs provide great additional information on Lean 6 Sigma
Toppazzini and Lee Consulting Lean 6 Sigma Consulting at -Lean Six Sigma Consulting
Linkedin Six Sigma Group at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=37987&trk=anet_ug_hm
ISixSigma web site at www.isixsigma.com
ASQ web site at www.asq.org