January 7th, 2022 | by Gordon_Digital
Lean and Six Sigma principles got their start in manufacturing businesses. They were used to improve the quality of products and reduce inefficiencies, resulting in happier customers, safer employees and improved turnover for companies. Since then, Lean Six Sigma has been applied in almost every industry. The systems it provides help businesses improve what they do, and that represents a major opportunity for the accounting and finance departments that keep our companies afloat. With all the challenges that come along with managing money, there are often plenty of opportunities to apply Lean Six Sigma to your finance departments, improving their productivity and the business’s bottom line.
Using Lean Six Sigma in Finance
Finance departments of organisations are often businesses that have a large number of moving parts. The complexity of the work and its reliance on the expertise of the employees mean it is often difficult to define processes and make improvements that reduce costs and inefficiencies.
Lean Six Sigma teachings provide practitioners with the right tools to help them define finance processes, break them down into stages and then assess those steps for inefficiencies. It can be difficult to effect change to an accounting system that requires a large amount of human input, so defining the process is the most important stage of your Lean Six Sigma project. Identifying each step and breaking down its role in the process is the best way to find slowdowns and bottlenecks and then develop a plan to resolve them.
Defining Your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Knowing how to measure your results is the key to success when applying Lean Six Sigma principles. Since finance can be a complicated discipline that relies heavily on its human element, measuring the effects of your projects is difficult. The ideal KPI is one that generates meaningful, measurable data that can then be used to evaluate the results of the project. KPIs should be detailed and concrete, making them easier to track, less prone to change throughout the project and less dependent on the interpretation of individual process managers.
Measuring the Benefits
In most cases, process improvement teams will find that the best measure for improving finance processes is monetary. Since the department usually isn’t directly related to the quality of products or services provided to clients, inefficient processes typically result in costly wasted time, bottlenecks or double handling. The main benefits of applying Lean Six Sigma to your finances is likely to be measured as one of the following:
- Cost reduction. Improving the bottom line is a key motivator for many process improvement professionals. Inefficiencies express themselves as costs to the business, especially in the form of excess wages, lost productivity or lost opportunities for business.
- Improved work capacity. Inefficient processes present as unnecessary work or reduced productivity for teams. Eliminating time and process wastage from your finance teams is likely to improve their capacity and productivity, which will be simple to measure as a function of how much work they are completing, or how long each step of the process requires. Improving your teams’ work capacity not only results in more productivity for less effort, but it also frees up time to help the business pursue new goals, such as taking on new clients or developing new products.
- Revenue changes. You can measure the result of your Lean Six Sigma projects through changes to revenue. Growing revenues are an obvious choice, but you may also choose to measure metrics such as client retention, lifespan or total spend.
Applying Lean Six Sigma to Your Business’ Finance
With a stronger bottom line and fewer inefficiencies, Lean Six Sigma has a lot to offer to every corner of your business. Keeping your financial situation stable is important, no matter the industry you’re in, and a process improvement project is one of the best ways of eliminating waste in your business. The Lean Six Sigma courses offered by Thornley Group are an excellent opportunity to give your managers the tools they need to make improvements. Get in touch with us today for more information or to book your next certification.
January 7th, 2022 | by Gordon_Digital
Businesses all over the world suffer from costly inefficiencies. Lean and Six Sigma teachings provide a framework and dozens of tools for identifying and solving those problems at an organisational level. But, whichever tools your process improvement teams want to use, great leadership is the common factor.
Without capable executives, process improvement projects would be likely to stall or fail to meet their objectives, which is why management skills form a major part of Lean Six Sigma training.
Lean Six Sigma is not only a fantastic tool for businesses and teams wanting to take control of process improvement, it’s a system that can help professionals, managers and corporations to develop leadership roadmaps that further careers and encourage organisational leaders to realise their potential.
What is a Leadership Roadmap?
In the same way that you plot out business projects and processes ahead of time, a leadership roadmap is a strategic plan designed to guide the long-term development of organisational managers and leaders. This provides a framework for individuals to structure their careers around, helps them define their goals as leaders and take a more active hand in making the changes they envision.
At an organisational level, a leadership roadmap can be used to plot out the internal development of team members and managers. A roadmap can be used to encourage your best employees to fulfil their potential and meet the needs of the business as it grows and changes.
Leadership Through Lean Six Sigma
Solid leadership is king in the process improvement world. Without it, projects fail, or they quickly lose focus and become ineffective or incapable of changing a business on a meaningful scale. Because process improvement relies so heavily on the executives who take a hand in projects, much of Lean Six Sigma revolves around developing and utilising leadership skills.
One of the simplest ways to apply Lean Six Sigma to your leadership roadmap is to borrow from its central principles: define your goals, demonstrate how they can be achieved and measure your results. The more specific you can be about your metrics and the results you can produce for the business, the more applicable the leadership roadmap will become for your career.
Planning for the Future
A leadership roadmap is a long-term plan. Whether you are professional planning your own development or an organisation looking to promote the employees who show potential, the effects will reach far into the future. Lean Six Sigma training is broken down into convenient levels that can be taken on as people reach certain markers in their leadership roadmap. Green Belt training is typically reserved for professionals who lead process improvement teams, Yellow Belts are for team leaders and managers, and Black Belts are for executive or organisational leaders with the means to make strategic business improvements. With that in mind, a leadership roadmap can bring you back to Lean Six Sigma training at the appropriate points in your career. Not only is training good for process improvement teams, but each Belt also provides further leadership training that can be used to refine management progression and goals. There are few systems that are more effective for teaching leadership skills and how to apply them than Lean Six Sigma, and it should play an important role in your leadership roadmap.
Plotting a Leadership Roadmap? Contact Thornley Group Today!
Lean Six Sigma helps professionals from every industry to develop their skills and become more effective managers. If your leadership roadmap calls for more training, please feel free to get in touch with Thornley Group today. We would be happy to supply more information and help you book your next certification.
December 1st, 2021 | by Gordon_Digital
Businesses all over the world suffer from the unnecessary expense and holdups associated with operational inefficiencies. Poor communication, ineffective structures, problems with manufacturing and complicated project life cycles all contribute to wasted effort and money. As such, many businesses can benefit from the direction of a skilled process improvement professional.
Lean Six Sigma is designed as a program that helps businesses train their leaders and process improvement teams to deliver positive change in their organisations. A stronger bottom line, happier customers and satisfied employees are just a few of the benefits of applying Lean and Six Sigma teachings to your business.
Our Yellow Belt course is designed to introduce your teams to Lean Six Sigma, and if you would like to improve your business’ efficiency it is an excellent starting point.
Who Should Become a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt
While Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt classes are an effective introduction to Six Sigma and Lean concepts, the course is primarily designed to provide a mid-level understanding of the tools and techniques involved. For that reason, Yellow Belt courses are most effective when they are delivered to professionals with a dedicated interest in process improvement.
Properly applying the techniques involved is best done by team members, team leaders and organisational managers with the power to make real changes through their projects. Regardless, courses offer a warm welcome to employees at all levels of seniority and to professionals wanting to kickstart or further their process improvement careers.
Ultimately, Yellow Belts can expect to take part in process improvement projects or champion process improvement teams, offering support while taking direction from Lean Six Sigma Black Belts.
What Does Training Involve?
Suitable for professionals who are involved in process improvement or who are senior stakeholders in the outcomes, Yellow Belt training is a comprehensive look at Six Sigma and Lean principles.
Attendees are introduced to the discipline from the first principles. Classes include modules that cover what Lean Six Sigma entails, its history, and the tools and methodologies involved in making improvements. As part of the course, students also receive in-depth instruction on how to set project goals and measure the results with help from teammates and direction from leaders. We cover dozens of different methodologies that can be used to help Yellow Belts approach their projects and measure results, and we provide pathways to achieving the outcomes you want.
Can Anyone Become a Yellow Belt?
While Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt courses deliver in-depth instruction on the relevant tools and methodologies, there are no prerequisites for becoming a Yellow Belt. Anyone who would like to better their management skills or pursue further education in the process improvement field is welcome to attend a Yellow Belt course.
Everything you need to know to get started on projects is included in the course, from defining projects to measuring results, as well as the tools you will need along the way.
Looking for a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Course? Contact Thornley Group Today!
If you are ready to further your skills and provide an increased range of support to your business process improvement teams, a Yellow Belt course is for you. Please feel free to get in touch with Thornley Group today if you would like more information or want to book your training and certification.
November 23rd, 2021 | by Gordon_Digital
For hundreds of years, businesses all over the world have been chasing better results and improved performance.
Far too many of us accept inefficiencies, or we write them off as a cost of doing business because we know it can be difficult to change the status quo and generate sustainable improvements. Lean Six Sigma challenges that mindset and offers a range of tools and methodologies to help businesses from all industries improve the performance of their teams.
Busting inefficiencies and reducing errors have the potential to bring widespread improvements to any organisation. For that, we’re going to take a closer look at how Lean Six Sigma can help your business reduce deadweight and carry out its spring cleaning.
Cut back on costly inefficiencies
When a business is hurting, operational inefficiencies are often to blame.
It’s easy for inefficiencies to accumulate quickly. A holdup in communication in one area can lead to a slow down in production somewhere else, and ultimately everyone involved gets less work done. Before you know it, inefficiencies become entrenched methodologies, and staff continue to work the hard way because “that’s how it has always been done.”
A Lean Six Sigma certification teaches businesses how to identify and analyse their processes and then make measurable, sustainable improvements. Establishing new systems that help guide your staff can have far-reaching benefits for your employees, customers and the bottom line. Wasting less time and money on double handling, poor client communication and badly structured tasks means a more successful organisation overall.
Improved employee satisfaction and retention
As much as some employees may find themselves resistant to change, productive teams are happy teams. Kicking goals and finishing projects together helps team members bond with one another and offers a sense of achievement that can improve workplace culture, performance and mood.
Lean Six Sigma teaches managers to help employees streamline and rationalise tasks, reducing the frustration and headaches that normally come along with working inefficiencies. Empowering your staff to work smartly and reach measurable goals improves their long-term satisfaction, which can have the knock-on effect of reducing staff turnover.
Form better relationships with your clients
You guessed it! Businesses that perform better internally can also expect a boost in their approval rate with clients. Not only are your teams equipped to produce better work in a more cost-effective way, but Lean Six Sigma tools will also drastically improve your communication and the overall look and feel of your business.
Since reducing inefficiencies will often mean spending more time in contact with your customers, building rapport between staff and clients becomes simpler. And applying these tools to your business premises will result in a tidier and more professional looking building. Imagine the boost in a customer’s first impression when they come into your office to find it looking tidy, functional and ready to perform.
Don’t forget, happy customers are the lifeblood of what most businesses do, and positive word of mouth is still one of the best ways for an organisation to promote itself.
Sustainable changes for long-term success
Facing up to the inefficiencies and deadweight in your business can be a daunting task. Employees can be reluctant to change or slow to adapt to new ideas, and new habits can be difficult to sustain in those environments.
The tools offered as part of Lean Six Sigma training help managers make changes that are sustainable. It’s great to find and fix problems and see those short term improvements, but the true benefit to businesses lies in the long-term: how much better could your business perform in a five-year span if the changes you made became permanent? Lean Six Sigma makes it possible to enact change that will be around for the long term and to continually review and improve your systems to avoid sliding back into old habits.
Need corporate Lean Six Sigma Training? Contact Thornley Group today!
Thornley Group is an industry-leading training and consulting organisation bringing Lean Six Sigma to businesses all over Australia. Our courses not only equip your staff to perform better, but they also help managers cultivate their ability to lead and build the skills to enact positive changes. Contact us today to discuss our certifications and training and find out how we can help your business.
November 23rd, 2021 | by Gordon_Digital
Operational inefficiencies and waste present a major hurdle for businesses all over the world. Precious time and resources are wasted on unnecessary handling, delays and poor communication that could be avoided with the help of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Implementing large-scale improvements to business processes can be a daunting task, especially where managers and team leaders are under-equipped to enact real change. Lean Six Sigma offers a range of tools and methodologies that aim to empower business leaders to take charge of their own teams, reducing wasted effort and improving productivity, morale, client satisfaction and profit across the board.
If you or your organisation are interested in the improvements these tools can offer, then a Black Belt certification may be right for you.
Who Is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Training For?
Lean Six Sigma training, such as that delivered by Thornley Group, comes in the shape of Yellow Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt certifications.
Each level of training is oriented around the functions your employees perform. Yellow Belt training is designed for team members at all levels of seniority, Green Belt is designed for project and team leaders and Black Belt is for those looking to mentor Green Belts and deliver strategic-level process improvement. In short, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is an improvement team and project leader, often with the authority to deliver large-scale process improvements and administer teams of Green and Yellow Belts.
A Black Belt is a high-level certification best utilised by an organisation’s leaders and managers with significant power to affect change over the projects they are managing. If you are a process improvement expert or aspirant, Black Belt training can open new doors for your career, with Lean Six Sigma teachings being broadly applicable and recognised in almost every industry.
What Does Black Belt Training Involve?
As the most advanced level of Lean Six Sigma training we offer, Black Belt training includes intensive learning to further the concepts included in our Green Belt course.
Our classes build on the central DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) and Lean principles covered in earlier courses, and deliver in-depth instruction on how to apply those tools to process improvement teams and projects.
The course includes study and instruction which covers dozens of Lean Six Sigma tools. Participants will expand their knowledge and learn further leadership skills, as well as develop their ability to analyse a business, identify inefficiencies and problems, plan improvements and implement sustainable changes on a strategic level.
What Are The Prerequisites To Become A Black Belt?
Due to the high-level nature of the Black Belt course, it can only be delivered to those who already hold a Green Belt certification.
Black Belt instruction relies heavily on participants having a thorough working knowledge of Lean and Six Sigma principles. It is also recommended that aspiring Black Belts have hands-on experience in managing and delivering improvement projects. While there are no requirements for Black Belts to be business leaders or managers, the course is intended for those with the authority to make real and lasting changes from their role. A Black Belt is most effective when they have the power to identify and correct organisational issues, as well as the freedom to mentor teams of Green and Yellow Belts working under their instruction.
As statistical analysis forms a significant part of more advanced Lean and Six Sigma training, you will need a solid grasp of mathematics and algebra before attending.
Ready To Become A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt? Speak To Thornley Group Today!
If you are an aspiring Green Belt, or a business leader interested in upskilling your process improvement teams, Thornley Group offers accredited Black Belt training that can deliver real change and increased productivity for your organisation. Contact us to discuss our training options and book your Black Belt certification today.