Lean and Six Sigma principles have been applied to businesses from every industry, reducing inefficiencies and improving the way their processes operate. Originally developed by the large-scale manufacturing sector, Lean Six Sigma has now found success in a range of industries, improving processes and reducing organisational waste. No matter the industry your business is in, Lean Six Sigma is a fantastic way of improving customer satisfaction and outcomes.
For some organisations, it can prove a challenge to successfully implement process improvement initiatives. To ensure the best chance of making lasting change, it is important to make sure your business is ready to invest its effort.
Be Sure You Need Lean Six Sigma
Before you do anything else, you need to ask whether there is a strong basis for applying Lean Six Sigma in your organisation. Process improvement is an investment. The ultimate goal is to reduce waste and excess, but it takes time and resources to identify problems and implement solutions that will ultimately improve the business.
Investing in Lean Six Sigma may be a good idea for companies that see common problems or who regularly receive negative feedback from customers, employees and other stakeholders. Otherwise, decision-makers and team leaders may be able to provide insight on strategic-level problems that are overdue for improvement. Wherever the feedback comes from, be sure that Lean Six Sigma has a place in your business and can offer real value to your bottom line.
Make Lean Six Sigma a Core Part of Your Business
Lean and Six Sigma principles are a long term strategy and not a short term fix. Implementing process improvement takes consistent effort from everyone in the organisation, not just your Lean Six Sigma champions. Incorporating Lean Six Sigma into your core goals and strategies helps all employees keep an eye on organisational changes. Encouraging your employees to apply the philosophies into their day-to-day work is the best way of ensuring your business succeeds at implementing Lean Six Sigma and that everyone understands project goals.
Support Process Improvement from the Top
Process improvement comes from the top of an organisation. Teams that are involved in applying Lean Six Sigma need the ability to make real and lasting changes to the business.
While your process improvement team does not necessarily need to include upper management or senior executives, the team does require full support from those parts of the business. Supporting the process from the top may also include involving senior management and executives in Lean Six Sigma training, even where they are not directly involved in projects. Offering high-level managers a better understanding of the principles and tools involved will often help them make more informed decisions.
Train Lean Six Sigma Champions First
Implementing organisational changes is much simpler when all employees are behind the shift. Making process improvement an organisational goal is a great way of involving everyone in the company, but it is likely impractical to train every employee at the same time. To begin making a change, train Lean Six Sigma champions before anyone else. Selecting team leaders, managers and organisational decision-makers for training puts Lean Six Sigma in the hands of people who have the ability to make real, visible improvements. Find those who are most interested in leading the change and make them your Lean Six Sigma champions. Champions can effect change and demonstrate the value of the tools and processes involved in Lean and Six Sigma among their internal networks.
Ready to Implement Lean Six Sigma? Contact Thornley Group Today!
When your company is ready to implement Lean Six Sigma, Thornley Group is here to help. Our range of Lean and Six Sigma training programs are designed to train and upskill process improvement professionals and provide the optimisation your business needs to thrive. Contact our team today for more information or to book your next certification.