Lean Six Sigma For Dummies

Lean Six Sigma For Dummies
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Become a process improvement star with Lean Six Sigma!  Thinking Lean? Not in terms of weight loss, but operational efficiency? Then you can get into the Lean mindset with  Lean Six Sigma For Dummies . A popular process improvement strategy used in many corporations, Lean Six Sigma exemplifies eliminating waste and optimizing flow at an operational level. With the strategies outlined in this book, you’ll have your projects, team, and maybe even your organization running at peak efficiency.  Written by two experts that have been teaching Lean Six Sigma for over 20 years,  Lean Six Sigma For Dummies  explains the jargon surrounding this organizational practice, outlines the key principles of both Lean thinking and the Six Sigma process, and breaks it all down into easy-to-follow steps.  Use Lean Six Sigma to develop a culture of continuous improvement Complete repetitive tasks through robotic process automation Assess how well your company and employees adapt to Lean Six Sigma Discover tips on how to implement Lean Six Sigma every day Find best practices to sustain ongoing improvements With handy checklists and helpful advice,  Lean Six Sigma For Dummies  shows you how to implement Lean Six Sigma in any industry, within any size organization. Pick up your copy to successfully lean into the Lean Six Sigma mindset yourself.


Martin Brenig-Jones. Lean Six Sigma For Dummies

Lean Six Sigma For Dummies® To view this book's Cheat Sheet, simply go to www.dummies.com and search for “Lean Six Sigma For Dummies Cheat Sheet” in the Search box. Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Illustrations




About This Book

Foolish Assumptions

Icons Used In This Book

Beyond This Book

Where to Go From Here

Understanding Lean Six Sigma

Defining Lean Six Sigma

Introducing Lean Thinking

Bringing on the basics of Lean

Building people first

Looking at the lingo

Taking the strain out of constraints

Considering the customer

Perusing the principles of Lean thinking

Sussing Six Sigma

Considering the key elements of Six Sigma

Getting to grips with variation

Introducing a simple example

Considering customer requirements

Calculating Process Sigma values

Bringing Lean and Six Sigma together

Adding More to the Mix

Managing change

Applying Agility

Employing innovation

Practicing Project Management

Understanding the Principles of Lean Six Sigma

Considering the Key Principles of Lean Six Sigma

Focus on the customer

Identify and understand how the work gets done

Manage, improve and smooth the process flow

Remove non-value-adding steps and waste

Manage by fact and reduce variation

Involve and equip the people in the process

Undertake improvement activity in a systematic way

Improving Existing Processes: Introducing DMAIC

Defining your project

Outlining the problem

Framing the scope

Measuring how the work is done

Analyzing your process

Improving your process

Coming up with a control plan

Reviewing Your DMAIC Phases

Taking a Pragmatic Approach


Lean Six Sigma Foundations

Identifying Your Process Customers

Understanding the Process Basics

Pinpointing the elements of a process

Identifying internal and external customers

Getting a High-Level Picture

Drawing a high-level process map

Segmenting customers

Understanding Your Customers’ Needs

Considering Kano

Obtaining the Voice of the Customer

Taking an outside-in view

Seeing customer segments

Prioritizing your customers

Researching the Requirements

Interviewing your customers

Focusing on focus groups

Considering customer surveys

Using observations

Avoiding Bias

Considering Critical To Quality Customer Requirements

Establishing the Real CTQs

Prioritizing the requirements

Measuring performance using customer-focused measures

Understanding the Process

Finding Out How the Work Gets Done


Practicing Process Stapling


Drawing spaghetti diagrams

Painting a Picture of the Process

Keeping things simple

Developing a deployment flowchart

Constructing a Value Stream Map

Identifying moments of truth

Managing People and Change

Getting into the Grey Matter

Gaining Acceptance

Sizing Up the Status Quo

Using a forcefield diagram

Analyzing your stakeholders

Coping with Change

Creating the Vision

Busting Assumptions

Understanding Performance and Analyzing the Process

Gathering Data

Managing by Fact

Realizing the importance of good data

Reviewing what you currently measure

Deciding what to measure

Developing a Data Collection Plan

Step 1: Agreeing on the measures

Getting a balance of measures

Connecting things up

Step 2: Creating clear operational definitions

Step 3: Validating your measurement system

Step 4: Developing the Sampling Plan

Population sampling

Process sampling

Determining the sample size

Sampling from a finite population

Step 5: Collecting the data

Identifying ways to improve your approach

Presenting Your Data

Delving into Different Types of Variation

Understanding natural variation

Spotlighting special cause variation

Distinguishing between variation types

Avoiding tampering

Displaying data differently

Recognizing the Importance of Control Charts

Creating a control chart

Spotting special causes

Choosing the right control chart

Examining the state of your processes

Considering the capability of your processes

Handling a histogram

Using Pareto charts

Identifying Root Causes

Unearthing the Suspects

Generating Your List of Suspects

Creating a cause and effect diagram

Applying affinity mapping

Digging deeper with the Five Whys

Understanding the key drivers

Confirming the Causes

Investigating the suspects and getting the facts

Succeeding with scatter plots

Measuring the relationship between X and Y

Handling hypothesis tests

Moving on

Identifying Non-Value-Adding Steps and Waste

Defining Value-Adding

Providing a common definition

Carrying out a value-add/non-value-add analysis

Assessing opportunity

Looking at the Eight Wastes

Troubling over transportation

Investigating inventory

Moving in on motion

Playing the waiting game

Owning up to overproduction

Picking on overprocessing

Dealing with defects

Realizing the potential in people

Going greener with Lean Six Sigma

Considering customer perspectives

Going for a Waste Walk

Getting the Process to Flow

Applying the Theory of Constraints

Identifying the weakest link

Improving the process flow

Building a buffer

Managing the Production Cycle

Using pull rather than push production

Moving to single piece flow

Recognizing the problem with batches

Looking at Your Layout

Identifying wasted movement

Using cell manufacturing (a.k.a. autonomous working)

Applying cell manufacturing in the office

Identifying product families

Taking takt time into account

Improving and Innovating

Thinking Differently and Generating Solutions

Getting Immersed in Ideas

Showering and storming

Negative brainstorming

Using words and pictures


Identifying the attributes

Additional tools for idea generation


Prioritizing the Ideas

Feeling dotty with n/3

Using a criteria selection matrix

Testing the Ideas to See What Will Fly

Discovering the Opportunity for Prevention

Looking at Prevention Tools and Techniques

Introducing Jidoka

Recognizing risk with Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

Error proofing your processes

Workplace Organization

Introducing the Five Ss

Carrying out a red-tag exercise

Using Visual Management

Profiting from Preventive Maintenance

Avoiding Peaks and Troughs

Introducing Heijunka

Spreading the load

Carrying out work in a standard way

Building in Business Process Robotics

Introducing Design for Six Sigma

Introducing DfSS

Introducing DMADV

Defining What Needs Designing

Getting the measure of needs

Analyzing for design

Developing the detailed design

Verifying that the design works

Choosing between DMAIC and DMADV

Considering Quality Function Deployment (QFD)

Clarifying the floorplan

Room 1: Customer needs

Room 2: Prioritizing needs and looking at the competition

Room 3: Characteristics and measures

Room 4: Relationships

Room 5: Competitive benchmarking

Room 6: Targets and limits

Room 7: Correlation

Undertaking a QFD drill-down

Making Decisions

Discovering Design Thinking

The Principles of Design Thinking

Comparing DMADV and Design Thinking

Walking through the Design Thinking Steps

Understanding the task

Empathizing and observing

Redefining the problem

Finding ideas (ideation)

Designing prototypes

Testing ideas and assumptions

Deciding on Design Thinking

Applying Agile to Lean Six Sigma Projects

Understanding Agile Principles

Embracing an Agile Mindset

Succeeding in the Scrum

Understanding Agile roles

Scrum Master

Product Owner

Team members

Concentrating on customer requirements

Capitalizing on Kanbans

Combining Agile and Lean Six Sigma

Deploying Lean Six Sigma and Making Change Happen

Running Rapid Improvement Events and Solving Problems with DMAIC

Raving about Rapid Improvement

Understanding the Facilitator’s Role

Planning and preparation

Running the event

Following up and action planning

Creating a Checklist for Running Successful Events

Practicing Problem Solving

Ensuring Everyday Operational Excellence

Standardizing the Process

Perfecting the process handover

Populating the Process Management Chart

Making Everyday Operational Excellence a Reality

Embracing Leader Standard Work

Engaging the team

Using the right methodology

Creating a culture of Continuous Improvement

Understanding Organizational Culture

Leading the Deployment and Selecting the Right Projects

Considering Key Factors for Successful Deployment

Understanding Executive Sponsorship

Considering Size and Sector

Recognizing the Important Role of Managers

Introducing the Deployment Program Manager

Starting Your Lean Six Sigma Program

Understanding What Project Sponsors Do

Driving Strategy Deployment with Lean Six Sigma

Generating a List of Candidate Improvement Projects

Deciding Whether Lean Six Sigma Is the Right Approach

Prioritizing projects

Deciding on which approach fits which project

Setting Up a DMAIC Project

Putting It All Together: Checklists to Support Your DMAIC Project

Defining the Project

Delivering the Define phase

Getting through the Define phase tollgate

Moving into the Measure Phase

Making good on Measure phase deliverables

Getting through the Measure phase tollgate

Analyzing to Identify Root Causes

Acing the Analyze phase

Getting through the Analyze phase tollgate

Quantifying the Opportunity

Identifying and Planning the Improvements

Executing the Improve phase

Getting through the Improve phase tollgate

Confirming the Customer and Business Benefits

Implementing the Solutions and Controlling the Process

Completing the Control phase

Getting through the Control phase tollgate

Conducting the Final Benefit Review

The Part of Tens

Ten Tips for Best-Practice Project Storyboards

Keep It Brief

Make It Visual

Make It Flow

Weave the Story Together with a Golden Thread

Keep It Up to Date as You Go Along

Don't Forget the “Happily Ever After” Part

Keep It Simple

Develop a One-Page Summary

Reflect on the Lessons Learned

Share, Share, Share!

Ten Pitfalls to Avoid

Jumping to Solutions

Coming Down with Analysis Paralysis

Falling into Common Project Traps

Stifling the Program Before You’ve Started

Ignoring Change Management

Getting Complacent

Thinking That You’re Already Doing It

Believing the Myths

Doing the Wrong Things Right


Ten (Plus One) Places to Go for Help

Your Colleagues

Your Sponsor

Other Organizations

The Internet

Social Media

Networks and Associations





Statistical analysis


Deployment management

Online collaboration tools

Training and Consulting Companies

Index. A

























About the Authors

Authors' Acknowledgments


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Lean Six Sigma provides a rigorous and structured approach to help manage and improve quality and performance, and to solve potentially complex problems. It helps you use the right tools, in the right place and in the right way, not just in process improvement projects but also in your day-to-day work. Lean Six Sigma really is about getting key principles and concepts into the DNA and lifeblood of your organization so that it becomes a natural part of how you do things.

This book is for practitioners using Lean Six Sigma as well as those who are seeking to “lead and live” Lean Six Sigma in their organizations.


Throughout the book, you’ll see small symbols called icons in the margins; these highlight special types of information. We use these to help you better understand and apply the material. Look out for the following icons:

Keep your eyes on the target to find tips and tricks we share to help you make the most of Lean Six Sigma.


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