Lean and Six Sigma Simplified

When many people start to implement lean and six sigma principles in their facility they often find that it is a difficult and complex process.  There is certainly a lot to keep in mind when you want to use these strategies to improve the safety, productivity and efficiency of a a facility, but there are also many ways to simplify the entire process.  Taking a minute to think about how these types of things should be done in a particular facility can help avoid unnecessary complications.

Keep it Simple

In most implementations of these strategies there are many steps which need to be taken.  One mistake many people make is to over-complicate steps which should be easy.  This makes the entire process much more difficult than it needs to be, and people will begin pushing back.  If, however, you keep everything as easy as possible than those who you are working with wills till have the energy and desire to push through the truly complicated or difficult parts of the process.

Finding & Using Tools

One of the best ways to keep lean and six sigma simple is to work off of the successes of others.  There are many tools, products and ideas which other companies have come up with to make implementing these concepts much easier.  Don’t attempt to re-invent the wheel when working toward lean or six sigma implementation.  One of the biggest benefits of these concepts is that they improve the efficiency of how things are done, so it doesn’t make sense to to waste time trying to come up with solutions that are already out there.

Whether it is a computer program to help plan and schedule changes or labeling and signs to help improve the safety of facilities, all of these things are available and affordable.  Take some time to look at what other companies have done in the past and see where those same ideas can be used to the benefit of your facility.

Working Together

Another way to keep lean and six sigma simplified is by working together.  Even if you’re the leader of these projects it doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own.  Reach out to leaders in other areas and ask them to join you.  Once you’ve shown them how these strategies can be helpful not only in their own areas, but the entire facility they will most likely be more than happy to join you.  The more people who are working together the easier the work will be.

This is also important because the long term strategies of lean and six sigma often require people to work together across lines of responsibility.  This is a great way to help get everyone thinking more like one facility rather than a series of different departments which function independently.  While this isn’t always as easy as it should be, it is well worth the effort you put into it.  By making this process as simple as possible you will get excellent results which will benefit the facility for years to come.

Additional Resources