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Creativity and Innovation


Creativity - is the characteristic of a person to generate new ideas, alternatives, solutions, and possibilities in a unique and different way

Innovation - putting these creative ideas into action to create something new and valuable for the customer, organization or society



An application oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Bandam Srinivas Reddy on 11th September 2017. 




Q5 - There are many experts who consider the presence of a process as a significant roadblock in the effort towards creative design work. It is also understood that there are many innovations that happened purely by accident. Is there any value in the use of Lean Six Sigma in the world of product innovation? Why/ Why not?  



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An interesting and challenging question indeed… There are two, rather three parts in this Question.


  1. Is a process as a significant roadblock in the effort towards creative design work?
  2. There are many innovations that happened purely by accident !!!
  3. Is there any value in the use of Lean Six Sigma in the world of product innovation?


To answer the second one first:

I tend to agree that there are/were many innovations that happened purely by accident.

Sometimes genius arrives by chance and not by choice. 


Examples are many including Coco-cola, Cornflakes, Microwave Oven, X-rays, Pacemaker and the list would go on. Another example close to my family, redbus.com, online bus ticketing portal, when the founder Phani missed a bus seat on a festive day and thought of starting first ever bus ticketing portal in the country.


All of these have been discovered purely by accident and the inventors have not started it as a process to discover any of these.


Answering 1st  and 3rd parts :

While there are innovations that happened by accident, NOT ALL the innovations in the world are the result of purely such accidents.


Also, would like to call out two words INVENTION and INNOVATION. An invention may at times come by accident and Innovation is difficult, as it is in most cases a combination of the invention, along with use, behavior, and business models, through a  rigorous process. A relevant example, i-phone that has been one of the greatest innovations in the technology. Inventions like touch screens, mobile communications for voice and data and many features of this gizmo were there for some time, but this innovation of i-phone is a result of a well-designed process making use of several inventions that were already made.


Ideation and groupthink are key components to innovation. Innovation is a journey.  Creating a corporate culture where the goals are measured in simplified KPIs and easily measured metrics might actually stifle innovation in many ways. Identification and improvements in these processes so that they fuel innovation can be achieved through Lean Six Sigma. 


Hence, I strongly feel a process is NOT AT ALL a roadblock in the effort towards creative design work and I see a tremendous value in the use of Lean Six Sigma in the world of product innovation.

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True.  There are many product innovation happened in the past with accident. I would like to add the point that innovative ideas happens with accident; but the innovative ideas are followed by various tools and methodologies of Lean Six Sigma to convert that into innovative product (Feasibility and Scalability).  It has to undergo intense checks in these processes.  So the Lean Six Sigma is equally much of importance and value for the product innovation. The following example is the best way to understand it. 


In the year 2004, two scientist and reknowned professors of Manchester University,UK named Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov discovered the the material called Graphene accidently while researching on Graphite in their chemical laboratory.  


Graphite is 3D structured carbon material, the commonly used as main ingredient in making of pencil which whole mankind known. The Graphene is a single layer of Graphite which was invented through mechanical clevage of cellotape. 

Graphene has tremendous unique properties

It is a one atom thick carbon material.


It is 2D material (means it has length and width but has no mass).


It is Electronically, Electrically and Thermally conductive Material(The only material in the world).


It is thinnest material known to mankind (1000 times thinner than single sheet papaer and human hair).


It is flexible.


The important to mention that it is thiker than Diamond(200 times) and stronger than furness steel (300 times).


To make use of these unique propertiesof Graphene in various product /industry application, there was need for innovative product design, where the DMADV, QFD are used and brings the value of Lean Six Sigma in picture. 


One of the best application of Graphene is Flexible Electronics. No wonder,  in the age of technology revolution(4th revolution) every phone user want their mobile phones ro be more smarter than ever. Some of the common expectations of 21st century's consumer are going tobe fulfilled by use of Graphene(also called wonder material) in near future. 


This material is used by many companies like Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, Nokia and every electronics manufacturing giant for designing the flexible display of mobile phones. This is also being use in making of Graphene mobile batteries which will charge your phone in 30 sec to 1 min. in future. 


With the help of Graphene being used by companies like Intel, creating processors which will run thousand times faster.

(the list of application is long and long.) 


To innovate all these products like Flexible Mobile Displays,  Thinner Batteries,  Faster Processors, Supercapacitors and so on, it has to undergo various Lean Six Sigma tools and methodologies which going to create value for their consumer(end user) in future. 


So,  to conclude, processes invovled in  innovative ideas to creating a finished product  which creates value for Lean Six Sigma in Designing the Product,  Designing the Quality Parameters,  Designing the Manufacturing Processes and so on. 


These processes will be followed with the valueable feedback of the customers and improving product with Kaizen,  Poka-Yoke,  DFSS, Mistake Proofing with better versions.


The other industry applications of Graphene are 

Paint and Anti Corresive Paints

Print and Packaging

Construction Industry

Palstic and Plastic Composites

Automative industry

Aerospace and Spaceship Building



Not but the least,  Graphene is accidently innovated "Wonder Material" which is then creatively used with the help of Lean Six Sigma



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There are many experts who consider the presence of a process as a significant roadblock in the effort towards creative design work. It is also understood that there are many innovations that happened purely by accident. Is there any value in the use of Lean Six Sigma in the world of product innovation? Why/ Why not?  


Any innovation with respect to a product has to transform itself through a design process and then the design expectations have to be fulfilled by a process. The process will actually create the product with repetitive consistency.


It is true that innovative ideas do come up suddenly, we may even say accidentally. However, it is the result of the thinking process of an individual brain or collective brains of a team. Most innovations invent path breaking solution to some need for people. Invention of aircraft provided solution of very fast travel, and invention of internet provided communications at a speed one had never dreamed of. 


Not all innovations are accidental, and there are several which are a result of focused effort by groups of talented people, led by a visionary leader. Such planned innovation efforts can be systematically driven as a structured approach using certain Six Sigma tools and methods.For instance if a particular innovative effort is aiming for providing a specific solution to human, it would be important to gather baseline data on the current situation and also apply measurement methodologies for assessing the results of the innovation.


It is agreeable that striking upon the actual innovative idea, (the eureka) is unpredictable brain power and is difficult to represent it as a process outcome. However a process approach can help to facilitate the thinking process that led to the innovation. Even as part of our usual Six Sigma DMAIC cycle, it is possible that during the improve phase, innovative 'eureka' could emerge as part of the solutions.


Now, coming to the developments that need to take place subsequent to the innovation, a design and development process, verification and validation processes, production deployment... all these are familiar to experienced professionals in this forum and it is needless to explain how the DFSS kicks in! I do not see a need to go beyond that!

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A process takes input(s) and perform a set of activities to produce an outcome or result.

Innovation: The process of creating a product or service solution that delivers significant new customer value. The process begins with the selection of the customer and market, includes the identification and prioritization of opportunities, and ends with the creation of an innovative product or service.

Lean Six sigma is a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste, reducing variation and increase predictability. Six Sigma and Innovation are complementary yet opposite. Refer table below for how they complement and contrast and how they can work together.


Six Sigma



·         Reduce variation

·         Optimize processes and product trade-offs

·         Be precise and data driven

·         Make money now

·         Encourage diverse thinking

·         Break the mold so trade-offs are unnecessary

·         Create “emotional” experiences

·         Create opportunities to make money by taking risks

How they complement

Helps create customer loyalty through stable & capable processes

Frees up resources by eliminating costs

Making execution of a new idea more predictable

--> creates foundation for innovation

--> can be reinvested in innovation

--> helps mitigate risks

What’s common

Both aim to meet customer expectations in cost effective manner

How does it help if they come together

Lean brings structure and predictability to innovation and sharpens the distinction between idea generation and development process.

Lean can help bring discipline needed to develop and profit from new product and service offerings.

Lean encourages focus on - listen to the voice of the customer, business and employee which will help innovate a profitable winning idea.

Lean can help reduce risk.


Excessive adherence to Lean may kill innovation as people will not deviate from norm and thus no innovation.

Reason / Necessity for them to come together

Increasing competition, need to be more profitable and sustainable, pressure for cost cuts

Case Study for co-existence

Pixar is a live example of lean and innovation coexistence. Pixar believes in a method to the madness. Pixar has created a set of processes that emphasizes team based collaboration and continuous feedback loops to help overcome creative blocks and track deliverables. Pixar has setup structure that believes individual is as important to the team as team is to individual – this helps create structures that helps resolve roadblocks faster and encourages individuals to discuss problems and collaborate. They have practice of discussing daily progress and bottleneck / risks. Ideas that are likely to be doomed are therefore terminated early on. They nurture creative freedoms and yet reduce waste.

Techniques that can be used

Root cause analysis (RCA)

Voice of customer (VOC)

Quality function deployment (QFD)

House of Quality (HOQ)

Failure mode effects and analysis (FMEA)

Value engineering analysis (VEA)

XY Matrix, TRIZ method (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving)

PUGH Matrix

Design of Experiments (DOE)

Mistake Proofing

DMAIC and application of above tools at relevant phases.


Conclusion: Not everyone is an advocate of Six Sigma. While the well thought-out process and constant benchmarking may seem to be restrictive however Six Sigma does not suppress free thinking. They complement each other and when used creatively and effectively can result in true benefits.

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In my view both lean six sigma and innovation are necessary for sustained business success. Several Six Sigma tools including the Cause and Effect diagram and the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) promote innovative thinking and team brainstorming.  After identifying an inventive solution, Six Sigma can be integrated to make the most of the solution’s effectiveness.

The O’Reilly-Tushman Innovation Continuum provides a better insight on approaches to innovation and how lean six sigma is a part of innovation:






Also the below representation gives a fair bit of idea on how DMAIC and innovation are integrated in product development:




Since most of the techniques of the innovation process is engaged more in to creative thinking and does not require much of statistical analysis, most of the solutions generated provide short term effects. Using statistical analysis and technique of lean Six Sigma, the creative thinking of innovation can be paired with the thorough analysis of lean Six Sigma. With constant practice, innovation skills will be developed.


Referred websites to frame this answer:

1) Innovation excellence

2) isixsigma

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Real life is… a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible; but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative activity.”   -    Bertrand Russell 

Most organizations have barriers to creativity, ideas, and innovation. Some are obvious while some are more subtle. Some barriers emerge from attitudes and perceptions of organizational leadership while others come from organizational structure or even from the employees themselves. Since these barriers have a tendency to eliminate creative possibilities from the organization, identifying and removing barriers to creativity and innovation is crucial. By pinpointing, recognizing, and acknowledging that barriers exist, an organization can bypass many common obstacles and become more idea-oriented by employing simple strategies.


Few Common Workplace Barriers as a significant roadblock:

  • Immovable Forces

Cause: Resistance to new ideas and processes happens because it’s human nature to become uncomfortable when confronting potential change agents. Management and leadership tend to resist because creativity often means embracing uncertainty and may pose possible difficulties in measuring returns on investment.

Effect: Old habits, beliefs, and assumptions cloud openness to new ideas and overpower creative and innovative initiatives. The status quo remains in place and nothing changes.  

  • Judgment

Cause: Fear of a new idea is often manifested as criticism and sometimes harsh judgment. People mock and ridicule what they don’t understand.

Effect: Employees who have ideas are reluctant to share because they worry that no one will like the idea. They are afraid of ridicule or the implications of possible failure. 

  • Playing by the Rules and No Process

Cause: Policies and procedures, inflexible and rigid organizational structures, traditions, and a culture of playing by the rules, are keeping employees from participating, stifling any innovative or creative processes. Employees have ideas and want to share them but all they see is a dusty suggestion box. No other channels to input ideas are known by members to exist.

Effect: An oppressive environment has a tendency to force employees to conform to accepted patterns, rules, and inherent limitations of the status quo. This hampers creative thinking and new ideas. Past organizational experience shows employees that ideas put in the suggestion box disappear into a black hole so employees don’t bother to submit anything. They may feel there is no reason to get involved. 


Strategy for overcoming barriers : 

  • Share stories about creativity and innovation in a workplace setting through all available channels to put creativity into context and to dispel preconceived notions about creativity and innovation.
  • Invite and encourage all employees, from all levels and departments, to become involved with innovative initiatives.
  • Although some rules are necessary, many can suppress innovation and ideas. Consider if some of the rules can be relaxed, changed, updated or eliminated to make allowances for the idea process to flourish.
  • Make it easy for employees to input ideas through a variety of different channels and technologies to encourage inputs. Have leadership acknowledge and celebrate the value of ideas even if they can’t be utilized.

If an idea works, use Lean Six Sigma methodology to develop it.


In an era of constant innovation and discovery, we may not realize that most inventions take years, even decades, to develop. Although, some breakthroughs take a lifetime of dedication, the curious mind needn't worry. As history shows us, people have crafted new inventions and stumbled upon discoveries by accident. To agree with Nobel prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi: "A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind".

Some inventions were serendipitous, meaning they were stumbled upon by chance, whereas others occurred while the inventors were trying to discover something else. In today's marketplace, increased globalization, constant technological advances and other competitive pressures, innovation is a proven success factor for many firms. The resulting opportunities and threats have placed innovation near the top of manager's priority lists. To survive in today's marketplace, manufacturers must embrace new ideas and processes. Lean Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed, and invested capital.


Yes, there are relevant values in the use of Lean Six Sigma in the world of product innovation. As innovation is pushed into this rapid product development cycle, heightened expectations of the marketplace call for better tools to improve the productivity of the innovation process. Therefore, tools to improve the innovation process is coupled with Six Sigma discipline and data can be the best way to get result and with Lean techniques to simplify this process. Companies across the world are successfully using the techniques for improving business performance through product and process excellence.

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 Whenever we think/speak of Lean Six Sigma, the first and foremost thing that comes to our mind is eliminate waste and reduce variation!! Though there is nothing wrong about that mindset as so many six sigma projects in the world, do focus on that, there is another sibling of that which can do some interesting things as well.Will talk about that now.


In General, Six Sigma can be broadly classified into two DMAIC and DMADV.


While DMAIC is to improve an existing process, DMADV is to go for a new process for providing the service or product , because the old process cannot be improved at all or revamping the product/service itself with a new design. The concept is so powerful that there are few variations in DMADV and is there is a separate branch called "DFSS" (Design for Six Sigma). The major variations of DMADV are DMADOV(Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, Optimize, Verify) and IDDOV (Identify, Define, Develop/Design, Optimize, Verify). So much so has been done using these concepts that the modern definition of Lean Six Sigma can be rephrased as a methodology used for business improvement that enriches the shareholder values by providing high-quality product/service at affordable cost with considerable speed on a consistent basis, thereby maximising customer satisfaction 


I very strongly believe that use of Lean Six Sigma helps us to innovate a product/service or make it supreme.

Let me provide an example.  Explaining this concept with two imaginary companies. In reality, this happens across in Insurance or for that matter in any other domains.


Background: Consider two insurance companies, 'StandIns' and 'TotalIns'. TotalIns was acquired by StandIns. Both the companies had a Policy Claims product, but both were written in different technologies.  StandIns used a legacy system (mainframe) for its product 'SIPC' and TotalIns used its own proprietary system for its product 'TIPC'. After acquiring TotalIns , StandIns decided to migrate the 'TIPC' into its product 'SIPC' after some time of acquiring, so that it can provide continuous support to the existing TotalIns customers.Both the products were handling 3 variations/types namely individuals, corporates and other business entities.


DFSS, the remedy:

Now they decided to add the existing users' data from 'TIPC' product to the 'SIPC' product. This was not easy to migrate the data. Migrating the data from proprietary one to legacy system became cubersome and error-prone. Halfway through that migration project was abadoned. So it was decided that the existing users of 'TIPC' would continue with that product only . The stakeholders were at their wit's end as what could be done. The 'TIPC' product had some good features which 'SIPC' product did not have and the stakeholders at StandIns wanted to utilise them for getting better business growth.


The stakeholders of 'SIPC' product felt that with a proper ground work on the needed functionalities and with a strong desgin base, they would be able to provide a high quality product which can bring profitable business, great customer satisfaction, in the longer run. One of the stakeholders who was in the quality department convinced the others stakeholders of doing a Lean Six Sigma project using DMADV(DFSS)  to create a new top-notch product which can cater to both 'SIPC' and 'TIPC' customers. It was overwhelmingly approved.     

Problem Statement : StandIns insurance company has been struggling to migrate all the data of 'TIPC' product into its 'SIPC' product since
                    the Oct 1 2016. All these days 'SIPC' unable to produce customer reports/data properly resulting in extremme customer dissatisfaction and also in a loss of 1 million US $
Goal Statement :    Create a high quality product,'SSPC', which caters to both the existing customers of 'SIPC' and 'TIPC'.
                    The new product will also cater to the new customers and the product should be crated by by 17,Aug 2017.


How was it done:
Following are the steps/activities that were done:


1. Voice of the Customer(VOC) : The stakeholders of the new product thought that focus should be given to the key customers who use 'TIPC'  product and that their opinions should be heard. They believed that those customers needs/requirements should be satisfied. Those were captured.
2. The requirements data collected from VOC, was added to the existing list of requirements already available for those two products('SIPC'   and 'TIPC')
3. Those captured needs were categorized/affinitized , for brevity so that none of the functionalities are missed out during the product development. For instance, all requirements/needs related to administrative activies, were put under the group "Administation". Needs related to an individual customer were put under "Personal", needs related to a corporate were put under "Corporate" and needs related to other business entities were put under "Business" and so on.


4. All the needs were prioritized with the help of a Kano model. All the must functionalities were highlighted , then satisfactory  functionalities were listed out and then the delighting functionalities were drawn out. The objective was to ensure that a minimum viable product (MVP) was achieved at the earliest so that customer dissatisfaction is eliminated right at the outset.
5. Next thing was to find the characteristic through which the success output could be measured. For such a complex sytem which requires  two different products to be merged , how could the critical-to-quality(CTQ) be measured ?  After much deliberation ,it was decided that  CTQ would be a factor called , 'SuccessCode'.

 A combination of certain parameters decided the fate of the CTQ. They included various fields from the existing 2 products -

           a).PolicyNumber (for both the products),

           b).location Code(for existing users of 'TIPC' -needed because both companies were in different regions),

           c). policystatus,


          e). response time (to user's query).

'PolicyNumber' should adhere to the validation rules specified for it. 'Location Code' should be unique and should not be a NAN. 'PolicyStatus' should be either new/renewal and

' isActivePolicy' should be true. 'Response time' should be <=5 seconds.If anyone of this had a discrepancy or throw an error, then 'SuccessCode' would fail with a '0' code , else it will pass with a '1' code.
6. Now the product team/stakeholders decided to have a brainstorming session what are the grey areas where they need to improve their design/technology so that they do not go into the same issues which is why in the first place, this project was started.  How to achieve the key parameters/vital X factors which can help to achieve a better product. That was decided
7. The product team decided to go for a Pugh matrix, (named after the person who introduced it - Pugh) which can evaluate multiple options (as a solution to the problem) with various criteria against a baseline option and then allow us to pick the best one. With multiple options, they picked the combination of a web-based system with SpringBatch system, Oracle DB , j2EE . This became the selected option

Below was the Pugh matrix used.

Baseline Option : Mainframe System – PL/1





Option 2


Option 3




Response Time






Batch Processing speed






Concurrent Processing






Effective handling of all CTQ parameters












Option 1 : Uses Java EE with Object Relational Mapping database and SpringBatch

Option 2:  Uses Jave EE with Relational Database Management

Option 3: Uses Mainframe Systems (COBOL) with legacy Database

8. Now the product team developed the product using the selected option (from Pugh), for 'Personal' type (1st variation of the product).


9. The product team loaded all the data for existing users of 'SIPC' and 'TIPC' and got amazed at the speed they were able to see the data for both the users of 'SIPC' and 'TIPC'. The team was able to add new users, seamlessly. Months of pain seemed to be gone in a trance.
10. The product team replicated the development for the remaining two variations for Corporate and Other Business Entities and loaded with data and successfully tested.


11. Product Team  had a deployment flowchart and also a checklist that clearly provided how things should be done.   There were great celebrations and all the stakeholders and senior management celebrated with great fanfare.


12. A full-fledged Implementation plan was created and on 17th Aug 2017, as scheduled, the product was deployed and it went into live. All the stakeholders were extremely happy.


13. The product team created a list of metrics with which the management can measure the progress of the product's success post its deployment.


14. The product team created a transition plan to the operational team and created a documentation of what was done and how they were done.


15. Three months into the production, because of the product, the StandIns company marginalised its loss that occured earlier and by the end of sixth month, the company had a surplus revenue of 1 million US $. New customers got added and there was so much customer satisfaction and the company's business grew three times.


This improvement was possible only because there were tools and techniques which captured data systematically and stastically and using which the team was able

to work out with a complete and proper solution. By having well organized and scientifically proven techniques/tools , the team was able to achieve its target in style.


There are many other tools and techniques which can be of real use to developing a new product or designing a new product/service. For instance, its worth mentioning about the Quality Function deployment tool which helps your requirements to be converted into design. It essentially converts "What do yo want" to "how do you want" .A sound design will result in a solid product. For instance, you want to create a cage for an animal say Tiger. What would be your requirements. You would want a iron bar with a comfortable space for the tiger just walk a few steps and also ensuring enough height to accomate it. You would want strong doors. How do you convert this into a design requirement. So you would think of

Iron bar or rods and you would specify the length and width of the cage (say, in feet). Then you would talk about thickness of the cage, followed by door quality(in which material, its strength ) . Now your design also has to consider the material used for the cage should not be too light. If its too light, then chances are that the Tiger could break it. So while doing design, all factors should be thought about and ensure that a balance is found out. We should know which factor is affecting which other factor and in what way whether in a positive or negative way. Instead of putting an iron cage, what if i put a wooden cage. It may be light weight(thats one factor) but would it be a safety one(Safety is another factor). These kind of analysis can be obtained through QFD which will help us to decide the design considerations which can help us in creating a best product/service.

Hence i conclue that with the advent of Lean Six Sigma, product innovation has taken gargantuan proportions


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Yes, there is a value in using Lean Six Sigma in the world of product innovation. As product innovation in not just a spark of idea, but also to have knowledge to look at insights of variables and experiences involved that translate to creating real value.


Product Innovation Steps:

Lean Six Sigma enables


Identifying your customer requirement - opportunities & problem

Customer requirements to Technical requirements


Creating a solution – think out of box

Concept selection


Build Prototype – develop an optimal solution & launch market to get feedback of the solution

Risk mitigation


Launch Product & keep learning

Deploy planning, performance optimization & control

 Lean Six Sigma compliments & provides a rational for execution/implementation of product innovation by data driven decisions.

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Innovation and Lean Six Sigma


Current world, companies and organizations in nearly every industry all over the world have used Lean Six Sigma to increase customer satisfaction and to deliver impressive results to the clients. An outstanding example is General Electric, the company who has made Six Sigma as popular as it is today. Lot more exist in the market, practicing Six Sigma.


Innovation is another area that has drawn tremendous attention in this business world.

Innovation means - Changes that gives or create a New Dimension of existing performance. 


On one hand, Lean Six Sigma works towards very low variation in processes with high efficiency. Innovation, on the other hand, seeks to find undiscovered, uncertain scope. Innovation requires risk-taking, making mistakes and learning from failures.


So Innovation and Six Sigma should go parallel to each other so as to ensure continuous improvement and innovation.


Innovation should start at the boardroom, when the senior management level decides about the focus for the next couple of years or this financial year. An important requirement for successful innovation is the capability of every organization to understand and analyze the business environment. 

Innovations are a result of weeks of hard-work combined with moments of insightful creativity. Innovation and Lean Six Sigma can definitely complement and leverage on each other rather than being competing initiatives. Eventually they both can be synergized to optimize business performance.


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Processes are supposed to help organizations scale up, improve efficiency for new hires and existing employees, and so on–but they can quickly get out of control.

Why do we love process so much? It offers a way to measure progress and productivity, which makes people feel more efficient and accountable. When used correctly, processes should standardize and simplify the necessary tasks that keep business running smoothly. They should enable organizations to undertake complex work, particularly as an organization grows. Expense reporting, for example, should have a process that every single employee follows every single time–that’s just common sense. Smart processes encapsulate bundles of organizational knowledge. And that’s a good thing.

But it’s not a good thing when there are so many processes in place that they restrain the people they’re supposed to help. If your team spends its days asking for permission before executing, taking an hour to complete expense reports or time sheets, attending redundant meetings, or answering irrelevant emails, you’ve got a problem. Exactly when are employees supposed to find the time to innovate when every task or topic is labeled “urgent” and every deadline is ASAP? Something will eventually give, and that something is going to be the part of the job they can keep pushing off until later.

1)Empowering with permission–but without action    
2)Leaders focused on process instead of people
Overdependence on meetings
3)Lack of (clear) vision
4)Management acts as judge, not jury

Over the years I’ve encountered organizations, large and small, that have essentially allowed the process to become their culture. I’ve also seen businesses suffer when they assumed that if a process worked well for one division, it would work well for the company overall. Good processes can turn especially dangerous when they creep from manufacturing lines and finance departments into brainstorms and research labs. Some of the worst offenders have been companies that implemented overarching processes like Six Sigma, a rigidly data-driven quality-management program originally designed to tackle manufacturing problems. Fifty-three percent of the Fortune 500 have deployed it and of the Fortune 100, 82 percent have used it. Despite its manufacturing origins, Six Sigma has been used across many industries and sectors, and proponents claim it saved Fortune 500 corporations nearly a half-trillion dollars since its inception. If so many successful organizations are using it and saving money, what’s the problem, right?


Again, it comes down to priority. When we shift such a huge amount of an organization’s focus onto standardizing everything, other areas inevitably suffer. 


Another oft-cited example of Six Sigma’s negative effects occurred at 3M. When former GE executive James McNerney took the helm in 2001, he instituted a rigorous Six Sigma program, which meant slashing costs, training thousands of employees to become program experts, and requiring extensive reporting on new products in the R&D pipeline. In the short term, especially in the eyes of investors, it seemed to work. Costs were brought under control, production speed increased, and operating margins rose from 17 percent to 23 percent by 2005. But researchers in the labs were stifled by the demands of the new metrics. 3M had a century-long history of innovation, but now R&D had been cut and inventors weren’t given adequate time to tinker with products before having to demonstrate successful commercialization. “We were letting, I think, the process get in the way of doing the actual invention,” 

After McNerney’s departure for Boeing in 2005–just four years after joining the company–3M began to reevaluate Six Sigma. In addition to the friction it caused among staff, its long-term growth potential appeared compromised and there were concerns that 3M had become “a less creative company…a vitally important issue for a company whose very identity is built on innovation.”

In recent years, 3M has significantly changed the way it uses Six Sigma. The company acknowledges that the program adds value in its factories, so it’s still utilized in manufacturing operations. Researchers working in the labs, however, are no longer beholden to the metrics and rubrics of Six Sigma. The shift has been successful–and there are metrics to prove it. One of the best measures of innovation efforts is the percentage of revenue that a company derives from products introduced in the last five years. At 3M, this number had traditionally hovered around 30 percent but had dropped to 21 percent after Six Sigma’s introduction. In 2010, the number was back up to 30 percent and may soon surpass 35 percent.

* Today, managers are especially in a bind. They’re expected to efficiently produce outstanding short-term results, but the innovation they’re supposed to pursue could very likely hurt their careers. 
*“Those in middle management… found innovation disruptive to their day-to-day activities and felt it got in the way of running an efficient operation–which is what they were paid to do.”
*When people’s jobs depend on meeting metrics and maintaining the status quo, can you fault them for their reluctance to expend any energy toward creation and invention

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Lean Six Sigma is an invitation to solve meaningful business problems by developing new approaches and working processes. It combines the power of a structured, fact-based approach with the inclusion of those who are closest to the problems encountered day to day. Acting as sponsors for Lean Six Sigma projects, managers learn to invite the participation and ideas from all levels of the business. The role of the Lean Six Sigma manager is to facilitate the process of creative problem solving, not to provide the answer. His or her most important contribution is to create an environment in which it is safe to challenge the status quo, bring forth new ideas and develop them through experimentation.


If a company opens the flood gates for new ideas from employees via a suggestion system, the issue will not be getting new ideas. The issue will be responding to them. Lean Six Sigma develops the organization’s ability to not just identify, but develop and implement new ideas. Without that, the ideas will land back on the desk of overworked middle managers who are busy keeping the shop running as best they can. The quadruple win Lean Six Sigma offers is:

1) A way for managers to facilitate the process of creative problem solving that brings heretofore disconnected parts of the organization together.

2) Visualization of the current reality and a compelling, innovative picture of the future around which people can rally.

3) Setting stretch goals that pull functions together and challenges the status quo.

4) Prioritization of resources and development of talent to more effectively execute cross-functional, cross-country projects.


If an organization wants its people to be more creative and productive, give them the tools and resources to simplify their day-to-day working practices. If a company needs improvements in productivity, challenge employees to pool, develop and implement the ideas that are there waiting to be harvested. Above all, a business should create an environment in which people are encouraged and comfortable to experiment and take risks. That is what leads to breakthroughs, the engine for continuous innovation.

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Innovations happen when proceedings are simple. It can be simple and effective if we remove waste and get lean.

 Processes do not hinder creativity they promote it. The main criterion that ensures that you think outside the box is discipline. Discipline as a competency can be explained as maintaining right amount of scope, time, quality and cost needed for attaining the goal.

LSS has its tools, methods, frameworks and other thoughts exploiting the concept of reducing variation and removing waste. Thomas Edison managed to find the right element which burns longer only after recording his failures( measurement ) and exploring the options( CTQ).


Forcefield Analysis, Brainstorming, Value Stream mapping, TRIZ, COQ, CTQ, VOC, Kano Model are few of the ways and means to create a magic.

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Six Sigma is a data driven approach:

It is an easily appreciable fact that decisions should be taken based on data (to the extent possible) and should not be based on the gut feel or judgment. Six Sigma provides us with information on which and what type of data should be collected, how it should be collected and how it should be analyzed. Example - In a bank, the number of employees was increased based on the gut feeling of the senior management, while the biggest competitor of this bank analyzed the trends of work flow for future projects through simulation and created flex-profiles to reach very high service levels while maintaining the same manpower count.


Six Sigma is a process focused methodology:

Everything that you do in the workplace has a process behind it. For bringing improvements it is always good to study the underlying process along with the results, especially if we are looking for a long lasting improvement and not a temporary quick-fix solution.


As Deming said - 85% of the problems are due to system and process deficiencies and not due to human errors. Behind most human errors is a weak process. Example - The chances of the wrong module being integrated into a software development can not be eliminated by just a reward or punishment mechanism.


In organizations of any size or complexity, Six Sigma methodology poses the following questions repeatedly:


  • Are we working at the best possible performance levels for our key processes?
  • If the answer is yes, is it feasible to explore new processes that can set new benchmarks and give our company a bigger competitive advantage?
  • If the answer is no, what is it that is stopping us from forming and supporting a team that can enhance the performance level in a manner that makes business sense.


The age-old algebraic equation says it all: Y = f (X). If Y is the effect and the Xs are the causes, then putting all the focus on the Y or guessing which X is most significant are both bad ideas.


One thing Six Sigma helps with is understanding these relationships statistically so work can be directed at the cause or combination of causes (Xs) most likely to change the effect (Y). This activity helps break the endless string of firefighting brought on by never really getting to the root cause of any effect. This equation is at the heart of the Six Sigma methodology and with the DMAIC and DMADV roadmaps drives a company through a logical, sequential process to efficiently find the significant Xs and act on them. This gives the highest probability of success and helps turn the tide of reactive behavior.


Here are some reasons why we should be using Six Sigma to make process improvements:

  1. It is a structured approach - if we follow the process, people will not forget any important steps along the way before they implement the solution.
  2. It helps quantify the benefits and thus make it easier to sell the improvements to senior managers in the company.
  3. It uses facts & data and the rigor of statistical testing to arrive at the right root cause instead of fixing symptoms or putting band-aids.
  4. There is a greater likelihood of the solution being sustainable if we follow the Six Sigma process.
  5. Six Sigma focuses on solving the right problems using the project selection matrix.
  6. It has proven itself in a large number of deployments. Frankly, there is no better tool out there to make process improvements - especially when the root cause or the solution is not known.

Lean Six Sigma provides you with world best methods of data driven decision making. If you are working in an organization or running a business, it is inevitable that you shall need to use data in decision making. Some pointers that highlight the importance of data driven decision making are given below.

  • Even if one uses brainstorming techniques with teams, one can generate and use data.
  • The use of basic cause-effect approaches for analysis like fishbone diagram get strengthened only by effective use of data.
  • All functions in an organization generate data of various kinds. It makes sense to learn correct methods and techniques that help in decision making for business success.
  • Analysis of wastes in a process requires data (like cycle times, takt times, value added time, non value added time, productivity, etc)
  • Finding whether internal/ customer requirements (or regulatory requirments) are met requires data driven techniques like hypothesis testing.
  • Forecasting methods are essentially a set of data driven techniques.
  • Comparison of two or more sets of data( for comparing vendors, technology, techniques, materials, processes, customer types, teams etc) is a common need.
  • Market research or R&D makes us of data all the time.
  • Problem Solving is strengthened by usage of data.
  • Project Management requires data driven decisions.
  • Performance management cannot be considered fair unless data is capured, analyzed and used properly.

There are two primary methodologies in Six Sigma:

  • DFSS


The Six Sigma DMAIC methodology is for making improvements to existing processes. The second methodology DFSS stands for Design for Six Sigma. This methodology is used for new products and services or when the improvements that can be made with DMAIC is not sufficient.


There are several approaches to DFSS: DMADV, IDOV, etc. The most popular approach to implementing DFSS is using DMADV (Define - Measure - Analyze - Design - Validate). More than 70% of the DFSS implementations use the DMADV approach.


DMAIC can be considered to be reactive in nature, in the sense that a process already exists and is making defects. DMAIC approach is used to identify the root cause of the problems and then fix it. On the other hand, DFSS is mostly a proactive approach. A process does not exist yet and DFSS is used to truly understand customer requirements and then develop a process that provides exceptional levels of quality and process performance.

Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is a Six Sigma methodology that is used to launch new products & services on time, on budget, and on target gaining incremental revenues sooner, achieving greater market share, and ensuring that the company generates differentiated products & services that target customer & stakeholder needs. DFSS methodology is most commonly used in New Product Development organizations.


If we see approaches to DFSS, the most popular methodology is called DMADV. DMADV stands for "Define - Measure - Analyze - Design - Validate". The Define phase consists of defining the project charter which includes the business case and the opportunity for the new product or service. In the Measure phase, the needs of the key stakeholders are identified and measurable CTQs are developed. The Analyze phase consists of subsystem design and generating and selecting the best possible concepts. In the Design phase, a detailed design for the product or service is developed and optimized. The robustness of the design is ensured to minimize the impact of variation on performance of the product or service. Finally, in the Validate phase, the generated designs are verified and validated using simulation and other approaches.


Some of the tools covered in DMADV training are: Multi-Generational Project Plans (MGPP), Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), Kano Analysis, Kansei Engineering, Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ), Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Pugh Analysis, Multiple Regression Analysis, Fractional Design of Experiments, Taguchi Optimization, and Discrete Event Simulation methods.


DFSS is a powerful set of tools and techniques that can help you develop products and services that truly satisfy your key stakeholder needs. By adding this toolkit to your repertoire, you can demonstrate to your current or future employer that you understand how to not only reduce the bottom line costs using DMAIC but also develop robust products and services to increase top line growth using DFSS.

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Lean six sigma is used to eliminate waste. So, when there is a product and the sales to the product is decreasing gradually, the process & cost involved in making the product is waste. In order to increase the revenue/ or sales, analysis need to be done and LSS is one of the the best methods to use to identify the problem. And if there is a defect in the product or the product need to be redesigned LSS helps is identifying the exact drawback. This helps in  innovation of new product designs/ product. 

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All companies existing on this globe are persistently driven by ambition to grow their revenue and margins year on year and to always stay ahead of the competition by capturing a largest market share in their respective field of business. In this endeavour they employ knowledgeable professionals, experts, specialists with varied backgrounds to help them achieve this goal. There is bound to be disagreements and conflicts when so many experts are brought together to deliberate on any topic. The disagreement or the argument between Lean Six Sigma and Innovation is one such conflict between the proponents of Lean Six Sigma and the proponents of Innovation.


Six Sigma is an efficiency and quality process designed to identify problems and remove errors. It is about consistency, sameness and control whereas innovation is about transformation, luck, coincidence, difference, failure and disorder. Six Sigma is great for process improvements, quality and general management which might be good for incremental innovation. But when it comes to more radical blue-sky thinking Six Sigma is not a very ideal solution.  One is a left-brain activity, while the other is right-brain.


The greatest challenge today for most businesses is about managing the impact of the economic downturn coupled with fierce competition. It is imperative therefore to do things better, faster and cheaper and find new ways to create and capture value to survive. One of the options then is to make the best use of proven tools and techniques of Six Sigma and Innovation.


Innovation OR Six Sigma is not the right question: CEOs of Companies which opted to choose between Innovation and Six Sigma, like James McNerny of 3M, Robert Nardelli of Home Depot and Ann Fudge of Young & Rubicam forced a shift to Six Sigma initiatives in innovative companies and almost destroyed them. By taking out innovation spending from the company’s budgets and focusing instead on improving existing processes, these leaders achieved some short term financial successes. However, this improvement could not be maintained in the long run and dry innovation pipelines led to poor performance overall.  James McNerney, imported the ‘Six Sigma’ process from his old employer, General Electric into 3M which was known as an invention factory lost focus of the innovation culture in the company. This led to a sagging morale within the employees of 3M and led to the company losing its no.1 position of the most innovative companies in the world in 2004 dropping to no. 7 in 2007. Geoff Nicholson, 3M ambassador, and former vice president for international technical operations who is also widely regarded as the "father" of the Post-It note initiative commented once that "The Six Sigma process killed innovation at 3M".


Innovation AND Six Sigma: Such an approach would be better since Executives of such companies would have a more powerful toolset at hand if they manage to utilize combination of the two. Innovation tools can be used to drive Innovation from concept to customer with a Six Sigma driven discipline that recognizes the need for risk and opportunity management to increase the value of an innovative idea whose performance and productivity is improved through Six Sigma. Companies like Caterpillar, POSCO and Scottish Power have successfully demonstrated how Six Sigma and Innovation can complement each other to achieve business excellence. These companies consistently outperform their competition by successfully using both Six Sigma and Innovation in an integrated way to drive sustainable high performance. innovation coupled with Lean Six Sigma led to a wholesale corporate transformation at POSCO. For example, the business-model decision to focus on high-potential segments such as the auto industry inspired new, innovative steel products. These new products, in turn, led to new processes to produce higher-grade steel. The ripples of innovation created through the Lean Six Sigma program enabled POSCO to accomplish a top-to-bottom transformation — from government-owned business to profitable private enterprise, from low-cost producer to value-added provider, and from regional player to global competitor. 


Six Sigma and innovation can co-exist. They both bring value to the party and while the languages may be somewhat different, it is possible to create a shared vocabulary and a shared understanding of how the two approaches to creating positive business change can work together. It is always a question of finding balance. Finding that balance between chaos and structure. Finding that balance between exploration and exploitation. Innovation and Six Sigma are not enemies. In fact they have a lot in common. In much the same way that it requires organizational commitment and a professional approach to achieve high levels of quality, it requires organizational commitment and a professional approach to achieve continuous innovation. If you can embed quality into your products, you can embed innovation into your organization. It is about connecting the dots and combining the strengths of both these powerful complimentary approaches.








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The research has been carried out regarding the link between the Lean Six Sigma and Innovation. Lean six sigma methodology is commonly viewed as fostering process/product/service innovation, Incremental Innovation or Innovation Capability. The application of lean six sigma is gaining momentum for example in drug discovery. It remains controversial because of perceptions that process improvement will suppress much needed creativity and innovation. The conditions reviewed to support both creativity and innovation and the principles and benefits of lean six sigma of drug discovery. Hence, it is desirable to create a unified environment that encourages and enables both innovation and continuous improvement. The potential traps occur in the interpretation of standardization, role of variation, and the choice of how to use liberated capacity. 


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Six Sigma and Innovation can co-exist. Six Sigma and Innovation both aim for improvement, Six Sigma aims for improvement through decreasing variability whereas Innovation aims for achieving improvement by increasing value.

Six Sigma is generally thought as exploitation activity whereas Innovation is considered as exploration activity. Here exploitation means optimising the existing processes whereas exploration means efforts to find new processes or products /services. Six Sigma is knowledge based approach and Innovation is skill based process. Six Sigma represents an executive mindset e.g. trains should run on time, whereas Innovation represents an entrepreneurial mindset e.g. why trains as the only means to commute!

Its not Innovation or Six Sigma, its Innovation and Six Sigma. Six Sigma is at the heart of Innovation. Many tools used in Six Sigma like QFD, FMEA, TRIZ, Cause and Effect Diagram, Poka Yoke etc. help in innovating new processes and finding new solutions. Continuous improvement is an integral part of successful innovation.

So there is no conflict between Six Sigma and Innovation but as a thumb rule 'अति सर्वत्र वर्जयेत', means too much emphasis on existing processes should not strangulate the free thinking required for Innovation, so be open to new ideas and be adaptive to changing environment. Even for the successful implementation of an innovative idea we need Six Sigma approach, so we need both.

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There is always a process involved in any kind work ,right from drinking water from a bottle to designing a rocket. It is the process which makes any work simple and easy to understand.  

However as the innovation and creativity is concerned, sometimes to implement a newly generated idea one has to go against the process. Yes the process sometime adds barrier to some innovative ideas. Many creative ideas and new innovation occurs accidentally.

Defying a process to implement a new idea leads to betterment or may be a lessont learnt.


As it can be understand that Six sigma is a methodolgy it is not a process. Implementing six sigma ease up the way towards innovation.it helps to render unknown and unknowable facts about the idea. It gives a positive approach towrds the new process.

We can use six sigma methodology in every aspects, but what, where, whom, and how touse it depends on the user. 

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Presence of process is never be roadblock in the effort towards creating any new design. Its true that innovation happens purely by accident. Six Sigma never restricts to think nonlinear. Once a nonlinear idea comes, It gives the scope to do risk analysis beforehand. It gives the  scope of testing, verification etc to produce a reliable design. As it run through set process, hence help to produce capable product and hence chances of rejection from customer is less.

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Even though a product is invented accidentally, it has it's own process flow which should be documented with lean six sigma concepts to avoid and nullify Muda in process which will surely help in reaching the innovation point so quickly.

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Definetly in the world of product innovation, Lean six sigma creates its own place by moving forward with DFSS (Design for six sigma).  DFSS is a powerful set of tools and techniques that can help you develop products and services that truly satisfy your key stakeholder needs. By adding this toolkit to your repertoire, you can demonstrate to your current or future employer that you understand how to not only reduce the bottom line costs using DMAIC but also develop robust products and services to increase top line growth using DFSS.

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Lean six Sigma builds in the culture of instinctive innovation.  Instead of waiting for innovation to happen accidentally Lean six Sigma framework will provide structured approach to make innovation a possibility and  increase the probability.  Since lean approach focus on optimized way of operation that may not hinder the innovation atmosphere.  It's also important to optimize the approach to creative design by learning from past this is possible not accidentally but by structured framework of Lean Six Sigma. But caution to be taken to make sure that the process does not come in the flow of creative approach,  to that extent process framework need to be aligned to creative design work.  Careful selection of concepts needed to optimize creative design thinking to be ensured. 

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Creativity & Innovation


I believe there is a lot of value in using Lean Six Sigma in the world of product innovation.


As we know Lean Six Sigma focuses on two main factors (from many other factors)

1.     Reducing waste.

2.     Reducing Variations.


Wastes are generated in correlation to the products or services. Now, the process of producing products or delivering services is important as the wastes and variation are born here.


By using creativity & innovation, the process can be made more suitable keeping in mind that the complexities or critical steps could be avoided or minimized. In other words by using Creativity & Innovation, the process can be made more lean. 


It is also then that by using Lean and/or Six Sigma approach, the complexities or critical steps could be avoided as we focus on minimizing variation & reducing wastes in Lean Six Sigma approach.


Lean Six Sigma makes us to think and act differently. Hence I believe it is very useful in the world of Product innovation that we use Lean Six Sigma. 



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In today’s world, with increased globalisation, constant technological advances and competitive pressures, Innovation is on the top of any CEO’s priority list. But, for many companies, innovation opportunities are limited and mostly invisible. Also, the success they have, has been sporadic/accidental either because of fallacies in the identified opportunity (innovation does not produce necessary business result) or inefficiencies and wastage in the innovation process (expensive, unsustainable innovation).


An organisation not having a proper Operations Strategy would lack the processes, discipline and organisational climate to foster sustainable meaningful innovations on a continuous basis.


Lean Six Sigma, while helping achieve process excellence, provides a means to conduct measurable fact based analysis of the present conditions (process, product, service and market). This kind of analysis facilitates the team/ management to discover innovation opportunities not just in operations, but in services, products, markets and the core business model itself, which otherwise may not even be visible. This enables a much deeper and broader transformation which would significantly help enhance operational and financial performance of the business.


“Lean” focuses on reducing cost by process optimisation. “Six Sigma” focuses on meeting customer expectations by improving the quality by measuring and reducing defects. However, in the current competitive marketplace the ultimate aim of “Lean Six Sigma” is not just cost cutting and improve efficiency, but growth and effectiveness. So, it drives organisations to inherently innovate to do “Better things” rather than just do things in a better way.


By applying Lean Six Sigma concepts, the Innovation process itself could be made more efficient by reducing waste and performing factual data based analysis of the results.


The right Operations strategy can help companies make innovation a regular occurrence. An organisation using Lean Six Sigma as an operations strategy inculcates the discipline and lean thinking from top management to bottom of the workforce creating an organisational climate for innovation to flourish. Innovation has a Domino effect ie. Innovation in one area drives innovation in another. As a result, the organisation would be able to surface significant innovation opportunities that have far-reaching impacts on the businesses.


Case Study Examples [1]:

Caterpillar through a 6-sigma initiative developed a strategic vision and created a road map of change based on fact based analysis. This lead to product innovations like its phenomenally successful low-emissions diesel engine and to redesigned processes including a streamlined supply chain.

Posco Steel: Using Lean Six Sigma’s relentless focus on customer demands, POSCO developed process and IT innovations that dramatically reduced finished steel inventories and cut lead times from 28 to just 14 days by 2003. But, POSCO found that filling orders faster left too many partly used steel slabs, which hurt margins. Determined to meet customer needs profitably, POSCO developed sophisticated production scheduling algorithms that allowed it to pack multiple orders on a slab. This allowed the company to optimize slab utilization (and profitability), while still responding rapidly to customer demand.


Other Innovative companies and big time Lean Six Sigma practitioners are GE, Motorola, Toyota...to name a few. 



[1]  https://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/bus/pdf/g510-6331-01-leansixsigma.pdf

[2] http://imtuoradea.ro/auo.fmte/files-2007/MIE_files/Sunhilde_Cuc_1.pdf

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Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas.


The concept of innovation is quite diverse, depending mainly on its application. People often confuse innovation and innovation processes with continuous improvement and processes. For an innovation to be characterized as such, it must cause a significant impact on the pricing structure, in the market share, in the company’s revenue, etc. Those who innovate are at an advantage over the others.


Continuous improvements are not usually able to create competitive advantages of medium to long term, but they are able to maintain the competitiveness of the products in terms of cost.


Then, companies must understand what innovation is and what its dynamic. From there, they can define a strategy aligned with the objectives of the organization and its vision. Thus, it is possible to identify other essential concepts for companies to become innovative: attention to the future is a requirement for the company to innovate.


The next step is to develop and internalize management tools of the innovation process. These solutions must be tailored to each situation. The size of the company, its sector of activity, culture and organizational structure, the agent system in which it is inserted, its future vision and ambitions should be taken into consideration.


Lean Six Sigma, a relatively well-known approach for obtaining some excellent and efficient results, can help the executives of multinationals to discover new innovation opportunities beyond carrying out simple operations, to reach a high degree of productivity, a solid financial performance, as well as an inherent disposition towards innovation.


"Lean Six Sigma" is a methodology which is a combination of the good things taken from Lean with the advantages of Six Sigma, thus it can be defined as an integrated management approach. It focuses on obtaining a constant improvement of the processes. In order to do this, it absorbs both elements of the Lean methodology with the purpose of reducing the time of their progress, by eliminating the loss factors, as well as elements of the Six Sigma methodology, represented by a decrease of the variability degree of the process. This method can be used in any company or enterprise which registers losses on the cycle of processes with input and output parameters that are fluctuant in time.


Lean Six Sigma is a natural evolution of the subjects of improving quality and processes, which have their origin in the 1950s, in view of making the production mechanism more efficient. It all started with defining the focus on quality improvement, in order to reduce the cost of the flawed material production. This evolved in the implementation of similar principles in order to improve the efficiency of the process at factory level, by eliminating the waste of effort only to manufacture the necessary quantity, not to over-agglomerate the storehouses. In time, other parts of the organization have felt the need to approach this process optimization perspective, a relevant example in this respect being also the commercial departments within an enterprise.


Lean Six Sigma measures the performance of a product or process on a statistic level (or the degree of satisfying the customers" claims). At the same time, this methodology provides organizations with all the tools necessary in view of optimizing the capability of its processes, increasing the performance of the business environment and reducing the variation of the results → higher quality of the products and services.


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