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Vishwadeep Khatri
Message added by Mayank Gupta,

Lean Six Sigma Infrastructure refers to the enablers - people, processes, tools, governance, training, motivation, rewards, etc. - that are put in place to implement and effectively integrate the LSS philosophy within the organization.

 

An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by D. Nandakumar on 12th Sep 2023.

 

Applause for all the respondents - Rakesh Naik, B Ravi Sankar, D. Nandakumar, Kishor Patil.

Question

598. As an MBB, you are tasked with setting up the Lean Six Sigma Infrastructure in the organization. What are the critical elements that you will focus on to build this capability? Provide relevant examples of actions that you will take on these critical elements.

 

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The Critical elements to focus for Successful Six Sigma implementation journey is,

1.  It needs to have a Top management support and an effective organizational structure.

2. As a next step, Six Sigma needs to become a business process management system that Understands and addresses process components and boundaries

3. Identifies and collectively utilizes process owners, Internal customers and External customers, and other stakeholders.

4. Creates an environment for effective project management where the business achieves maximum benefits.

5. Establishes project measures that include key performance metrics with appropriate documentation.

6. Tools like Force field analysis can be conducted to identify the driving and restraining forces.

7. Action plans need to be created to solve the restraining forces.

6. Projects needs to be focused on areas that can yield a high ROI and address the needs of customers.

Master black belt need to Function as change agents and Conduct and oversee training like,

       Training plan to Coach black belts/green belts.

       Leverage projects and resources.

       Formulate project-selection strategies with steering team.

       Communicate the S4 /IEE vision.

       Motivate others toward a common vision.

       and to approve completed projects

 

7. Project black belt implementers are typically expected to deliver annual benefits of between $500,000 and $1,000,000, on average, through four to six projects per year.

8. The value of maintaining and improving customer satisfaction must not be overlooked by organizations.

9. To achieve success, organizations must wisely address Six Sigma metrics and its infrastructure.

10. The success of Six Sigma is linked to a set of cross functional metrics that lead to significant improvements in customer satisfaction and bottom-line benefits.

11. Companies experiencing success with Six Sigma have created an infrastructure to support the strategy.

Tools like Affinity diagram can be used for grouping of issues that a team believed was important to address when creating a six-sigma business strategy.

 

 

The interrelationship diagram also can be used to further subdivision of issues and to show the interrelationship of these issues,

Ø  Executive leadership and involvement

Ø  Delivered results

Ø  Customer focus

Ø  Strategic goals

Ø  Project selection

Ø  Training and execution

Ø  Resources

Ø  Black belt selection

Ø  Communications

Ø  Culture

Ø  Metrics

12. Roles and responsibilities need to be addressed for Executives, Steering committee, champion, Black and Green Belts. Etc.,

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Presenting a summary of the critical elements and corresponding actions for building a Lean Six Sigma infrastructure in an organisation:
Phase 1: Creating visibility and awareness on the key concepts of quality and six sigma
Start with the WB and YB training sessions with the operations staff and assisting them to complete their respective projects. Also share regular learning snippets on the 7 QC tools via internal communications emails to create more awareness on quality and continuous improvement.
Phase 2: Highlighting the achievements of the WB and YB projects
Showcase the achievements of these projects in top management forums. Getting a buy in from them to carry out similar activities in all their departments. Also present case studies demonstrating cost savings and quality improvements achieved by other organizations through Lean Six Sigma initiatives.
Phase 3: Assemble a team of lean six sigma trained staff
Create a team and train them in cross functional improvement projects. Focus on reducing defects or improve on efficiency.
Phase 4: Get involved in setting up KPI’s
Implement Data Collection systems that are appropriate to assess the key performance indicators. Forefront the aspects of setting up the KPI’s for different departments of the organisation.
Phase 5: Develop a continuous improvement culture
Establish a recognition program for teams or individuals who achieve significant improvements through Lean Six Sigma efforts and implementation of key quality concepts.
Phase 6: Share knowledge and best practices
Create a platform for regular sharing of best practices and knowledge on quality and continuous improvement happenings across industries. Also create a platform to allow the employees to log in their kaizen ideas.
 

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As an MBB, I have been given responsibility for creating the LSS infrastructure in my company. The following are the critical elements I will pay particular attention to:

 

1) Leadership support - I will assist leadership in understanding Lean Six Sigma as the necessity for ongoing development in the workplace to help achieve corporate objectives.

 

2) Create a work plan - I'll put together a plan of action that outlines the scope of the improvement, taking into account resource changes, process modifications, and project funding.

 

3) Build the team – As an MBB, I will train high-performing designated employees for the role of GB or BB and if required will hire external consultants to develop my team in order to improve process performance

 

4) Determine Responsibilities - In accordance with the defined work plan, I will allocate ownership to each BB to focus on a particular area.

 

5) Focus on consumer needs and establish CTQ - Respective BBs must find creative improvement suggestions based on client specifications that will reduce waste and boost process effectiveness.

 

6) Drive improvement initiatives - As an MBB, I will instruct all BBs or GBs on how to apply problem-solving techniques to develop and carry out an action plan for crucial variables affecting dependent variables.

 

7) Create control plan to sustain improvement – For each of the project being driven, a full proof control is created to maintain the improvement in the process

 

8) Evaluate the performance - Post improvements, I will evaluate KPIs to show the leadership on the contribution of improvement projects towards achieving business goals

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Scoping:

  • To understand the level of LSS requirement, number of functions it needs to roll out, budget and resources requirements. 
  • E.g. In a contact center check requirement for LSS in BUs like WFM, Quality, MIS, Operations, Training etc. Then understand how many YB, GB or BB level champions required. Take all the details and make a proposal.

 

Leadership Approval & Commitment:

  • Present the business case for requirement of LSS methodology rollout to the leadership. 
  • Get approval for required budget, resources & senior management commitment to help drive.
  • E.g. Get budget approval for LSS training at required level from YB to BB. Set expectations on number of projects etc. Set expectations to commit for regular meetings and governance of the whole roll out.

 

Planning:

  • Another assessment to understand the rollout level of requirements and then plan further by creating actions with timelines.
  • E.g. Create LSS champions, Create suitable training programs, set project selection plans, create an R&R program etc

 

Communication:

  • Roll out comms to explain the coms across the organisation, so everyone is on board.
  • E.g. Email comms to explain the plan followed by briefings to explain it further and to encourage people to participate.

 

Delivery:

  • Train the champions first on LSS.
  • High level meets with all the champions to understand respective processes and gather data.
  • Recognise all improvement opportunities and follow selection criteria to finalise projects.
  • Try to combine or assign multiple YBs under a GB and multiple GBs under a BB projects that way it's a collective effort which should further help create that LSS culture across the board.
  • Create a feedback mechanism from all stakeholders.
  • Set regular rhythms for continuous improvement opportunities so it's and habitual in future.

 

Closure:

  • Conduct post implementation review to measure success.
  • Understand improvements required in the roll out & support required.
  • Create SOP for L&D and final handover.
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