About this lesson
Lean Six Sigma analysis considers process level performance. For this reason it is necessary to understand the complete process – both the process steps and the process flow.
When to use
The process management techniques are used in the Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control phases of the project.
Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology. So it is important that we clarify what is meant by a process. A process is a series of actions or steps, that are related together to achieve a goal or objective. The process has a start, stop and flow that is repeated continuously.
Processes must be managed differently than projects. Since Lean Six Sigma is implemented through projects, teams will sometimes fall into the trap of treating the improvement only from a project perspective and not from a process perspective. It is useful to compare the two.
In addition, as part of the DMAIC approach, an As-Is process map or value stream map is created during the Measure phase. This represents the current state of the process and often is a very tangled map. Steps, checks, and activities have been added from time-to-time without a concern for process efficiency or speed. The map informs us of repeat loops and decision points that slow down the process and often confuse the operators. During the Improve phase a new To-Be process map is developed and it is fully implemented during the Control phase. This should be a map with “straight-line” flow and a minimum of delays and decision points.
Hints & tips
- When analyzing a process, always think in terms of continuous smooth flow.
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