6 Power Tools of Lean Six Sigma
The term Lean six sigma is not complex at all and is very straight forward. It is simply the combination of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma to form a unique system that eliminates waste. Adopting this method allows a business to increase production while streamlining their manufacturing process.
The Main Tools of Lean Six Sigma Every Organization Must Be Aware Of
A concept as massive as this one would be very hard to understand or even implement if they weren’t any tools to help organizations out. If an organization using Lean Six Sigma wants to get the best results, there are a number of tools which they must be aware of. Below are 6 of the most popular that can help a business get started when using Lean Six Sigma
1. The 5 Whys
Organizations can use the five why to understand the cause of the problem. How it works is very easy and can be implemented in the manner below.
- An organization can write down the problems they are facing so that all the employees are aware and focused on dealing with it
- The organization can ask themselves why the problems keep on occurring
- If the first answer an organization has is not the cause of the issues, there is no need to ask again
- An organization can repeat this step up to five times until they find out what the cause of the problem really is in their ranks
2. 5S System
The 5S system allows an organization to organize materials for quick and easy access. This also makes sure that they are better maintained and does a wonderful job eliminating waste that is produced from tools in not so pleasant working order.
These 5S’s are:
- Sort – Take out all unneeded item and only leave those that are needed to get the job done.
- Set in order – label and organize items properly
- Shine – inspect as well as clear work areas every day
- Standardize – Write down a list of standards employees need to follow as far as shine, sort and set in order are concerned
- Sustain – An organization has to apply the standards they have set and make sure employees follow them religiously
This is a very popular tool and it refers to the practice where an organization continuously improves its manufacturing process by introducing new methods. Kaizen helps management and employees get involved especially when it comes to making improvement in the manufacturing side of things. Waste is significantly reduced since everyone is involved plus the smallest of mistakes are easily spotted and dealt with.
4. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
This tool, which is known as FMEA for short, helps an organization highlight any weakness early before things get worse. The development of this method goes as far back as the 1950s and it can be used to identify failure modes as well as review assemblies and components.
5. Pareto Chart
This is a graphical representation of information which allows an organization using Lean Six Sigma to highlight any major issues in their operation. The X-axis on the graph shows a group of response variable which is represented by bars e.g. machine parts. The Y-axis, on the other hand, shows a defect frequency and a cumulative percentage.
6. Poka – Yoke
This is a Japanese term which means mistake proofing when translated to English. This is where employees highlight any mistakes that have occurred as a result of human error during production.
If an organization decides that Lean Six Sigma is the way forward for them, the 6 tools mentioned above need to be used properly. There is no denying that these tools do work and will help an organization pinpoint problems before they get worse. The most successful organizations in the world are successful because these tools help them massively. Major problems are avoided because they are tackled in their infant stage before they spread.