When thinking about the one industry could benefit the most out of Lean Six Sigma tools and templates, the winner would have to be the public school system. Literally, you can pick a public school district out of a hat, and (with the exception of a few), probably find rising costs, outdated protocols, ineffective existing programs, and a high absentee rate.
Enter Lean Six Sigma tools to the rescue! Let us note that it isn’t due to lack of caring that some of our school districts have found themselves in this predicament. Everyone just seems to be on a different page.
In a recent conversation with a young mother, it was apparent that she was happy with the public school her young son was attending, because of the level of attention and teaching that was administered at his neighborhood school. He is in a special class for kids with learning challenges.
The reason we bring this up is because this is just one element of the offerings of the public school system. This class is held in the normal local elementary school that this child is attending. The kids in this class require a different teaching method and two separate teachers. This uses more of the money allocated, and consequently more resources. Teachers are not only overwhelmed, but are more likely to use her/his own resources for school supplies.
If the school system would incorporate certain Lean Six Sigma methodologies, the first issue that would leave is waste. Although a certain amount of flexibility is important in the education system, that usually happens in the actual classroom. The elimination of variation or waste (Muda) would allocate resources better and consequently help create unity among departments.
Since money would be going to where it is needed (instead of outdated programs as an example), the money would go to improving the public school system instantly. Part of the Six Sigma mindset is employee happiness, which improves loyalty, so investing in our teachers is critical. Six Sigma DMAIC holds the key to our future.
For more information on our Lean Six Sigma courses and services, please visit 6sigma.us.