Lean Six Sigma Principles: Understanding the Core Elements

Lean Six Sigma is all about combining the best of Lean and Six Sigma approaches. Companies of all scales, from Fortune 500 to startups stand to benefit from this system, which ensures lower expenditures, higher productivity, and increased revenues. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Lean Six Sigma principles and see how your brand stands to benefit from their use.

Know Your Customers

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) places critical importance on customers. You should begin by first drawing a clear picture of who your customers are, what they want, and how they feel about your products and services. Known as the voice of the customer, this is extremely important, and at the same time, very difficult to master. 

You should ideally be gathering data from across all touchpoints in entire customer journeys, not just from a select few. Customer journeys span everything from pre-sales research to sales and include after-sales interactions too, so it’s pretty broad. With an understanding of what your customers really want, rather than what you think they want, LSS helps you offer a more seamless experience.

Identify the Problems

LSS aims to first identify and define the problem at hand. You can’t really eliminate a problem unless you first know exactly what it is. Look at the business from a bird’s eye view and narrow down on one specific area that needs attention. Data aggregation can also help identify where problems lie. LSS focuses on a single problem rather than attempting to make broad, organization-level changes.

Eliminate the Challenges

Once the challenges and bottlenecks have been identified, you can now begin to systematically eliminate them from the system. Problems, also called defects in Six Sigma parlance, are issues that can delay processes, keep other processes waiting, incur unnecessary additional costs, or result in defective goods and services. Lean aims to cut down on waste, which are unnecessary processes that don’t add any value for the end user and can be eliminated for good.

Embrace Change for the Better

Lean Six Sigma is all about driving change and creating a culture of continuous improvement. Change is always difficult, so your teams might be initially reluctant to implement LSS principles. However, an inspired leadership can make it all possible. Embrace constant change, and work for systematically improving processes to eliminate all wastes and defects in the business workflows.

Invest in Your Workforce

Make sure you train your teams to prepare them for upcoming changes brought out by LSS. While some training can help teams perform optimally, excessive training can have the opposite effect and leave employees confused. Your teams should have a detailed understanding of the challenges at hand and the ways they’re being addressed.

It’s All About Customer Satisfaction

In the end, Lean Six Sigma has but one singular objective — to ensure businesses can achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction with products and services that fill essential voids in customer journeys and help them lead a better life.

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