Should Six Sigma start after Lean Implementation?

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Aly Kamel Al-Ariny

Should Six Sigma start after Lean Implementation?

My perception to Six Sigma is that it should start after Lean Implementation, at least basic (Stability Phase and Continuous Flow), then can go in parallel, since Lean helps set the standards and Six Sigma controls deviation from standards.
But the DMAIC problem solving methodology can be simplified as the PDCA from the start of Lean Implementation. The certification process of Black / Green Belts is a rigorous part of the subject that I hope to be spread to all operations management consultancy fields.

  Ger de Waard
Management Consultant, Netherlands

Six Sigma After Lean

I cannot agree with you more... To start with lean you start moving the averages, for instance the Lead Time of a process, thereby removing all the waste out of the process at the same time. When you have done that, you start working on reducing the variation out of the process, applying Six Sigma tools and techniques. The results should be an optimized process with predictable output every time again. Of course in the Control Phase you should focus on continuous improvements using Kaizen, PDCA etc... And not to forget making sure your OCAP (Out of Control Action Plan) is in place. Just in case something unexpected happens.

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