This is a guest post from Lisa where she shares how development and training have helped her get a better job with more pay.
When I was choosing where to take my career, I started by doing some research on green careers. During my research, I ran across a career that really impressed me: Lean Six Sigma.
If you’re not sure what Lean Six Sigma is, I’ll break it down for you somewhat. And if you like what you read, you might want to take Lean Six Sigma courses.
The Lean Methodology
The Lean Methodology is a systematic approach to diminish or remove activities that have no value to the process.
It highlights removing wasteful steps in processes and keeping only the valued steps. The Lean Methodology ensures higher quality outputs and better customer satisfaction.
It assists in:
- Reducing process cycle time
- Diminishes or eliminating the chance of defect generation
- Improving product or service delivery time
- Reducing the inventory levels
- Optimising resources for primary improvements among others
The Lean Methodology is a constant approach to removing waste, promoting a continuous chain of improvements.
The Value Methodology
It’s important to understand how Value is connected to the Lean Methodology.
Customer value depends on the kind of business process and context of the industry you’re involved in. The Value Methodology is related to the customers’ perception of the products and services offered.
Processes are sets of activities which convert inputs into outputs using various resources. Such activities can be classified as such:
- Enabling value-added activity: Activities that do not add value to a customer. However, such activities are necessary for the continuity of a process.
- Value-added activity: Activities that add value to a process and are essential. They improve all other methods for productivity and quality.
- Non- Value-added activity: Activities that do not add any value to the products, forming the wasteful steps in the process. Customers don’t pay for the costs associated with such activities willingly. Furthermore, if present in excess they result in customer dissatisfaction.
In most commercial processes, nearly 80 to 85 per cent of all activities is “non-value adding” activities.
The Lean Methodology approach aims to identify such activities in the process, using “lean tools” to eliminate or diminish them. Thus, the Lean Methodology improves process efficiency.
The first corporation to employ the Lean Methodology is Toyota with its Toyota Production System (TPS).
TPS is most often well-suited for a High Volume Production (HPV) environment.
However, the Lean Methodology could apply to any manufacturing operation and the services industry as well.
As a matter of fact, many in the services sector are adopting the Lean Methodology with open arms.
This is why any processes identified as wasted in the Lean Methodology are known as “Muda,” which is a Japanese term meaning “wastes.”
The Japanese engineer, Taiichi Ohno of Toyota, introduced this term in the 1960s.
There are five principles to the Lean Methodology
1. Defined Value
Since consumers define the value of a product or service, one must first identify who those consumers are. One should ask themselves: Does the customer value this product or service?
If the answer to that question is “yes,” then the next step is to find out what the customers’ expectations are.
Now one must classify the processes or activities involved: Are they “non-value” or “added-value” operations. Do they “Enable” the value sought after?
2. Map Value Streams
Value stream mapping is what shows the workflow process. A workflow process consists of the steps needed to produce a product or service.
Value stream mapping helps companies identify and get rid of any NVA activities.
This eventually assists companies to reduce the processes that delay production and thereby improves the quality of products and services.
3. Create Flow
Create flow to consumers by ensuring a continuous stream of systems in producing products and services. Flow optimises the total process and maximises the process of efficiency.
4. Establish Pull
Establishing a pull is an approach that improves systems beat time. You can define “beat time” as the rate at which a product or service is scheduled to be ready for consumers.
To achieve this, companies employ Just In Time (PIT), which is a tool that promotes the Pull system.
JIT ensures a smooth workflow and diminishes disruptions. It also helps decrease wasted inventory levels.
5. Seek Continual Improvements
Finally, one must be consistent efforts towards improving the existing processes that cater to an ever-changing consumer need. These efforts ensure that waste is eliminated and products and services are free of defects.
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