answer and/or discuss the following:
1. Describe the goals of the lean
is a methodology focused on continuously improving any process by eliminating
waste in everything related to an organization. The goals of the lean
Eliminating waste in
the organization’s processes and activities. Examples of such waste includes
wait time or downtime, which leads to an unproductive environment.
Reducing costs for
all processes in an organization.
satisfaction through improving the quality of products and services offered.
these goals will provide the organization with a competitive advantage, and
create a value-added process flow.
2. Review the seven sources of waste.
Provide examples of each of these types of wastes in an organization that you
are familiar with.
is excessive use of resources, resulting in producing too much of something before
it is needed. An example of overproduction is excess inventory – overproduction
of bread in a Publix store.
Idle time: this
is the waiting time or queue time that delays processes. For instance, my work
computer faced technical errors and thus stopped functioning. I cannot use the
computer and have to wait for it to be fixed. This idle or waiting time is unproductive.
Delivery waste: this
is the waste of time as a result of extra work because of inefficient layout. For
example in Karen’s bakery, the oven and the icing station are almost 1000 feet
apart. The time it takes to move the cake from the oven to the icing station is
a waste. It would be more efficient to place the icing station right next to
Waste in the work itself: this is the repetition of work because there was
insufficient information to complete the job in the first time. An example of
this is a student writing a report without clear instructions from a professor.
Inventory waste: this
entails raw materials or finished goods that are not having any value added to
them. For example, if Zeno’s candy factory purchased blueberries for a new ice
cream flavor but never actually used the blueberries, it is a waste
Wasted operator motions: this involves walking to get tools or parts. From the
previous example of Karen’s bakery, if the tools to apply icing on the cake are
far from the icing station, employees would need to walk and get those tools.
Waste of rejected parts: this the production of wrong items. For example, a
customer wanted an engraved watch with the initials M.P but the actual product
contained the initials N.P, the product will be rejected.
Skills Waste: An
additional source if waste is skills of employees. For instance, if an employee
is good at marketing but is working in a different department, this is a waste
of that employee’s skills. It would be ideal to provide employees with work
they are good at.
3. Describe the cycle that lean
improvement projects often follow.
improvement project involves the application of lean strategies for a specific objective.
Lean improvement projects include:
Identify customers and specify value: show the customer the value for the
product or service they are paying for.
Identify and map the value stream: show the customer how value is added to the
product (the logical explanation behind the value adding process). The more
visually noticeable the process, the more effective are the results.
Create flow by eliminating waste or non-value adding activities
Allow the customer to ‘pull’ the product or service – only produce what is
needed, when it is needed.
Practice kaizen to continually eliminate waste, reduce batch sizes, and create
continuous flow. This entails pursuing perfection in every process within an
4. Describe the changes that occur to
the spread of the process when the amount of variation in the process
the amount of variation decreases, the product or service offered to the
customer becomes more standardized. Every product or service in question have
the same quality. For example, a standard manuscript provided to customer
service employees will have minimal change in the way they approach customers
via telephone. This is because all the employees are reading from the same
manuscript. An example of a product could include the recipe for burgers by
McDonald’s. The burgers have the same recipe, leading to the same results every
time. By decreasing variation, organizations narrow the spread of the process.
This leads to more customer satisfaction. If a customer is used to a specific
tasting McDonald’s burger, he or she would expect the same tasting burger the
next time they purchase it.
5. What are the benefits of
implementing the Six Sigma methodology?
Sigma focuses on eliminating waste from processes, products and services while
having a positive impact on an organization’s financial performance. The
advantages of the six sigma methodology include:
Provide value to
customer – organizations that practice Six Sigma are better able to produce
more products and services using existing resources
Reduction of waste
– producing the right quantity at the right time
performance – increased profitability through customer retention
variability in processes – this leads to standardized products or services
offered by the organization, leading to a narrow spread in the process
share – more customers leads to higher profits, which in turn allow the
organization to capture a huge chunk of market share
6. How does Six Sigma work together
with lean concepts?
Six Sigma methodology focuses on reducing variation in a process. The Lean methodology
focuses on improving company performance by reducing waste. These techniques work
together because both are focused on improving the value-added process flow in
an organization. An added benefit of Six Sigma is that it focuses on making
improvements that enhance the overall financial health of the organization.