This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.
Friday, December 20, 2002
• Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing: Synergystic or in Conflict? -- From ASQ's Six Sigma Forum Magazine : November 2002 -- As in most of these articles with titles like this (including my own), the answer to the question of synergy or conflict is probably obvious by now. This one is actually a collection of responses from five working managers and one academic. Some of the comments that caught my attention:
"Deciding where to apply lean is key. Senior management must be involved in project selection."
I've heard this for Six Sigma as well.
"When you want to reduce waste and improve the efficiency of a process, you use the lean tools. When your goal is to reduce variance and improve performance, you should be using Six Sigma tools. "
And when the goal is to break constraints blocking throughput, applications of TOC come into play.
"While the focus in lean is on eliminating muda (waste), the Six Sigma focus is on reducing the variation of process inputs and creating a robust process, thereby producing very predicable outputs."
...and the TOC focus is on growing the volume of those outputs -- on Throughput.
Like my aforementioned article says -- better together.
TOC for focusing the efforts of Lean's waste reduction and Six Sigma's attacks on variation where they will do the best to maximize system throughput.
My favorite comment from the ASQ piece...
"I’m also seeing more and more companies adopt strategies that include both methodologies, but they are calling their initiative something else. They are giving it a name that means something to the company’s business but does not tie them to one or even two methods. These are the companies I see having the best chance for success in the next few years."
I like it. After all, it isn't the methodologies that are in conflict -- only the purveyors of one and not the others.
posted by Frank - Permanent Link -