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Written by Steven Bonacorsi   

The root of both Lean and Six Sigma reach back to the time when the greatest pressure for quality and speed were on manufacturing. Lean rose as a method for optimizing automotive manufacturing; Six Sigma evolved as a quality initiative to eliminate defects by reducing variation in processes in the semiconductor industry. It is not surprising that the earliest adopters of Lean Six Sigma arose in the service support functions of manufacturing organizations like GE Capital, Caterpillar Finance, and Lockheed Martin.

Lean Six Sigma for services is a business improvement methodology that maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed, and invested capital.

The fusion of Lean and Six Sigma improvement methods is required because: - Lean cannot bring a process under statistical control - Six Sigma alone cannot dramatically improve process speed or reduce invested capital - Both enable the reduction of the cost of complexity

Ironically, Six Sigma and Lean have often been regarded as rival initiatives. Lean enthusiasts note that Six Sigma pays little attention to anything related to speed and flow, while Six Sigma supporters point out that Lean fails to address key concepts like customer needs and variation. Both sides are right. Yet these arguments are more often used to advocate choosing one over the other, rather than to support the more logical conclusion that we blend Lean and Six Sigma.

What sets Lean Six Sigma apart from its individual components is the recognition that you cannot do "just quality" or "just speed," you need the balanced process that can help an organization to focus on improving service quality, as defined by the customer within a set time limit.

Steven Bonacorsi is a Senior Master Black Belt instructor and coach. Steven Bonacorsi has trained hundreds of Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts, and Project Sponsors and Excutive Leaders in Lean Six Sigma DMAIC and Design for Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodologies.

Bonacorsi Consulting, LLC.
Steven Bonacorsi, President
Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
14 Clinton Street
Salem NH 03079
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603-401-7047





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