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Roadblocks to the Implementation of Lean Six Sigma

Published on Sat 30, 2020
Roadblocks to the Implementation of Lean Six Sigma


Before we turn our attention to the roadblocks to the implementation of Lean Six Sigma, it is essential to understand the importance of quality management and the role played by Lean Six Sigma. While most of you would already have a fair idea of this, let’s indulge ourselves in this discussion for the sake of our budding quality management professionals.

Why is quality management critical?

The straight forward answer to the question is that it generates client satisfaction. However, the role and scope of quality management are not limited to client satisfaction. Optimizing the quality of the process produces several inherent advantages that can make a substantial difference for the organization.

  • * Improving the process ultimately transcends into the development of more consistent product due to increased efficiency
  • * Removing waste and deviations brings down the cost and improves the profitability
  • * Quality management also helps in reducing risks like loss of customers because of the lack of customer satisfaction, damage to the reputation of the organization, etc.
  • * Helps in improving market share due to decreased operation value and improved profitability
  • * Improve employee morale

How can Lean Six Sigma Contribute?

Lean Six Sigma combines Lean based identification and removal of wastes (activities and processes that do not add value) and Six Sigma bases removal of variations in process and promotion of continual improvement. Over the years, organizations have been using the collaborative system to improve its business processes and thus improving the overall business conditions. Lean identifies wastes like:

  • * Defects
  • * Overproduction
  • * Waiting
  • * Unused Talent
  • * Transportation
  • * Inventory
  • * Motion
  • * Extra-Processing

In simple terms, Lean six sigma cuts production cost, improves the overall quality, speeds up the process, and saves money, which directly helps an organization to stay competitive. It also inculcates a continuous improvement mindset if implemented on the organizational scale. Six Sigma is a continuous improvement model that focuses on eliminating variations in the business process and improving predictability.

Roadblocks to Implementation of Six Sigma

While Lean Six Sigma can deliver exceptional benefits to any organization that implements it correctly, scores of organizations fall short of availing the comprehensive benefits offered by LSS. This is because organizations become the victims of the roadblocks in the implementation of Lean Six Sigma. Some of these roadblocks are:

Discontent with the initial investment:

LSS implementation has to come from the top leadership, and they are often the first roadblock. Several leaders identify the considerable investment required during the initial implementation of LSS and fail to commit to the investment and implementation of LSS completely. Often, the top leadership fails to quantify the benefits of LSS and, in turn, ends up spending the same, if not more, because of the wastes.

Lack of commitment:

Another reason why organizations fail to reap the full benefits of LSS is that they fail to commit their best minds to LSS. For many organizations, training for LSS is limited to sending whoever is available for training rather than selecting the right candidate. Often, these individuals are not even interested in the application of LSS and fall in the “unconsciously incompetent” phase identified by the adult learning principle. They often lack the experience to connect LSS to real implementation.

Slog in the team:

The second crucial level after the leadership is the quality management team who have to commit to the implementation of LSS. A common challenge for any organization is to bring the team together, and often one can find members of the team who are skeptical about the new approach and are not motivated enough to give it an honest try. Such a mentality can be a result of a lack of motivation or fear that their role will become redundant in the new framework.

Incomplete understanding of LSS:

Application of a framework without completely understanding it is not unheard of. Organizations can rush into the implementation of LSS without understanding it if they are trying to gain a quick competitive advantage over the competition or are trying to impress any stakeholder. This could also happen if the company has committed the wrong person to overlook the implementation of Lean Six Sigma: someone who had not been interested in the success of Lean Six Sigma.

Poor Execution:

Even with expert guidance, implementation of LSS can go haywire when process improvements are not aligned with the organizational goals. Poor execution can come in the face of several incorrect strategic decisions like not considering the strategic objectives of the organization or focusing more on the outputs of the quality improvement process and overlooking the inputs.

Too Statistical for the team:

This is more of a misplaced perception than a fact. Lean Six Sigma is highly data-driven, and often, top leadership considers LSS to be too technical for their team to handle. They might even believe that the LSS is purely statistical and might fail to identify other essential contributions of LSS. While it is true that the lean six sigma team should understand the basic concepts, there are several computational tools available now to help the team.

So here it is, we have laid out the top roadblocks in the implementation of Lean Six Sigma. This list is not extensive, and organizations can face other issues in the implementation of LSS. However, a deeper understanding of LSS, along with proper communication channels and careful selection of the team can solve several problems faced by organizations in the implementation of LSS. Lean Six Sigma practitioners should start by calculating the cost of implementing LSS to the cost saved by removing waste to identify and emphasize the need for LSS.

How can we help?

What greatly favors the quality management professionals and organizations is that there is a lot of scope for training the quality management team in Lean Six Sigma principles, tools, and best practices. Certification Planner is a global training facilitator that provides an array of training solutions in different levels of Lean Six Sigma like Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt. We also offer optimized lean six sigma certifications like:

* Dual Lean Six Sigma Yellow & Green Belt

* Dual Lean Six Sigma Green & Black Belt

Getting yourself or your employees trained had never been easier. CP is currently offering training modules that can easily be taken up by professionals working from remote locations. We also roll out special enterprise training workshops for organizations that want to train their quality management workforce. Explore the complete Lean Six Sigma Training Solution offered by CP or drop your query at Happy Learning!

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