Benefits of Lean Six Sigma: Maximizing Efficiency

Discover the individual and enterprise-level benefits of Lean Six Sigma, and how to get started on the path toward increased efficiency and productivity.

What Makes Lean Six Sigma Important?

Professionals who enroll in Lean Six Sigma training benefit their career potential by learning transferable skills valued in every type of organization. Businesses also benefit by having more employees skilled in using Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques to achieve strategic business goals.

The benefits go beyond the significant practical benefits that Lean Six Sigma provides toward improving efficiency, eliminating waste and reducing process variation that leads to defects. Having people on staff with Lean Six Sigma training also creates a culture of continuous process improvement. That culture is key to remaining competitive in a data-driven world.

While it started in manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma practitioners know that the methodology is applicable to businesses of all sizes in every industry.

What Is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma takes a data-driven approach to improve every type of business process. Project teams collect and analyze data to find the root causes of business challenges and then solve those challenges using a systematic approach.

Six Sigma, which started in manufacturing, focuses on eliminating process variation that causes defects in products or services. The best-known strategy in Six Sigma is DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) which provides a framework for finding the root causes of process challenges and eliminating them.

Lean strategies call for viewing every aspect of an operation through the view of what adds value to the customer. Lean project teams identify waste in a process that either does not benefit the end user or causes delays and defects in the final product or service. The main idea behind Lean is to make operations more efficient while also improving the quality of products, processes and services.

How Lean Six Sigma Benefits Professionals

Professionals who succeed in the modern business world need a wide variety of skills. Organizations value those with Lean Six Sigma training because they can work as change agents, leading project teams that often change organizational processes and products. They also help businesses achieve both short-term and long-term business goals.

Lean Six Sigma practitioners can come from many different backgrounds, but they develop skills that are transferable to every type of business. They are trained to become problem-solvers and to create a culture where people at all levels of the organization focus on process improvement.

Those who aspire to take on leading roles in Lean Six Sigma project teams benefit from having strong communication, leadership, and management skills. They also benefit from having a positive attitude and a deep understanding of how business processes work.

How Lean Six Sigma Benefits Organizations

Organizations across all industries, including nonprofits and government agencies, benefit from having Lean Six Sigma practitioners on staff. The benefits apply to small and large organizations across all many different industries.

Healthcare: In some cases, healthcare systems have invested in training entire staffs in Lean Six Sigma, helping make improvement in check-processes and inventory management.

Retail. Amazon uses Lean Six Sigma principles to continually improve processes, which is the heart of the business. Nike and Staples also have embraced the use of Lean Six Sigma principles and strategies.

Finance: Banks and other financial institutions benefit from making customer services such as loan applications or insurance quotes – many of which are now online – more streamlined and efficient.

Learning Lean Six Sigma Skills

SMU offers a variety of online programs designed to give professionals the knowledge they need to take on Lean Six Sigma roles in their organization.

Principles of Lean: Prepares professionals to eliminate waste that can slow processes, lower morale and lower customer satisfaction.

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt: Teaches the foundational concepts of Lean Six Sigma and how to use them to increase productivity and make process improvements that lead to higher quality products.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt: Teaches how to lead Green Belt project teams and assist Black Belts on their teams. Professionals learn more advanced approaches to data analysis, as well as how to apply Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques to specific challenges.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt: At this level, Lean Six Sigma practitioners learn how to lead project teams and have mastered Lean and Six Sigma tools and strategies.

Some of the specific areas professionals learn about in these programs include the eight wastes of Lean, how to identify non-value adding activities, and tools such as DMAIC, value stream maps and Kaizen events.