Is there a secret formula to a successful Lean Six Sigma project?

I’ve been asked many times by clients and students alike, what is the secret formula to a successful Lean Six Sigma implementation and the 53_peopleanswer is never the same from company to company but one thing always seems to come up… Implementing lean manufacturing or Six sigma or TQM or BPR or ……or ….. should be a relatively straight forward process for any business, the processes involved aren’t difficult or complex and most of them are based upon common sense.

If you speak to any consultant or black belt they will tell you exactly the steps needed to implement the changes, in the order required.
Follow these steps and you have a changed organisation ………… Don’t you ?

One vital flaw in the equation – an unknown variable – PEOPLE – Or to be more precise, the 8th Waste – The under Utilisation of People.
People touch every aspect of your business, from the CEO right down to the people who actually do the work.

We have factored in this variable from many years of hard won experience and knowledge.

Using lean six sigma improvement tools as a sticking plaster to try and cover a gaping wound is another common mistake made by management teams.
Business basics must be in place before lean principles or any other change programs can be successfully introduced – Discipline, timekeeping, absence, organisation structure etc. etc.

An organisation is a shadow of it’s leader.
If the leader is not himself willing to change the way he works, the whole change program could be doomed before it even gets off the ground.
Change must be lead, by example, from the top.

Once the foundation has been laid and the organisation has in place some stability, lean six sigma can be introduced.