Sunday, March 16, 2008

Is it time for Diet Lean Six Sigma ?

Over the past few years, while the usage of Lean and Six Sigma Tools has decreased, the Lean Six Sigma practitioner has seen a quite transformation. The role has evolved from being pre-occupied with standard "Reduce Cycle Time" and "Improve Output Quality" kind of initiatives to taking an End-to-End View of the Business and delivering Business Impact. The manufacturing sector continues to benefit from and lead the way with the depth of Lean and Six Sigma deployment, but the Services Sector ( I can comment specifically on Information Technology ( IT ) and IT Enabled Services ( ITES ) has seen no less impact, thanks to the evolving role of the Lean Six Sigma Professional. A few initiatives that I have seen the Lean Six Sigma Professionals being involved ( In addition to the usual stuff ) include

1. Knowledge Management
2. Best Practise Translation
3. Industry / External Benchmarking
4. Business Intelligence ( BI ), Business Activity Monitoring ( BAM )
5. Program Management of Company wide Big Ticket Initiatives
6. Help Drive Functional Efficiencies (Training, Hiring , HR, Logistics, Finance etc) ·
7. Implementing Industry Standards / Frameworks (COPC, ISO, ITIL, CMM, Score Card etc)
8. Re-Engineering Assignments (sponsored by CFO / CIO / CEO)
9. Driving End-to-End Business Impact

An interesting 14 year on-going study / survey on Management Tools and Trends by consulting firm Bain & Company ( ) offers additional insights. In conclusion, while Lean and Six Sigma no longer qualify as "The Next Big New Thing" in most of the Organizations, the Lean Six Sigma Professional is certainly in exciting times for some time to come.