No matter the industry, businesses and organizations are always looking for ways to reduce waste and costs. The challenge is the means by which they achieve these goals. One increasingly popular concept is Lean Six Sigma, which combines Six Sigma’s focus on reducing errors and Lean’s focus on reducing waste to develop processes that improve efficiency and eliminate redundancies and defects. Lean Six Sigma takes the guesswork out of process improvement.
Applying Lean Six Sigma in Action
Ok, so that definition may have sounded a little bit abstract, which is why we’re going to take a second and use a real-world example of implementing Lean Six Sigma in your home.
Let’s say you wanted to reduce your carbon footprint. The first thing you would do is define the challenge and goals: You’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint because you’re committed to sustainability and want to lower your utility bills. However, you don’t want to spend any additional money, and you would be happy with a five percent reduction.
Once you define the challenges and expectations, it is time to measure the data. What is your total carbon footprint? If you’re not sure how to measure this, the EPA has a calculator that will provide you with that information based on how many people who live in your home, your heating and electricity sources and monthly bills, transportation, and your total waste.
You can then use the EPA calculator to make adjustments to the amount of energy you use and waste you make to reach your goal. In Lean Six Sigma, these are the analyze and improve phases. Using the calculator, we determined that we could reduce our total carbon footprint by five percent by turning up the thermostat in the summer by three degrees, turning it down by three degrees in the winter, recycling our newspapers, and reducing the number of miles we drive each year by 500 miles.
The final phase in Lean Six Sigma is the control phase. Here is where we put the plan into action and make sure everyone in the home understands the purpose of the changes and is implementing them to make sure we reach our goal.
In business, Lean Six Sigma can greatly improve a company’s bottom line. This is why Lean Six Sigma training is in such demand. However, no matter what you do or what your situation is, you can probably incorporate Lean Six Sigma somewhere in your life. Keep this in mind if you find inefficiencies at work or even at home. Who knows? If you decide to get Lean Six Sigma training, it could lead to new opportunities down the road.