If you are looking for a collection of tools and methodologies that could help in increasing the value that is delivered to the customer while minimizing the waste of all sorts, using Lean is the best option. While there is no one definition for this, it is a collection of all those tools and practices which help in delivering the project with maximum velocity and encourage the team to reduce waste by increasing the velocity of the project.
The lean principles are used to eliminate the waste in the production such as waiting, over-processing, motion, defects, resources, non utilized talents, excess inventory, and, transportation. Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that is a combination of Lean and Six Sigma principles. It drives to remove waste and to remove the variations in the products, processes, and services.
The lean tools are the tools that evaluate whether the processes are under control, there are no variations, there are no wastages in the processes and helps in lessening the number of iterations, to lessen the cost, lessen the time to market without compromising on the quality with best customer satisfaction results. Lean tools also help to solve the bottlenecks and problems that are encountered in the processes. There are 5 principles of the lean Six Sigma they are as follows,
The lean methodology tools strives to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and increase productivity.
1. The 5 Why’s –This is one of the important and basic tools in lean Six Sigma. This is used in finding the Root Cause Analyses of each problem. It can be done like this,
2. The regression analysis – It is a statistical tool for understanding and estimating the relationship between the output variable and the input variables.
It is used to define the relationship that exists between the output variable y for the given input variables X1, X2, X3...etc.
By doing this analysis we can figure out the deviance from the standard patterns and the patterns which emerge out of the workflow.
3. The value stream mapping -The value stream maps are used to improve and optimize the flow of materials and processes in the organization
Three things are identified by the value stream mapping they are as follows,
The uses of value stream maps are to eliminate the non-value adding work in the processes so that the processes are highly streamlined
4. The 5S system –Here 5S represents Seiri – Seiton – Seiso – Seiketsu – Shitsuke as written in Japanese. This system is used to eliminate waste because of poor tools and poor equipment.
5. Failure Mode Effect Analysis –FMEA as it is called eliminates the failure modes and causes and effects of the components, assemblies, and sub-assemblies. They improve the quality of the processes and products and identify defects even before they fail.
6. Pareto Chart -Pareto chart is one of the lean tools used to display differences between the groups of data graphically.
The x-axis symbolize groups of the response variable in bars, and y-axis symbolize the defect frequency that is the cumulative percentage
It is based on the Pareto principle which states that there are 20 % causes for 80% of the problems in the organization.
7. Kaizen –Kaizen means continuous improvement and it is again written in Japanese language. It encourages that all the managers and employees of the organization practice Kaizen daily. It is the process of identifying, observing, and doing incremental changes in the organization.
8. Poka-Yoke - It is a Japanese phrase that means mistake-proofing. It is a process of identifying eliminating the causes of humans errors in production. For examples - Putting safety brakes on the mobile vehicles to avoid accidents or making changes to the phrases on the buttons of the machines so that it is clear to the workers
9. Cause and Effect Diagram –It is also called a fishbone diagram because of its appearance. It is a graphical tool to find out the list of causes due to a specific effect. It is also called an Ishikawa diagram based on the founder Dr. Laoru Ishikawa. It is used to list down the causes into particular categories in a graphical way. The categories can be divided into Man, Machine, Materials, Mother Nature, Measurement, and Machine, or it is also called 6 M’s.
10. Process Control Charts -This chart is used to identify how the process behaves to time. The middle line represents the median and the upper line is the upper control limit and the lower line is the lower control limit. Now the data points are plotted over the time order in this chart.
Lean tools are used in almost all industries whether it is manufacturing, retail, Information technology, digital, software, etc. To more about the usage of these tools and find real-time examples, enroll now for the Green Belt Certification with StarAgile. StarAgile provides online training in lean Six Sigma and many other management techniques. Also, StarAgile is a partner with the Project Management Institute and SAFe and provides various training such as Project Management and Product Owner certifications.
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