Summary of Implementing Six Sigma and Lean

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Implementing Six Sigma and Lean book summary
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6

Qualities

  • Comprehensive
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured

Recommendation

Experienced manager and lecturer Ron Basu lists tools and techniques you can implement to make the best use of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, two major quality-control programs. He covers the basics for each phase of quality control and defines ongoing measurements you can use to sustain your improvements. Basu provides a good catalog of tactics, including definitions, instructions, training requirements and precautions. He also cites case studies and a useful history of quality programs. Basu emphasizes his own “Fit Sigma” technique, more as a supercharger for Six Sigma than as a replacement. As helpful as the book is, its list-oriented structure and poor editing create stumbling blocks. You may need to reread some passages to figure out the meaning (not that this is a book you would speed read anyway). Still, getAbstract finds that it is a useful background directory – and could be far more than that for Six Sigma and Lean specialists, who will find it more accessible.

About the Author

Ron Basu held senior management positions at such corporations as GSK and Unilever. A director at Performance Excellence Ltd., he teaches at the Henley Business School and ESC Lille.

 

Summary

Connecting Excellence and Quality

Today’s leading quality-management methods focus on continuous improvement. They combine employee input with technical experts’ sophisticated tools and methods. Six Sigma, for example, emphasizes managing processes to yield high-quality goods by eliminating defects. Fast, flexible Lean Manufacturing, which creates flow by pulling inventory into a process as needed, is also popular. Now, quality control managers can combine Six Sigma’s precision with Lean’s agility in an improvement initiative called “Fit Sigma,” which focuses on maintaining quality gains.

The Development of the Quality Movement

Four goals push the quality movement in manufacturing: meeting operational expectations, developing competitive advantage, taking the lead in your industry and sustaining excellent operations. This emphasis on quality and efficiency dates back only to the post-World War II period when Japan’s business leaders realized that their country had to manufacture superior products to rebuild its economy. The Japanese turned to U.S. quality expert Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who emphasized creating a continuous cycle of quality through employee training...


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