Lean Six Sigma Leads Xerox
SINCE 2003, XEROX HAS FOCUSED ON INTEGRATING LEAN SIX SIGMA CORPORATEWIDE.
By Arthur Fornari, Xerox Lean Six Sigma, and George Maszle, Xerox Lean Six Sigma and Business Support
he origin of Xerox Corp.’s lean Six Sigma program can be traced back to the company’s initial “leadership through quality” initiative in the early ’80s. Improvement processes, tools and techniques were deployed across the corporation and centered on improving business processes to create higher levels of customer satisfaction, quality and productivity. As improvement processes evolved through the ’80s and ’90s, Xerox explored various approaches to improving its business results. In the late ’90s, Six Sigma and lean concepts were adopted locally by Xerox manufacturing and supply chain operations. While these efforts improved the overall efficiency and effectiveness of specific processes, they were very focused and limited in scope. In mid-2002, Xerox leaders decided to integrate lean and Six Sigma across the corporation by committing the resources required to enable a robust deployment. They agreed to identify projects based on value creation and economic profit impact and engage every function and value chain. Key deployment management positions were staffed in every major organization, full-time Black Belt (BB) candidates were identified based on the individuals’ performance records and leadership potential, Anne Mulcahy, chairman and CEO, and intense training began in visits with Teamwork Day particiJanuary 2003. pants. Xerox’s annual Teamwork Since then, Xerox Lean Six Day celebrates the accomplishSigma, as it is called, has gained ments of teams in a science fair increasing momentum. More than atmosphere. 400 BBs have been trained, more than 700 high business impact projects have been executed, and significant financial benefits have been delivered. Additionally, 2,000 leaders have participated in two-day workshops, another 2,500 employees are in some phase of the Green Belt (GB) certification process, and more than 10,000 employees have been through Yellow Belt (YB) awareness training. Leaders at all levels are working to integrate lean and Six Sigma principles into all business processes, including product design and development, integrated supply chain, marketing and sales, customer service, infrastructure, governance and strategy deployment. Plans are S I X S I G M A F O R U M M A G A Z I N E
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Lean Six Sigma Leads Xerox
in place to continue this momentum into 2005 to drive even higher levels of customer value and financial benefits across Xerox. Selecting Xerox Lean Six Sigma Projects The management teams identify Xerox Lean Six Sigma projects based on customer experience improvement opportunities, alignment of strategic plans, ability to close business gaps and key areas for process improvement. As shown in Figure 1, Xerox views the lean Six Sigma process in two distinctly different stages: 1. The first phase focuses on project selection and prioritization. Potential projects are assessed based on their potential business impact and estimated effort. The business unit deployment manager works with the leadership team to identify the next best opportunity based on various business factors. To ensure alignment with Xerox goals, the leader of the operation is held accountable for the projects selected. 2. Once the project is selected and the appropriate sponsor confirmed, the project is queued up for
assignment to the next available BB. The BB uses the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) improvement process or one of the design for lean Six Sigma processes to identify and deploy the best solution for the defined business problem. Lean Six Sigma projects at Xerox address every leg of the value lever tree (see Figure 2), and the results of these projects directly support the Xerox business goals. Management Stirs Up Lean Six Sigma...