MBA Module I
Xiangyu Kong, S15 Cohort
HAMLINE UNIVERSITY Mar. 25, 2010 School of Business MBA Module I
1. “Lean” and “Six Sigma” readings
● What are the key themes/approaches of Lean and six Sigma, how are they different and how do they each add value? Lean manufacturing satisfies the requirements of customs as possible as they can. It regards the final requirement of customer as basis and emphasizes the balanced flow in order to reduce the flow circle. It also requests the elimination of all the waste happened during the production link as well as the routing optimization. In addition, Lean treats their employees as the most important resource of the corporate; for instance, it pays much attention to the employees’ involvement, proficient skill, group morale and advanced thinking model. On the other hand, Lean prefers practicing than analyzing so that it sometimes cannot make a scientific and efficient decision. In other words, Lean’s settlements are prone to be so quick and subjective that it cannot use professional quantitative methods and keep the process balanced. Six Sigma pays close attention to the customers’ requirements especially all the aspects which effect customers’ satisfactions. In addition, it is highly dependent on the statistical data so that the decision maker and manager easily find the central problem from the statistical material. Moreover, Six Sigma extremely concentrates on the improvements of the operation flow, which means it puts the points on the underlying cause of the product defects because the quality of the product relies on the perfection of the flow rather than the final examination of the product. At last, Six Sigma has the concrete DMAIC process which needs to be balanced and improved continually in order to maintain the stably increased benefits. There are many differences between Lean and Six Sigma. Such as the goal, the approaches, the circle time, the organizational structure, the emphasis, the training method and so on. For instance, first of all, the goal of Lean is to eliminate all waste and reduce the circle time of the flow, while the goal of Six Sigma is to improve the quality of the process and reduce the undulation. In addition, the approach of Lean is more practices and the approach of Six Sigma is DMAIC model. Furthermore, Lean’s emphasis is behavior but Six Sigma’s emphasis is analysis. ● How might Lean and Six Sigma be complimentary? How might Lean and Six Sigma be seen to be in conflict? As far as I am concerned, Six Sigma provides the strategic direction for Lean’s continuing improvements. Lean emphasizes the efficient and excellent improvement of process and so does Six Sigma. Moreover, Six Sigma finally intends to improve everyone’s behavioral styles so as to create company’s culture of Lean with sustainable development and autoadoption, which is also the inner drive of the continuing improvement of Lean. Lean and Six Sigma both point up the supremacy of customers and process. The integration of Lean and Six Sigma are necessary because Six Sigma lacks of integral systematic Optimizing Capabilities while Lean lacks of the normativity and efficiency of some complicated problems, which means Lean needs to retort to the specialist to directly resolve the problem. Therefore, Six Sigma’s DMAIC project methodology can not only provide the strong operative solutions and tools for the complex problems of Lean but also adopt value flow analysis for the elimination of all the waste in process. The integration of Lean and Six Sigma is really helpful and significant. However, just like what I said before, there are several differences between Lean and Six Sigma, which means they may conflict with each other sometimes. For example, Lean has a relatively high requirement...