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The Key to Incrementally Deploying Processes

To succeed in Lean Six Sigma deployments, process improvements must be incremental and continuous. This allows organizations to gradually improve their performance while understanding the principles of continuous improvement. 

Implementing a Lean Six Sigma platform in a phased approach can help ensure success in ongoing improvements, and this article will explore some of the key steps involved in deploying processes incrementally.

What Is a Deployment Strategy?

Deployment strategy is the phased approach Lean Six Sigma practitioners use to roll out their improvement projects. The goal of deployment strategy is to improve performance by implementing Continuous deployment tools and techniques in a controlled manner. 

This allows management to assess the results of each phase before proceeding to the next.

Lean Six Sigma is a set of tools for improving business processes by eliminating waste, reducing variation, and improving quality. This approach can lead to significant reductions in costs and improved customer satisfaction and employee morale.

Types of Deployment Strategies

In Lean Six Sigma, there are three types of deployment strategies that organizations can use to deploy their Lean Six Sigma projects. These include the phased approach, parallel approach, and cross-functional approach. The article will discuss each of these approaches in detail below.

What Is a Phased Approach?

A phased approach involves implementing Lean Six Sigma in stages, which is the most common Lean deployment strategy. This approach allows organizations to assess results at each step before proceeding to the next.

Phased Approach Steps: Define – Measure – Analyze – Improve- Control (DMAIC). 

What Is a Parallel Approach?

A parallel approach involves deploying Lean Six Sigma projects simultaneously in two or more locations. This approach allows Lean Six Sigma practitioners to learn from the experiences of other locations and makes it easier to create a standard training curriculum.

Parallel Approach Steps: Define – Measure – Analyze – Improve- Control (DMAIC).

What Is a Cross-Functional Approach?

A cross-functional approach involves deploying Lean Six Sigma projects across different functions or departments simultaneously. This approach allows Lean Six Sigma practitioners to learn from the experiences of other functions and makes it easier to create a standard training curriculum.

Cross-Functional Approach Steps: Define – Measure – Analyze – Improve- Control (DMAIC). improvement and control (MAPC).

The Three Phases of Deployment Strategy

There are three phases to Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy: pilot, scale-up, and sustain. Each phase builds on the previous one, starting with a small pilot project that can be used as an example for future deployments. 

The goal of Lean Six Sigma is continuous improvement; therefore, it is essential to improve and refine the process as you go along continually.

The following sections will provide a brief overview of each Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy phase.

Pilot Phase

The pilot phase is the first step in the Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy. The goal of the pilot phase is to test and validate the improvement project. This phase typically occurs in a single location or department and identifies problems with the Lean Six Sigma methodology before expanding it to other areas.

Scale Up Phase

The next step in the Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy is the scale-up phase. This phase aims to expand Lean Six Sigma across multiple departments or locations within an organization. Scale up phase includes implementing Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques in a more structured manner.

Sustain Phase

The sustain phase is the final step in the Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy. This phase aims to maintain the improvements achieved during the previous two phases. This phase typically includes establishing Lean Six Sigma governance structures and implementing Lean Six Sigma training and education programs.

Benefits of Lean Six Sigma Deployment

Lean Six Sigma is a proven method for improving performance and reducing waste in all industries, from manufacturing to healthcare and beyond. Here are some benefits Lean Six Sigma can bring your organization:

  1. It reduces defects by eliminating errors in production processes or service delivery systems through statistical methods such as control charts and other Lean Six Sigma tools.
  2. Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven, fact-based approach to continuous improvement and problem-solving. This allows Lean Six Sigma practitioners to identify root causes of problems and create solutions that address them at their source rather than treating symptoms only (e.g., training employees). Lean Six Sigma is also an excellent framework for project management because it uses metrics to measure progress and ensure accountability.
  3. Lean Six Sigma provides a common language and methodology that everyone can understand, which helps improve communication between departments or functions within an organization and across companies in different industries or geographic locations. This ensures cross-functional teams can work together more effectively and achieve results faster.
  4. Lean Six Sigma helps companies become more agile and responsive to change, which is essential in today’s fast-paced business environment. The principles of Lean Six Sigma can be applied to any process, large or small, so organizations can scale them up or down as needed.

Conclusion

By taking small steps, businesses can ensure that they are using deployment tools incrementally in the most effective way possible. This incremental approach also allows for course corrections and modifications to be made as needed, which is important when it comes to something as complex as process improvement. 

Have you tried this strategy in your business? What tips do you have for others who want to try this method? Let us know in the comments below.

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