KAIZEN vs LEAN vs SIX SIGMA
The Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy, whose meaning is "change for better" or "continuous improvement." It is an optimistic view that anything bothering can be changed to a better thing. It is a versatile culture that can be accepted and executed by the organization according to its needs. It aids in identifying Muda (wastes), Mura (variation/ inconsistency) and Muri (strain/ burden on people & machines) . They believe that great results come from It is a continuous improvement, based on various principles including if we invest in good processes, we will get good results, analyzing oneself in the contemporary situation, be accurate with data, facts and take appropriate measures to solve root causes of problems and most importantly to act as a team, in a collective manner. Kaizen philosophy is associated with "Muda" (a Japanese term used to mean waste) . This philosophy is oriented o improve the quality of products, processes, and services by removing wastes from the ground level like stopping overproduction, improving efficiency, and saving time. It keeps a check on unwanted and unnecessary activities of the company, which is the main reason for losses. The continuous strategy execution is the anthem that keeps this methodology at a high pedestal.
The Lean methodology dates back to a thousand years back in the Ford Motor Company. Lean aims at eradicating or cleaning the very wastes. According to this methodology, cleaning the waste will cut off the losses of the company—lean defines waste as anything that is of no value to the customer. Lean Black Belt Certification follows a method where it finds seven kinds of waste, which are a great threat to business efficiency, which include transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, Processing, and defects. The first step is to identify the wasteful activities, analyze on which grounds these are affecting the efficiency of the business, and finally eradicating them. The reduction of waste acts as a catalyst in minimizing losses and increasing the productivity and efficiency of the company, thereby increasing the quality of the product, process, and services and ultimately retaining customer satisfaction.
The term six sigma was coined by Bill Smith, an engineer in Motorola Inc. Carl Fredrick Gauch has attributed the credit for introducing the concept of the normal curve. Six Sigma is a methodology which aims at improving the standards and quality of services, products, and process, by reducing defects and mistakes. This quality methodology is based on Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Six sigma has two methodologies, they are, DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyse-Improve-Control) and DMADV (Define-Measure-Analyse-Design-Verify) . By adopting the Six Sigma projects, every factor or project management is taken into purview. The issues related to each and every stage are minutely studied and analyzed in detail with the help of data, statistics, and figures. After knowing the defects, proper management is done in order to tackle such issues, and in this way, efficiency is improved. Thus quality is held at the highest level, and chances of mistakes are curtailed. Also, time management is done, which saves a lot of time, which can be invested in gaining more benefits as well. Six Sigma is concerned more with the final product. The six sigma certification is getting more and more globally accepted, and the demand for six sigma training is increasing rapidly as it is an asset in the resume of the candidates. They have a very statistical approach, which often results in empirical results.
All three methodologies are efficient. However, a proper understanding will help us opt for the methodology that we may require in particular. Because, by choosing any of the methodologies, without being aware of one’s own issues, one cannot get the desired result. So, before adopting any of the methodologies, it is important to identify one’s own issues.
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