Thursday, June 11, 2015

This Diagram is Wrong - Lean DOES Help Reduce Defects

I see diagrams like this lot, in the context of Lean Sigma. Click on it for a larger view.

The flaw in this flow chart and thought process is that it implies that Lean is only helpful for cycle time reduction and that Six Sigma is the only methodology that can reduce defects.

As I've said repeatedly on this blog, Lean and the Toyota Production System are designed around improving BOTH flow and quality.

The methods (such as mistake proofing / error proofing / poka yoke) and the management mindsets (allow people to pull the andon cord when they see a problem) all contribute to reducing defects in a very practical way.

Diagrams like this don't help people understand the differences between Lean and Six Sigma or the complementary nature of the two.