Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Best Practice : Lean and Six Sigma
Lean and Six Sigma is a structured process improvement methodology that significantly increases the involvement and effectiveness of employees in improving the systems they use to perform their work. The fundamental goal is to provide value through the eyes of the customer.
Six sigma deployment and lean integration has been an evolutionary process at Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems (NE&SS-SS). The company used a manufacturing process focus up through 1998, a design focus in 1999, and a business processes focus in 2000. The Quality, Ethics and Mission Success Organization developed the strategy, implemented the plan, and coordinated the driving change across the business. Today, Lean and Six Sigma is a structured process improvement methodology that significantly increases the involvement and effectiveness of employees in improving the systems they use to perform their work.
Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS identified several key roles in pulling the Lean and Six Sigma methodology together, and it starts from the top. Figure 2-4 shows the overview of the process. A Senior Leadership Team (SLT) of 14 top executives provides visible support through programs and resources to drive overall change throughout the organization. Functional organizations select Management Points of Contact to be the focal point of Lean and Six Sigma (e.g., project measurements, performance, results) in their areas. These individuals manage and focus resources, concurrent with identifying key project opportunities. The company also uses Master Black Belts (MBBs), full-time employees who have significant experience in Six Sigma and Lean methodology in addition to change management leadership. MBBs implement program strategy; lead projects; facilitate improvement events; and provide training and mentoring for over 500 Black and Green Belt employees trained in the Lean and Six Sigma philosophy. The key focus areas are: Transactional Lean and Six Sigma which exposes sources of errors, rework, and non-value added steps.
Manufacturing Lean and Six Sigma that prioritizes and eliminates the most costly defects.
Design for Six Sigma that validates the availability of capability to meet customers’ needs.
Training courses are integrated into the Lean and Six Sigma approach, including four to eight hours of Leadership Awareness; 120 hours of Black Belt Training; and 24 to 40 hours of Classical and Design for Six Sigma Green Belt Training. Monitoring and communicating performance are done through project performance metrics, engaging the Financial Department upfront and through monthly project performance reviews. Other elements are communications and recognition. Communication vehicles include pamphlets, business reviews, newsletters, roundtables, and Intranet web sites. Recognition and rewards include plaques, certificates, monetary awards, and giveaway items (e.g., mugs, jackets, shirts).
The return on investment of Lean and Six Sigma techniques is directly proportional to the commitment of business leadership. These techniques aid Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS in providing effective tools to actively identify waste (e.g., defects, time) and remove it from work processes. After waste is removed, techniques for sustaining improved performance are implemented. The fundamental goal of Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS is to provide value through the eyes of the customer.
Figure 2-4. Process Overview
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