Lean Six Sigma is a continuous improvement methodology that focuses on the elimination of waste and reduction of variation from manufacturing, service and design processes. The Lean methodology aims at reducing non-value activities and cycle times while creating value for customers. Six Sigma identifies and reduces variability, improving overall quality. LSS can reduce your costs and help you retain and even gain more customers.
LSS Online prescribes an improvement process known as DMAIC (Define—Measure—Analyze—Improve—Control). However, its application is limited to improving existing processes. It doesn’t address the design of new products, services, or processes.
For developing a new product, service or process, there’s a modified version called DFSS (Design for Six Sigma). The process most often used in DFSS is called DMADV (Define—Measure—Analyze—Design—Verify).
DMAIC is the more well-known and most-used LSS project method. DMAIC focuses on improving an existing process by incorporating the following phases:
Define: Define the problem, output to be improved, customers, and process associated with the problem.
Measure: Collect data from the process to establish a baseline for the improvements.
Analyse: Analyse the data to find the root causes of defects.
Improve: Develop, test, and implement solutions to improve the process.
Control: Implement process controls to sustain the improvements.
DMADV is focused on the process of designing a new product, service or process, incorporating the following phases:
Define: Define the process and design goals.
Measure: Measure and identify critical-to-quality characteristics of the product, service or process. This includes risk and production capabilities.
Analyse: Analyse the data to find the best design.
Design: Design and test the product, service or process.
Verify: Ensure that the design output meets the design input requirements (verification) and that the designed product performs satisfactorily under real or simulated conditions of intended use (validation).
DMADVO is a lesser known DFSS method. The difference between DMADV and DMADVO is that “O” or “Optimize” has been added. Thus, DMADVO prioritizes the need for the organization to optimize the design after implementation.
Similarities of DMAIC and DMADV
Except for a few additional features, DMADV and DMAIC are pretty similar to each other. Both have been designed to suit the needs of different companies; however, their main objective is the same. The aim is to achieve defects less than 3.4 per million opportunities. The aim of both the methodologies is to use statistical methods to find defects causing variations and leading to problems in different processes. Another common feature of the two is that they are aligned to the financial and organization objectives. Leadership for both involves Champions, Master Black Belts and Six Sigma Black Belt certification online and the success of the project highly depends upon the participation of all process owners.
Differences of DMAIC and DMADV
Though the first three phases are the same, these two methodologies have distinct differences. The DMAIC methodology is mainly associated with defining the business process for the purpose of reduction in variations. The measure phase involves collecting of data related to current performance of business processes. The DMADV methodology can be seen as a type of DFSS methodology that is concerned with the development of the products or services based on the needs of the customer. The measures of the DMADV are those in relation to the customer needs and specifications. Process improvements that are achieved as a result of the DMAIC methodology are based on root cause analysis to find the exact problem areas. The defects can be pinpointed and related to a specific cause leading to the recurrence of the problem. However, using the DMADV methodology, the efforts emphasize finding options that will fit the requirements of customers and matching their specifications. There is a control system in place to ensure future performance as a part of the DMAIC methodology. However, DMADV involves the verification stage, which includes simulation tests to verify the efficiency of products according to customer specifications. Considering the different factors of the two methodologies, companies will be able to differentiate in what would be suitable in which situations. They may even find the need to use both the methodologies if they set out to improve overall business processes and products.
If there appears to be a need to redesign a product from scratch to meet the customer specifications, teams will find using the DMADV methodology better. If the company may need to simply improve existing processes to match standards leading to satisfaction of customer needs, they will find the DMAIC methodology suitable.
When Can DMAIC And DMADV Be Used?
After identifying the similarities and differences, we can conclude that DMAIC is used on a process or product that already exists, but is unable to meet customer needs or specifications. In comparison, DMADV is used when a new product or process needs to be developed to meet customer requirements. It is also used when a product or process has been optimized using DMAIC, but is still unable to meet customer needs and specifications or the Six Sigma quality levels. Companies who do not have prior experience in Six Sigma can take help from professionals such as 'Black Belts' and 'Master Black Belts'. They help in making the right choice between DMAIC and DMADV. They also provide help during the implementation stage and this is necessary for the success of any Six Sigma initiative or project.
Lean Six Sigma principles are used in a range of industries to improve process efficiency by eliminating waste and reducing defects. When applied correctly, these methodologies can lead to happier customers and increased revenue. In the healthcare industry, defects not only affect revenue and customer satisfaction—they can mean the difference between life and death. Lean Six Sigma methodologies are critically important in healthcare because they can reduce defects that can result in medical errors. Medical errors in the United States contribute to the deaths of more than 210,000 people annually and cost the healthcare industry an estimated $17.1 billion each year.
Many federal agencies have attempted to address this problem on a national scale by passing legislation and imposing regulations. However, healthcare professionals—whether practice managers, hospital administrators, or practitioners—can make a difference in their own organizations by employing Lean Six Sigma principles.
Using Six Sigma to improve healthcare quality can:
Shorten wait times in hospitals and private practices
Prevent falls and injuries in hospitals and nursing homes
Reduce medication errors when prescribing and administering drugs or filling prescriptions
Increase turnaround time for lab results
Six Sigma can also reduce unnecessary expenses. Healthcare professionals can achieve these kinds of results by committing to proven Lean or Six Sigma methodologies. The DMAIC method (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), for instance, focuses on improving existing processes. One of the most common processes in a hospital setting is the check-in. Here is a summary of how DMAIC could streamline this procedure: Define
Define the problems with the process and set goals, e.g., shorter wait times.
Develop a process map that details each step, e.g., updating records, reviewing insurance information, collecting co-pays.
Measure how the current check-in process is performing and gather data for each step.
Identify bottlenecks—where is the process slowing down?
Analyze the data collected from each step, looking for elements that can be eliminated or streamlined.
Identify the root causes of bottlenecks.
Develop and test solutions to improve check-ins. In non-emergencies, can insurance information be obtained before the patient arrives? Can coordination between doctors and nurses be improved?
Ensure the new check-in procedure stays on course by frequently monitoring and documenting each improvement.
Create a control chart to determine the effectiveness of the new process over time.
Streamlining the check-in process is only the beginning. From making clinical research more cost-effective to lowering appointment cancellations, there are dozens of successful examples of Lean Six Sigma in healthcare. For this reason, healthcare professionals with Lean Six Sigma certifications are in demand. Employees in quality management, consulting, patient experience, clinical operations, performance improvement, and similar roles can advance into leadership positions in healthcare management with Lean Six Sigma training.
Below is the video to understand how Lean Six Sigma can be helpful to Heath.
Job titles that commonly require LSS certifications include:
Chief Patient Experience Officer
Senior Director, Patient Experience
Senior Manager, Operational Excellence
Vice President, Quality
Director of Quality Management
Associate Vice President, Strategic Process Improvement
Quality Improvement Consultant
Clinical Transformation Consultant
How to earn certification in Lean Six Sigma healthcare:
Healthcare professionals can advance their careers and gain a competitive advantage by completing a high-quality Lean Six Sigma certification program that provides real-world skills and training. Many leadership roles in the healthcare industry require a Green Belt or Black Belt certificate. Best Online Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification holders are well-versed in LSS methodologies and can oversee some projects, or assist Black Belt holders, who are qualified to manage high-level projects. About Purdue’s Online Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Certificate Program Purdue University offers comprehensive online Lean Six Sigma (LSS) certificate programs designed for working professionals with varying levels of Online Lean Six Sigma experience. The online Lean Six Sigma certificate courses prepare professionals to satisfy the immense demand for Lean expertise, skills and certification. Purdue offers the following courses 100% online: