The Five Laws Of Six Sigma

by : tjacowski

Six Sigma is a methodology directed at measuring and improving the operational performance of a company by identifying and eliminating defects in service related and manufacturing processes through data and statistical analysis.

Lean manufacturing, as a management philosophy, focuses on waste reduction. By elimination of waste occurring through process time, waiting time, inventory, transportation, over production, motion and scrap, there is a significant improvement in quality and a reduction in production time and costs.

The five laws of Six Sigma are derived from a combination of the principles of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing which complement each other magnificently to construct paths for progress as defined by these Five laws.

The prime concern of the five laws is to upgrade the quality and business processes of a company with the ultimate aim of improving customer relations and return on investment. The five laws have developed over a period of time and comprise of ideas and principals which form the basis of both Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing.

The First Law Or Law 0: This is known as the Zeroth Law, as it is fundamental to the building of all other principles. The 0 law is: The Law of the Market- Customer Critical to quality. This principle defines quality and accords it the highest priority level for improvement among all other parameters. ROI (Return on Investment) and Net Present value are next in line in the order of priority.

The Second Law: The second law is known as the Law of Flexibility and states: The velocity of any process is proportional to the flexibility of the process. The implication and meaning is that greater the flexibility and receptiveness of the process to adopt changes, higher the progress rate of project implementation.

The Third Law: The third law is called The Law of Focus and states: twenty percent of the activities in a process cause eighty percent of the delay. On expansion this can be understood to mean that the bulk of the delay in any process, finds roots in a just about twenty percent of the total activities. The related problems can be dealt with speedily and effectively as the identification of the "culprit" twenty percent activities, considerably minimizes the area of refocus in the phase of reorientation.

The Fourth Law: The fourth law is referred to as the law of velocity. It is states as: The velocity of any process is inversely proportional to the amount of WIP (Work in Progress). It is also known as Little's Law, named after the mathematician who proved the theory. The formula states that Lead Time equals Work in Progress divided by Average Completion Rate. It indicates how the velocity of project implementation gets retarded on account of the inertia of the Work in Progress. A greater number of unfinished tasks or WORK IN PROGRESS would result in a proportional lowering of the speed of progress on account of various handicaps at the ground level.

The Fifth Law: The Fifth and last Law of Lean Six Sigma states: The complexity of the service or product offering adds more non-value, costs and WIP that either poor quality (low Sigma) or slow speed (un-Lean) process problems. Lean manufacturing principles do not favor production in bulk. The last law asserts that the complex manufacturing process and service and product specification plus the bulk contribute to the redundancy of the offerings.

The five laws of Lean Six Sigma are a composite of principles of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing. They lay down the foundation of effective improvement in the processes of a company by eliminating defects and reducing waste leading to improved product quality and a reduction in production time and costs. Better customer relations and ROI are the ultimate objectives.