“How powerful your tank is, General”

“How powerful your tank is, General”

Lean Six Sigma

“How powerful your tank is, General,

It can wipe out a forest,

It can crush a hundred people.

But it has one flaw:

It needs a driver.”


In this anti-war poem, German poet and playwright Berthold Brecht expresses his concern about the consequences of war. But he also emphasizes an important human element. What use is a tank without a driver?

How Do You Like Your Coffee: “In Pursuit of the Perfect Coffee with Lean 6 Sigma”

How Do You Like Your Coffee? yalın altı sigma

Imagine a morning when the city starts to bustle with the first light of the day. At the start of this new day, what most of us need is a fragrant, full-bodied and intensely flavoured coffee!

You enter a coffee shop on your way and the barista greets you with a familiar smile and asks you: “How do you like your coffee?”

Behind this seemingly simple question, the process that should fulfil our expectation of “perfect coffee” is as complex and deep as in other product and service processes.

Our expectation does not end there. We also expect the perfect coffee to be easy to understand, to be selected from a well-prepared menu, and to be served in a short time.

When these expectations are not met, the coffee can lose its flavour.

How about using Lean, 6 Sigma and Lean 6 Sigma tools in defining processes and solving problems to meet all these expectations? In order to discover the answer to this question together, let’s get to know these tools briefly:

Stakeholders: A Key to Project Success

One the issues frequently faced by lean six sigma belts is the need to secure key stakeholder support for process changes.   Using the DMAIC approach the team should select the solution that best addresses the vital few root causes while also being acceptable to the organization.  In other words the new process needs to correct the process deficiencies AND have the support of the organization.

Oftentimes these changes go counter to “the way we’ve always done it” mindset.  And often the poor performing process was originally developed by a key stakeholder in the organization such as a senior manager or someone with established competence or experience in the process.  While stating their support to improve it, frequently these individuals are not all that keen to see “their baby” changed.

So how does the belt address this potential roadblock when the stakeholder’s support may be lacking?

A key step is for the lead belt and the team is to identify the key stakeholders who could be in a position to impact the implementation of a new process.  Then the lead belt needs to engage with that stakeholder.

The most effective ways to bring a resistant stakeholder along are with engagement and good data.  Every LSS project requires data to measure performance and identify key factors that influence process variation and poor performance.  But that same data can hold the key to bringing a reluctant stakeholder along with you.

Organizational Transformation and 5S

Lean, supported by 5S, is an important part of a successful Lean Six Sigma deployment and organizational transformation.  Lean Transformation is a productive but long journey. Accurate planning and strategy become paramount as you begin the transformation. With Lean Transformation, while organizations achieve simpler processes, they reach high and sustainable profitability, multi-competence employees working in waste-free processes and a value-oriented business culture.

5S is considered the first step of this whole journey and purpose, and the journey of transformation starts from here. Often practice needs patience and time to evolve into a sustainable discipline after a successful first step. Change in appearance and its continuity are not the most critical in the 5S implementation. The 5S implementation, which has turned into a cultural transformation and a way of doing business, gives the institution the habit of doing business with discipline, care and high-quality standards.