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Lean Six Sigma for Service Hardcover – 16 Jul 2003
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From the Back Cover
"How do I apply Lean Six Sigma in my service organization?"
This is a question many executives and managers are asking. With all the emphasis on using Lean Six Sigma in manufacturing environments, the need for a clear methodology for implementing these major quality improvement initiatives in service functions has been mainly overlooked--until now.
Lean Six Sigma for Service provides a service-based approach, explaining how companies of all types can cost-effectively translate manufacturing-oriented Lean Six Sigma tools into the service delivery process. Six Sigma expert Michael George reveals how easy it is to apply relatively simple statistical and Lean tools that will reduce costs and achieve greater speed in service processes.
It's no secret that service functions have a harder time applying Lean and Six Sigma principles. The manufacturing roots of these initiatives have made it unclear how to apply these tools to services; this book effortlessly makes that translation. Here, for the first time, you'll read about how classic Lean tools such as "Pull systems" and "setup reduction" are being used in procurement, call centers, surgical suites, government offices, R&D, and much more. You'll see why services are full of waste--and ripe for the benefits of Lean Six Sigma.
This book provides real-world examples from situations where the critical determinants of quality and speed are the flow of informationand the interaction between people. The numerous case studies demonstrate how Lean Six Sigma can be used in service organizations just as effectively as in manufacturing--and with even faster results. You'll discover how to:
- Integrate Lean and Six Sigma and apply them side by side
- Become a customer-centered organization
- Gain control over process complexity
- Improve response time on signature services
- Apply value-based management to project selection
- Clean up your workspace
- Develop supplier relationships
For guidance in deploying Lean Six Sigma in service organizations, reducing lead times, streamlining processes, and holding down costs,Lean Six Sigma for Services is the most complete, authoritative guide you can own.
"Lockheed Martin recognized that our business support processes have as much opportunity for improvement as our design and build areas. By applying Lean process speed and Six Sigma quality tools to marketing, legal, contract administration, procurement, etc. we have created a competitive advantage... The lessons learned and practical case studies contained in Lean Six Sigma for Service provide a road map which can create great value for customers, employees and shareholders."--Mike Joyce, Vice President, Lockheed Martin Operational Excellence
Deploy Lean Six Sigma in your service organization
Would you like to:
- Reduce your company's service costs by 30 to 60 percent?
- Improve service delivery time by 50 percent?
- Expand capacity by 20 percent--without adding staff?
If you answered yes--and who wouldn't--then this is the book for you. Lean Six Sigma for Servicesreveals how to bring the miracle of Lean Six Sigma improvement out of manufacturing and into service functions. Michael George describes the basic elements of successful deployment, including insights from corporate leaders who have already "walked the talk" to accelerate your own journey.
Filled with case studies detailing dramatic service improvements in organizations from Lockheed Martin to Stanford University Hospital, this bottom-line book provides executives and managers with the knowledge necessary to blend Lean and Six Sigma to optimize services. You'll see how Lean Six Sigma can cut costs by reducing complexity; how to utilize its tools to provide better quality service; and how you can use shareholder value to drive project selection--without needing an MBA.
About the Author
McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide
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Lean Six Sigma for Service has been out since 2003 so this is not the first review but in today's context the value and relevance of this book is in question. George does a nice job of describing the processes and its application at Lockheed Martin and Bank One. Those descriptions cement his credibility that he has done this work. However they do not shed light on what that work actually was. I found this book surprisingly conceptual and technical with limited applications and actual examples - illustrations of the principles yes - but this is what we did not so much.
The success story vignettes are written at such a high level as to categorize the scale of benefits that Lockheed Martin and Bank One achieved. It would have been much better for George to go deep on one project, show a worked example and create value for the reader. The success stories themselves also focus on back office activities (invoicing etc) which while a role for these technique are not the areas that will get breakthrough service levels.
These are weaknesses as that experience is definitely there but it does not come out in the book. When it was written more than 5 years ago, the author may have been concerned about revealing too much and devaluating his consulting practice. But now with people coming round to wanting to understand and implement, this is not a book for them.
There are other little things that are interesting gaps in the book. On a subject matter basis there is no mention of Motorola's role in creating and deploying six sigma. From the books perspective only the people that Mr. George worked with were the creators and the innovators. That is unfortunate. Another gap is the lack of discussion about information technology and the role that this plays. Even in 2003, IT had a role to play in Six Sigma and lean - particularly at an enterprise scale, but the book is mute on these things.
So, if you are looking for a general discussion of these concepts then this is as good as any other book. However, if you want to understand how to do these techniques and apply them to service you will need to look elsewhere.
Michael George does an exceptional job of demonstrating how to apply Lean Six Sigma approaches to service organizations. His writing style is very easy to understand, and for the executive/manager, he provides a good overview.
This book is pretty high level and conceptual, but is well worth the read for anyone looking at Lean SixSigma.