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Lean Six Sigma: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Quality Management

Summary: This article examines the successful implementation of a quality system by the E-470 Public Highway Authority. E-470 is a toll road around the eastern portion of Denver, Colorado. The author maintains that the success of the implementation project was due to its project-oriented approach. While most Lean Six Sigma practitioners embrace a traditional top-down implementation and focus on Green Belt and Black Belt training using bodies of knowledge that were tailored to reducing variation in manufacturing environments, few stop to consider if there is any scientific basis for this approach. After researching the usual Green Belt and Black Belt training model for implementing Lean Six Sigma, E-470 decided to take a different approach to accelerate results. Unlike many organizations, they didn't commit to a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling implementation of Lean Six Sigma. The leadership team focused on delivering results quickly, project by project. They focused on giving employees just enough training in key methods and tools to solve E-470's key problems, not the entire Lean Six Sigma body of knowledge. This saved weeks of training and months of implementation.

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  • Topics: Lean, Six Sigma
  • Keywords: Case study, Six Sigma, Quality system, Green belt (GB), Black belt (BB), Implementation, Training design, Project management
  • Author: Arthur, Jay;
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal