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The Evolution of Lean Six Sigma by Pepper & Spedding Essay

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Updated: Jun 10th, 2020

The article was written by the scientists from the University of Wollongong, Pepper and Spedding, in 2010. For the first time, the work was published in the International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management. The paper targets the issue of quality improvement. Specifically, it aims at the complex utilization of the integrated approaches to the lean studies. According to the initial assumption, the six sigma technique serves as a guarantee of the essential technical improvement and industrial success (Pepper and Spedding 138). Therefore, the qualitative study provides a review of the existing lean six sigma principles as well as their practical application and technical concerns.

The aim of the investigation, which is described in the article on lean six sigma examination, is to combine coherent approaches to quality improvement and to identify a single integrative model of continuous industry.

The study design provides a two-level analysis of quality improvement modeling. First, it regards the implementation of the lean technology in separation from the six sigma doctrine. Afterward, it combines the approaches into one joint model and assesses the ways of its successful functioning. According to the current business studies review, 117 of the leading world companies employ the long-term lean strategies for an effective sustention (Butcher par. 6). According to the literature analysis, which lies in the center of the study, one differentiates several waste types that are eliminated by lean models. These are excessive inventory, technical defects, inappropriate processing, extra transportation, and over waiting. Due to the differentiated value extraction processes, the article identified Value Stream Mapping (VSM) as an extensive lean-based technology. The advantages of the model are outlined by the scientists. Moreover, the critical drawbacks of the approach are regarded as well.

The objective accomplishments of the system are demonstrated on several practical examples. The authors conclude that VSM provides a link between the information flows and materials use. However, the model sustains a non-detailed description of industrial operations, which ignores the actual data extraction. The successes of the lean-driven technology are analyzed on the basis of some practical operational facilities. Mainly, the authors of the article deduced that the introduction of lean-modeling gave birth to the culture of American automobiles and aerospace technologies (Subramanya par. 7). Furthermore, the growth of the Japanese manufacturing is linked to the lean techniques as well.

The overview of the six sigma modeling stems from the strategic doctrine, which was first generated by the founder of the technology, the company Motorola. The study points out that the industry’s success was ensured by the ability of technical support to differentiate the ratings of production defects. The underlying doctrine of the six sigma approach states that every million of professional opportunities should account for no more than 3,4 errors. The experts, who specialize in the approach application, developed a five-stage processing of the data, which assists in adding some logical structuring to the quality improvement models. Mainly, it provided a unity of defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling the information.

The estimation of quality paper regards the employees’ training as a crucial prerequisite for the five-step modeling success. The scientists concluded that the six sigma approach should not be embraced by the companies as an occasional strategy but rather an obligatory foundation of the manufacturing, as well as organizational, philosophy.

The questioned conception is challenged through the inability of multiple managers to link their business strategies to some universal cultural guidelines. Therefore, it was acknowledged that the contemporary six sigma doctrine still needs a well-elaborated soft or hard system of standard philosophy, which would serve as a binding category between the manufacturing settings, which exist in contrastive cultures. Additionally, it is claimed that the tradition of meaningful communication must be cultivated in the cases of production creation, for every harmonious manufacturing process must be based on a tight collaboration between the workers. Notwithstanding the meaningful advantages of the six sigma support, the scientists made a comprehensive conclusion, according to which the approach is too costly even for the largest world businesses. Moreover, the experts agree on the issue that the introduction of the technique may contribute to the evolvement of the bureaucratic economy since specialized workers’ training demand many financial expenses, which might be spent on the actual manufacturing instead.

Therefore, since the uniform solution to the problem of the lean and six sigma implementation is rooted in their combination, the authors of the article conducted a final examination of the literature, which employed some elements of modeling integration. The analysis revealed that the existent models of their joint work do not follow any regular patterns and are limited in their future development. Mainly, the functioning six sigma systems deviate from the need of the actual clients as well as use expensive materials. The lean technologies, in their turn, lack precision and coordinated supervision (Glasgow par. 6). Consequently, the authors decided that there is a need to conduct a range of parallel changes, which could improve the models both on the individual and joint levels. In the aftermath, they claimed that lean technology ha to be based on the project-driven accomplishment. Moreover, it should follow the current conditions, which underline the projections. There is a necessity to make careful calculations of the processing time as well as layout and flow products amount. Finally, the scientists suggested that the number of defects that target manufacturing outputs is still quite disturbing.

Therefore, it is critical reducing the time of cycling and verify the adequacy of the necessary equipment. Concerning the six sigma reformation, it was concluded that the general methodology of their practical application must be altered. Moreover, it is important to control the processing operations as well as renovate the data collection tools so that to reduce the high cost of the modern technical processes. Finally, the scientists claimed that the experts have to consider the planning of cause and effect technologies so that to reduce the risks of the technological failures. Thus, the basic finding of the article embraces the non-existence of any uniform framework, which could be suitable for the lean six sigma elaboration and extensive use. However, the scientists made some successful accomplishments by emphasizing the fundamental areas of modeling deficiencies. Therefore, they provided a solid background for the further model coordination.

I estimate the work as a fully-developed and integrated qualitative examination of the quality improvement tools. The authors of the article managed to combine some efficient, practical illustration of the lean and six sigma technologies both on the individual and integrated levels. This examination assisted them in specifying the problematic sides of every approach as well as compiled a theory of future implementation. The study may serve as the basis for the practical introduction of the joint technologies. Consequently, the appropriateness of this study is prominent.

Works Cited

Butcher, David. Technology’s Role in Lean Today. 2009. Web.

Glasgow, Justin. Introduction to Lean and Six Sigma Approaches to Quality Improvement. Web.

Pepper, Matthew and Trevor Spedding. “The Evolution of Lean Six Sigma.” International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management 27.2 (2010): 138- 155. Print.

Subramanya, Hemanth. Six Sigma in the Information Technology Services Sector. Web.

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