Lean Six Sigma practices are no different than any other professional practice. It is based on specific methodologies that have been proven, time and time again, to be effective. Mechanics have their tools, surgeons have their tools and pilots have their tools. Some differ based on different application of their practices, but, no matter what, there are basic tools required to achieve success. Lean Six Sigma tools are just the same. There are numerous tools used across the practice and their use varies from a application to application. The question is, what are the basic Lean Six Sigma tools every practitioner must use?
Do You Have the Basic Lean Six Sigma Tools?
Here are the five Lean Six Sigma tools that form the foundation of any professional practice:
The 5 Why’s: The 5 Whys tool is deployed in the practice in order to move past the symptoms toward assimilating the actual cause of a problem. When asking the question “Why” five times, a true cause can often be determined.
Fishbone Diagram: The fishbone diagram is also known as a “cause and effect diagram.” A fishbone diagram is a structured tool for brainstorming. This cause-and-effect diagram methodology is crafted to aid organizational teams identify potential causes for a described issue.
The Histogram: The histogram is a data-containing graph which addresses the shape, frequency, dispersion and other factors of a measurement. This tool can deliver a visual representation of data, which can be hard to comprehend in other forms of presentations such as a spreadsheet or tabular format.
Regression Analysis: A regression analysis can be useful to determine that a process input has a relationship to the output of a process. This knowledge can help identify an input to the process where control is necessary to achieve a desired process-output response.
The Run Chart/Time Series: A run chart is basically a graph displaying time series information, where the data are sequenced from first to last. This tool can show trends and shifts.
Finding Success with the Right Tools
Success in professional practice requires the proper application and use of the correct tools. There is no difference with Lean Six Sigma tools. Professional practitioners must understand and be highly proficient when applying these tools, to achieve the desirable results.