- Series: General Finance & Investing
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (July 15, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780071418218
- ISBN-13: 978-0071418218
- ASIN: 0071418210
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#25,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #4 in Books > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Quality Control & Management > Six Sigma
- #6 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Industrial, Manufacturing & Operational Systems > Manufacturing
- #14 in Books > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Quality Control & Management > Quality Control
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Lean Six Sigma for Service : How to Use Lean Speed and Six Sigma Quality to Improve Services and Transactions 1st Edition
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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 information and 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 Services reveals 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
Michael L. George is founder and President of The George Group, the largest Lean Six Sigma consulting practice in the United States. He wrote the successful and influential Lean Six Sigma, also published by McGraw-Hill.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Both books suffer from exactly the same problem: a very strong manufacturing background, which refuses to stay out of the way, while the authors try to explain 6S concepts and techniques under a services business light.
Examples after examples are taken from pure manufacturing processes - the sort with names like "etching" and "plating".
This is not a matter of bad didactics. It is not a question of learning through manufacturing examples and then easily applying the same concepts and techniques in the services environment. As both authors promptly address at their introductory "why this book" paragraphs, service processes are inherently different from manufacturing processes. Most of them do not even have any physical output. Their tasks or "repetitive units of work" have usually to be described in such high-level, generic ways that render them useless - think of the tasks of a senior associate in a large law firm. That is precisely why the services industry needs so badly a body of knowledge about quality management. George's and Yang's books, unfortunately fall far behind, on this task.
These are books on quality of services that do not cover, to any meaningful length, the role of call centers in designing services processes (not to mention the whole science of quality maangement in call centers); they do not touch the subjects of scripting, Queuing Theory, yield management or any other obvious subjects that come to the mind of any practitioner of process improvement in the banking, retail, hospitality, or professional services industries.
What is behind this?
George is the guy that invented Lean Six Sigma. Yang is a Ph.D., practitioner and professor of quality engineering. Why can't these top-notch professionals produce useful tests on their field of expertise, when it comes to service industry applications?
My hypothesis is that large services companies - the sort of clients that hire projects that are sufficiently large and complex to call (and pay) for methodology and theory building - have consistently neglected the consulting firms that specialize in quality engineering projects, like George's George Group, Yang's Enterprise Excellence Institute, as well as their eminent ancestors, Juran and Demming Institutes. These companies have, instead, hired mainly management consulting firms - the McKinsey's and Accenture's - to help them in their challenges with processes and quality improvement. Why would that have happened?
The advent of business process reengineering (BPR), in the early 90's, was severely criticized by the quality engineering practitioners and warmly embraced by the management consultants. This happened exactly at the time when the IT revolution (decentralized networks, low-platform applications, etc.) opened the gates for radical innovation in services process engineering. Banks, insurance companies, hospitals, retail chains, everybody in the services industries (much, much more than in the manufacturing arena) had their plates full of opportunities for radical process innovation - the sort of projects management consultants were selling, not the step-improvements, group-oriented sort offered by quality consultants. And you know what? These clients were right in their choice.
The problem is, now that all this new technology has been deployed in all these new processes, now that jobs were eliminated by the millions, all over the world, productivity has soared but so has confusion, bad services, non-conformity. So now is the time for our friends in the quality engineering trenches to step-up and actively target the services industry. Maybe they should forget about writing books, right now - they do not yet have the raw material for a complete corpus of knowledge on quality engineering for services. Maybe they should start learning from veterans of process improvement for services outside the quality management community. And definitely, they should start learning by doing large projects for large services organizations.