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More for less with Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare

More for less with Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare

Written by Cheryse Fortuin63iStock_000023771470Medium_400_0_1024

Meet Denise. Denise is a real ‘people person’ with a passion for her job as caretaker. She adores her clients and even the less glamorous tasks she performs with love. When her clients are happy, she is happy. However, in the last few months she has been forced to realize that, like many of her colleagues, she has lost precious time on administration — and that makes no one happy.

To keep afloat in the current economic climate every business and organization has to be bold enough to take a serious look at their own processes. It is the only way to always stay one step ahead of budget cuts without losing productivity or quality.

Are you working in Healthcare and feel responsible for the quality of your work?

With Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare you can improve it.

Herku mainly services health care institutions and businesses, helping them develop a crisis proof business strategy by changing the corporate culture from the inside. Working with both managers and caretakers, Herku develops processes that will not only increase quality and save costs in the long run, but will also create more time for clients.

To achieve this Herku uses a unique combination of the improvement methods Lean and Six Sigma that has been specifically optimized for the health care industry.

Lean was developed by Toyota and aims to eliminate unnecessary actions from the process. In other words, it concentrates on efficiency and time saving.

Six Sigma on the other hand is designed to increase the quality and predictability of the outcome, irrespective of the people involved.

The wonderful thing about these methods is that the basic principles are not restricted by time of fashion, and therefore they are perfectly applicable in other industries, such as health care.

Herku works according to the five stages defined by Six Sigma, called DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control). In every stage the input from the team is key; after all, they are the only ones who are truly familiar with the in’s and out’s of the problems at hand.

Herku provide on the job advice; they guide and guard the entire process from beginning to end and help to bring complex issues down to the core.

Often times, as an organization it is difficult to see the forest for the trees and identify the true causes of a problem — let alone deal with them. This is where our professional consultants are of great value. Instead of simply giving you a solution to the problem, we will give you insight into the causes. Whoever wants to effectively remove the weeds ultimately has to pull out the roots along with the plant.

If we are honest we have to admit change does not happen in a day. More often than not it is complicated, messy and unpleasant. At Herku we take the time — time to talk, time to adjust, time to continually improve, even ourselves.

Would you like to know more about Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare, how to get certified, please comment below.

How to improve the results of an ICT Servicedesk with Lean Six Sigma

What if the customers of your ICT Servicedesk are satisfied, but your employees’ ambitions need to increase? Every ICT Servicedesk’s service should be to make sure its customers can be served with more efficient and services of higher quality. To concretize this mission, and to run the project, one could use the method Lean Six Sigma.

This article describes what one could to do improve the efficiency and quality of an ICT Servicedesk, structurally and with a long-term result, with the help of Lean Six Sigma.

The combination of efficiency and quality makes Lean Six Sigma the perfect method for running this project. Lean Six Sigma is actually aimed at optimizing the added value for customers, by reducing waste. By doing so, the quality of the service will increase and costs will go down.

Operator concentrating on client

A Lean Six Sigma Project

A Lean Six Sigma project consists of five phases (DMAIC), which stand for:

  • Define phase: Define the goal
  • Measure phase: Determine the current achievements.
  • Analyze phase: Identify the main causes of the problem
  • Improve phase: Select and Implement the solutions
  • Control phase: Verify and Control the results.


Define & Measure

These phases are aimed at determining the goal of the improvement and the current process achievements. In this case, improving customer satisfaction and efficiency will be the goals for the project. However, what’s maybe the most important in running a Lean Six Sigma project is that the employees themselves need to see the need for improvement.



This phase in the Lean Six Sigma project has the aim of identifying the main causes that could be a bottleneck for increasing customer satisfaction and efficiency. This will all be done on the basis of process- and data information. Process information will be gathered from the chain. In this case, the chain exists of employees of the ICT Servicedesk, chain partners and suppliers. By means of an interactive workshop the main causes will be identified via an Ishikawa diagram.



The aim of this phase would be to select and implement solutions for the problem. Together with the employees of the ICT Servicedesk, a brainstorm to find solutions for the main causes has taken place.

Accordingly, solutions have to be prioritized to select the most effective ones. After selection, the ICT Management should be requested for the ‘GO’ for implementing the solutions.



After identification that the solutions are effectivie, ofcourse an ICT department would want to maintain this improved level of customer satisfaction, if not even more increase. To secure the improved level, a coachproces and documentation proces could be developed to let employees extend their improvements and even enlarge them.


Are you interested in the methodology? Have a look at my programs!

You can also contact me for some more information on the topic or for informal advice.

Phone: +31 6 55 301094


Lean versus Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma

Which of both improvement methods is the better one?

This article focuses on two of the major business improvemen

t methodologies, namely Lean and Six Sigma. It points out the differences and discusses which method would be best for using today.

The Difference between Lean and Six Sigma

A Lean project can be done when the main causes are known, but the solutions are complex. Lean projects can be completed within 45 days and focus mainly on the elimination of waste. Among the tools that can be used to complete the Lean project are, Poka Yoke and Pareto Analysis. Six Sigma projects on the other hand, are done when the main causes are unknown and the solutions are complex. These projects can range from 3-6 months, while the focus lies on variation reduction. The main structured methodology to carry out a Six Sigma project would be the D-M-A-I-C structure, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. So to wrap up, in a situation where the cause is Unknown and the Solution is complex Six Sigma is supposed to be used, and in a situation where the causes are known but the solution is complex a lean methodology is used.

How did Lean and Six Sigma come to existence 

During the late 1980s and early 90s Lean and Six Sigma became of great importance. The world had started globalizing. Process automation in all sectors reached its peak and due to globalization, demand was high and supply was comparatively less. As globalization started to evolve, increa

sing economic transactions globally enhanced trade and there was no sign of recession.

So the factors that required the rise of Lean and Six Sigma are:

  • Automations led to an larger output, but also to more waste
  • Therefore, resource optimization was essential and afocus on waste was important
  • So, the focus shifted from ‘output based thinking’ to ‘input based thinking’
  • Also, there was a need for a quick response tot the market
  • But multiple suppliers led to management issues and operational delays
  • So, processes were people dependent and a strong focus on a process oriented approach was required

So what is most important method for today: Lean or Six Sigma?

As mentioned before, Lean normally shouldn’t take more than 45 days, while Six Sigma projects can last for about 3 or 4 months for a successful round up. Therefore, the need for something somewhat faster and more customer-oriented emerged.

This brings us to the new trend nowadays: Lean Six Sigma –

a combination of both Lean and Six Sigma. These projects are completed quickly and the focus lies on innovative thinking. Customer orientation is the only priority of this combination of methods. These kinds of projects can last from about 1 month up to 3 months. A data driven approach is used wherever data is available to the project team and customer value will be identified to the max.

Both Lean and Six Sigma are great methodologies, which make an even greater methodology when combined to serve customer needs.

Are you interested in the methodology? Have a look at my programs!

You can also contact me for some more information on the topic or for some advice.

Phone: +31 6 54 69 40 47


NO EXCUSE: Responsibility is not a characteristic

personal responsibility in delivering excellence

Sense of responsibility: one has it, or one doesn’t. There is not a word of truth in this statement. Of course some people have more compassion with their fellows than others do, but there sure are techniques for sharpening your sense of responsibility. So no more excuses!

But what exactly is this sense of responsibility?

Some jobs and the belonging tasks demand for a lot of responsibility. Most of the times, those come together with a lot of money, or sometimes even human lives are at stake. People that own a sense of responsibility are characterized by their alertness. They constantly question themselves: Why is this going wrong? Can I do this, better, faster, or more efficiently? Also, they own the capacity of making decisions on their own, and being independent. Responsible people see it as their duty to watch over the well being of others in their surroundings, and will recognize alarm signals or stress factors in the blink of an eye.  It’s not about reflecting responsibility, but taking responsibility!

Developing your sense of responsibility

In case you would like to develop your sense of responsibility, you will have to learn to shut down your automatically generated thoughts. Irritation is a familiar emotion for you? Do you ever think: “Why is this happening now, again? I even told them so; just let it figure them out by themselves!” ? Then, I would strongly advise you to let go of this frustration and to take the following steps in developing your sense of responsibility.

  • Let go of your narrow-mindedness! This is rather the opposite of responsibility. You don’t want to do tasks that are not in your job description according to you? Then you will not be able to make a splendid career. It is showing lack of responsibility and it will not improve the quality of the product or service that you are delivering.
  • Try to be flexible. Has it ever occurred to you to work some overtime to finish this important order? Shake of this ‘from nine to five’ mentality and try to create some flexibility for making an extra mile. Doing slightly more than is requested for can tremendously boost the quality of your product or service.
  • Don’t forget about the details. Often, the quality of your product or service can be found in the details. To have an eye for details is of major concern for showing that you are taking responsibility for the quality delivered.
  • Be willing to do something for one another. To reach a helping hand to your colleague that is overloaded by work can be very much appreciated. Take responsibility for the organization as a whole and for the well being of your colleague. He won’t forget about it!
  • Don’t forget to share your responsibilities. In case you are afraid to do so, you will hinder yourself and your surroundings for no reason. People with too big of a sense of responsibility are excessively critical and point out to their colleagues what possibly could go wrong. This will give your colleagues a feeling of discomfort and it creates an awkward cooperation. Shake off this feeling of doing it better than others. Think of what actually could go wrong. This hardly ever is a irreparable mistake

Do you dare to take the step of developing a sense of responsibility?

I can help you in developing sense of responsibility by my online Lean Six Sigma trainings. With the help of improvement projects, internal process will be scrutinized to discover which input is of importance for your results. Then it will be determined what would be the best way to monitor this input and to optimize the process, and to deliver the quality that you stand for.

Lean Six Sigma works following a certain project sequence. Each step within the project will be gone through systematically, and according to the DMAIC principle, standing for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. For each phase, the project team will have to come together to brainstorm and to work out ideas.

But this only works if everybody in the team takes his or her responsibility, doesn’t it?

In case this is not happening, it is of importance for the project and the organization to stop and talk about this issue. Are YOU ready to take your responsibility?

Have a look at my training programs!

You can also contact me for some more information on the topic or for some advice.

The choice is yours.

: +31 6 54 69 40 47



How to Achieve Your Goals in 2013 with Lean Six Sigma


If you are a bit like me, you sometimes wonder about what you want to achieve in life. At least you think about the things that you have not been able to realize up until now, but which you are determined about to do so pretty soon.

Perhaps you would like to have a better job? Or lose some weight and learn healthy habits? Spend more time with your family and friends?

With Lean Six Sigma, reaching one or more of those goals will become possible. 2013 Will be your year!

Just try it out and see it yourself >>> Lean Six Sigma Free Trial >>>>

One of my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt students, JY, did so. He is the perfect example of how to increase your earning ability and to get a better job.

Success Story of JY

JY joined our online Black Belt program last year to increase his earning ability. His reason would be that, although he had lots of practical experience in quality management and production supervision, he felt the need for a formal education in today’s most effective managerial problem-solving method: Lean Six Sigma.

JY being a process engineer at a Far-East Printed Circuit Board manufacturer, could easily find 2 improvement projects to work on.

With the first Lean Six Sigma project, JY reduced two major sources of part contamination by 13.8% and 33.3% in 8 months. This waste reduction saved his company an annual amount of $ 240,202. Parallel with his contamination project, JY started his second project: reduction of production time, and therefore an increase in production capacity of the bottleneck process step. The result: 300% capacity increase from producing 294 pieces per hour to 1200 pieces per hour!

How? Just by using our simplified Lean Six Sigma method: observing the current process, brainstorming with the team on possible improvements, and testing those assumptions.

This is what JY told me: these Lean Six Sigma projects – although they were not completely finished yet at that time – helped him to make a huge step in his career. He got a new position offered by a major manufacturer as General Manager.

While finishing his Black Belt program, JY increased his salary by 100%! Quite an achievement, wouldn’t you say? I can only ask you to agree with me on that one.

But is it something exceptional or strange? The answer is absolutely not. You can achieve the same results as JY did, if you only know that Lean Six Sigma is the key to open the door for your road to success.

JY is worth now gold for every company he joins. Achieving $240K savings with his first project, and then increasing production capacity by 300% with the second, JY’s doubled salary is just a tiny little expense that is worth paying for by any company.

Actually, JY is an excellent investment for any company. Like Brian Tracy said: “Good employees are free because they contribute more in dollar value than you pay them in salary and bonuses.”

Increase your own earning power

Do you want to increase your career chances and earn a better living in 2013? Feel invited to take a free trial of one of our Lean Six Sigma Certification Programs. Just scroll down this page, and sign up. No risks, no payments involved.

The choice is yours.

Warm regards,


PS: How much is it worth to you to double your income in 8 months? JY dared to invest in his future. Will you?

Click here >>>>