meeting lean six sigma
Peter Herku

Peter Herku

The practical approach when implementing Lean Six Sigma

When you want to improve the efficiency of your business and involve your employees at the same time, the right implementation of Lean, Six Sigma or the combination of those, like I do, is key to your success.

The wrong way: per departments

Many of the Lean Six Sigma training and consulting companies are specialized in certain parts of the processes like…

  • manufacturing
  • caregiving
  • administration

You should avoid implementing Lean Six Sigma in such a departmentalized way because your company is like a machine, with every part moving and interacting with each other.

The right way: customer-focused

You work together, one department works for the other. One is “customer” and the other one is the “supplier”.

If you want to improve for example HR’s recruitment process, you would need to create a project team with every function involved in the process. That would not only mean HR professionals but a manager for example from the business line who often needs new employees. Maybe someone from IT because of your HR system you use a part of recruitment. Maybe someone from Secretary who handles the applications, etc. You get the point.

If you want to implement Lean Six Sigma with the ultimate reason serving your customers better (better quality, faster, and more cost-effective), you should follow the customer and his journey.

If you look at the customer journey, you will identify where the bottleneck is that holds customers back, causing them too much time, too much effort or unpredictable outcomes. That is where you should start using Lean Six Sigma to remove the bottleneck.

Continuous improvement process

As you remove the first bottleneck, then it moves to another part of your customer journey process. So that is your next Lean Six Sigma project.

And it goes on and on…as the bottleneck moves.

For example:

Once I helped a treatment center for bad hearing using Lean Six Sigma to improve their customer journey.

First, they wanted to improve treatment scheduling and have better predictability of what treatments should be done and when.

As we collected data we found out, the bottleneck was at the beginning of the customer journey: patients had to wait 90 days before they could get your first intake appointment.

This bottleneck caused patients “piling up” at the front door without even being sure that they could be helped by this treatment center.

With our cross-functional Lean Six Sigma project team, we improve the screening process right at the very beginning of the application process by filtering out which patients could be treated well and who should look for treatment somewhere else.

This resulted in the shorter waiting times for the RIGHT patients.

The bottleneck now moved to the healthcare professionals doing the intake. They had to change the way they worked in order to conduct more intakes.


  • When implementing Lean Six Sigma, follow the customer’s journey
  • Remove the first bottleneck with Lean Six Sigma
  • Use cross-functional project teams
  • After solving one bottleneck, move to the next one with Lean Six Sigma

If you want to discuss how to start implementing Lean Six Sigma at your company or team, enter the form below and you’ll get a FREE, no-obligation call and a customer-made implementation plan for your own unique situation.

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