Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma methodologies are proven and considered globally the best way of achieving “World Class” business performance and customer service outcomes in manufacturing and services based organisations.

The greatest challenge for many organisations is the rollout and deployment of the initial program to achieve the required factors of engagement in skills, knowledge transfer and cultural maturity; thus ensuring that the initial deployment rollout does not fail or flounder. Historical evidence shows that if those methodologies are rolled out unstructured a failure rate of 70% plus have occurred during the early years of program deployments.

Critical to achieving these factors of engagement is the commitment and sponsorship of the senior leadership to change the way people think, act and collaborate together without fear or trepidation to make and achieve major change within the organization, more reading/learning @
“The Benefits of Thought Leadership 

Graphic 1 shows the benefits of the structured gradual step deployment of these continuous improvement methodologies and the best practice outcomes, helping organisations to evolve and mature.

In addition to a structured gradual step approach, it is also critical to ensure that the organisations corporate strategic and operational plans are realigned and embedded with the business critical key performance metric drivers and having a baseline capability position that includes a full (VOC) Voice of the customer/CX /SIPOC position that includes a quantified COPQ/CTQ/CTC/NPS position, more reading/learning @ Know your Customer”  that often identifies and justifies the initial funding stream/business case opportunities with the core “business critical” prioritised project themes identified and scoped with potential benefits quantified (R.O.I) and aligned to the organisations corporate and vision and values propositions are embedded prior to commencing any (C.I/T.Q.M) transformation deployment rollout. I have found that by utilising additional (B.S.C) Balance Scorecard Card and (B.R.M) Benefits Realisation Management techniques to flush out the critical business drivers, visual performance metric and being able to quantify the base line position and the potential (R.O.I) hard/soft benefits allows a structured budgeted and tasking of achievement by all involved stakeholders to deliver the potential ongoing results.

I have found that great transformation engagement and cultural change programs will deliver benefits of >10 fold plus from the initial investment.

There are many examples where organisations have failed by adopting single method strategies and deploying Kaizen, Lean and 6 Sigma Best Practice without having the required back up of skilled team members and the expert leadership, qualified in these methodologies, more reading/learning @
“The Application of Structured Problem Solving Techniques to achieve Best Practice Outcomes” 

Usual good practice is to commence utilising Kaizen PDCA and Lean techniques to flush out the low hanging fruit, namely company generated waste. This gets team members to learn and work utilising these best practice methods and also achieving some great results and outcomes that will project and be observed by other teams within the organisation and serves as a living template and adds momentum for them to follow.

Once the teams have achieved the yellow and green belt competency level and have successfully delivered great outcomes, then target further DMAIC/ DFSS projects that can be undertaken to resolve the larger issues identified and proceed with the remaining critical improvement opportunities, allowing the organisation to move forward, more reading/learning @
“Our Training Programs”

Cultural maturity is required to achieve a high level of engagement and deployment. This takes time to establish, mainly due to a resistance to changes being introduced. Once capability is established and the level of participation increases, the system reaches higher levels of process and product sigma capability = six sigma

The maturity of the overall quality management system and trying to implement well above the organisations current baseline capability state which can result in “deployment and employee engagement failures” of which can be “unrecoverable”.

“Kaizen” the Japanese term to “Change…to make…better” word for continuous improvement. Usually used to describe a focused, short-term “Kaizen Event” conducted to reorganise a process or customer service function. Kaizen utilises the (P.D.C.A) Plan – Do – Check – Act improvement cycle methods that have been utilised over the last 80 years with great success, this method is the best way to commence your journey towards best practice outcomes. Kaizen In Lean Six-Sigma terms, it refers to a highly focused, short-term rapid improvement event performed by cross-functional teams at the work-group level that identifies and removes waste from a process or customer service function. Also Good Kaizen events can also follow the 6 Sigma (D.M.A.I.C) (Define-Measure-Analysis-Improve-Control problem solving methodology, and involve the use of basic Lean Six-Sigma tools to implement process improvement solutions. Kaizen is focused on rapid improvement.

“Lean” Initiatives focus on eliminating all waste in manufacturing processes, customer service, asset and facilities capability functions; commonly known as the (T.P.S) Toyota Production System. The Production System Design Laboratory (P.S.D), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) ‘Lean production is aimed at the elimination of waste in every area of production including customer service and labour relations, product design, facility and maintenance uptime utilising (T.P.M/R.C.M) (T.P.M – Total Preventive maintenance & R.C.M – Reliability Centered Maintenance) techniques, supplier networks and factory management. Its goal is to incorporate less human effort, less inventory, less time to develop products, and less space to become highly responsive to customer demand while producing top quality products in the most efficient and economical manner possible.

“Six Sigma” (D.M.A.I.C) (Define-Measure-Analysis-Improve-Control) the problem solving method that is utilised to solve complex problems is a rigorous and a systematic methodology that utilises information (management by facts) and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company’s financial and operational performance, practices and systems by identifying and preventing ‘defects’ in manufacturing and service-related processes in order to anticipate and exceed expectations of all stakeholders to accomplish effectiveness and achieve customer service best practice outcomes.

“Design For Six Sigma” (D.M.A.D.V) Define-Measure-Analysis-Design -Verify methodology, should be used when a product or process is in existence at your company but is not meeting customer specification or is not performing adequately. Many mature global best practice organisations are increasingly utilising these additional Design & Verify tools and methods for the conceptualisation, design and launch of new products and technology from conception to full marketing/launch rollout, this is referred to as Design for Lean Six Sigma (D.F.S.S) or (I.D.O.V) Identify, Design, Optimize, Validate

In Summary

I would strongly recommend that a competent Master Black Belt facilitator be engaged to initially conduct your base line maturity and capability position and identify the core projects themes and quantified potential benefits (R.O.I) and then embed/realign these business critical findings back into the organisations corporate and operations strategy and aligned to your vision and values propositions before commencing any large scale transformational deployment programme.

The key is having great leadership in place that will sponsor and drive the changes with skilled team practitioners and nominated project champions that have the knowledge to deploy these great best practice methodologies and tools and knowing how and when to utilise which methods and tools with the prioritised quantified projects to be implemented will achieve profitable long-term sustainable win/win collaborative outcomes.

View our best practice video introduction into Kaizen Lean Six Sigma Overview @

We are located in Australia and have highly qualified international senior Kaizen Lean and Six Sigma executives that cover global partnership and relationships with many global based best practice organisations.

Please feel free to make contact with us on
+61 417766611 or email info@richterconsulting.com.au for a obligation free discussion on your strategic vision and operational realignment programs covering your process and customer service outcomes, customer experience, statistical data analysis visualisation, project based transformation, deployment and cultural engagement challenges….. also visit our “Best Practice” Websites kaizenleansixsigma.com.au and richterconsultinggroup.com.au for our latest best practice article updates.

© Richter Consulting Group 2017                                        

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