Have you seen an example where Lean and Six Sigma are confused as one and the same?
By Consuelo Esnaola, Business Capture Director
I recently viewed a video webinar addressing the Toyota recall crisis and what it means to Lean leadership within the Toyota Manufacturing System and I must admit, I’m missing the connection the webcaster is trying to make.
In this video, it was stated that there were two basic root causes for the crisis; the acceleration issue, later identified as a design issue and the Toyota response time to the design issue, which caused a media feeding frenzy.
I do not know enough to address the design issue, perhaps only to comment that it probably was more of a Six Sigma (quality) than Lean (waste) issue.
Their delay in crisis response time is another issue entirely. From my experience working as a contractor screening incoming calls at the BP’s Press Office and Crisis Center in Houston during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, their most important issue here was not listening to the “Voice of the Customer” to identify the severity of the issue.
In the video, they mentioned that normal traffic to the Toyota call center is 3,000 calls per day, or typically 15,000 calls per week, but once the press feeding frenzy began, call center traffic increased to 50,000 calls per day… Regardless of how difficult it is to separate life threatening issues from common call center chatter; and despite the fact that most headlines shifted from the Toyota crisis after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis occurred on April 10, 20 – the question posed should not be what is the impact of this crisis to Lean leadership rather what is the impact of this crisis to Toyota’s leadership due to their inaction?
Have you seen an instance or example where lean and six sigma are confused? Join the discussion.