Traditional Business Management vs. Lean Six Sigma Management Approaches

Traditional Management Lean 6σ Management
Revenue Focused Margin Focused
Processes - High-Level SIPOC Focused Processes - Detailed to promote standardization & Consistency
Processes are loosely/informally defined Processes are clearly defined and documented
Managers primarily Supervise (direct) personnel Managers mentor and develop personnel to constantly improve their process
Responsibility is informally assigned and fluid Responsibility is clearly defined, documented & communicated
Process documents require multiple approvals (for the diffusion of responsibility) Process documents are approved by the Process Owner
Reactive Problem Solving (Fire Fighting) Rewarded Proactive Problem Identification and Prevention Rewarded (e.g., through implementing Risk Mitigation Controls or Process Improvement Activities)
Improvements primarily driven by Corrective Action - often ineffective due to Corrective Action Whac-A-Mole Improvements are proactively driven by monitoring data (e.g., KPIs)
Use a “Zero Defects” motivational management approach (blaming employees for defects while largely ignoring sub-optimal processes) Focus on reducing the effects of “Common Cause” variations
Inspection viewed as a “necessary evil” Inspection recognized as a Risk Control for a sub-optimal process
Place little or no emphasis on cleanliness and workplace organization Use Visual Management & 5S