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Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma--IBM

Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma--IBM

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Published by Akshat Kaul
Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma--IBM
Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma--IBM

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Akshat Kaul on Jun 04, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Drivingoperationalinnovation usingLean Six Sigma
IBM Global Business Services
IBM Institute for Business Value 
Strategy and Change
IBM Institute for Business Value
IBM Global Business Services, through the IBM Institute or Business Value,develops act-based strategic insights or senior business executives around criticalindustry-speciic and cross-industry issues. This executive brie is based on anin-depth study by the Institute’s research team. It is part o an ongoing commitmentby IBM Global Business Services to provide analysis and viewpoints that helpcompanies realize business value. You may contact the authors or send an e-mail toiibv@us.ibm.com or more inormation.
In today’s marketplace, increased globaliza-tion, constant technological advances andother competitive pressures are acceleratingthe pace of change CEOs face. The resultingopportunities and threats have placed innova-tion near the top of CEOs’ priority lists. Andyet, for many, innovation success has beensporadic at best.Our research and experience shows that theright operations
strategy can help companiesmake innovation a regular occurrence. Sucha strategy, if focused not just on efficiencybut also on growth, can serve as a founda-tion for innovation throughout an organization– far beyond operations to products, services,markets and even a company’s underlyingbusiness model. Simply put, this sort of strategyis not about doing things better; it is aboutdoing better things.As part of our analysis, we examined severalleading companies that are doing just that.They have implemented operations strategiesbased on a relatively well-known managementphilosophy which we will call here Lean SixSigma. It is also sometimes referred to as SixSigma Lean. And at some of the companieswe studied, leaders still label their initiativesas Six Sigma or 6 Sigma even though, fromour perspective, they have moved beyond SixSigma’s original definition and scope by incor-porating Lean features as well.Regardless of the term, the companies thathave used this overall approach have estab-lished disciplined working environmentsfocused on customer needs, detailed dataanalysis and facts, not theories. The results areremarkable:At Caterpillar, stagnant revenue growthprompted the company to undertake amassive transformation in January 2001.Through its 6 Sigma initiative, the companydeveloped a strategic vision that outlined a
CEOs today face mounting pressures to innovate; yet finding ways to actually enable innovation remains a challenge for many. Top companies with successful track records of innovation, however, have discovered one possible solution. Lean Six Sigma, a relatively well-known approach for achieving operational excellence, can, as it turns out, do more than simply improve processes. It can help leaders discover innovation opportunities far beyond operations, enhance financial performance and create organizations that have an inherent inclination toward innovation.
Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma
Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma 
By George Byrne, Dave Lubowe and Amy Blitz 

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