How to Avoid Lean Six Sigma Implementation Problems

How to avoid Lean Six Sigma implementation problems is an essential question for organizations to address when undertaking a process improvement system program.

According to Wikipedia, Lean Six Sigma is a method that uses teams to improve performance by removing waste and reducing variation. Lean focuses on reducing the eight kinds of waste or Muda, i.e., Defects, Over-Production, Waiting, Non-Utilized Talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Extra-Processing. Through an introduction of Lean Six Sigma in an organization, the hope is to change the mindset of employees and managers to one that focuses on growth and continuous improvement through process optimization to maximize efficiency and increase profitability.

Lean Six Sigma Implementation and Breaking Down the Silos

Someone told me during a facility tour how the application of lean techniques improved an operation.  I then asked how this change enhanced the facility’s product lead time and the organization’s financials. He said the change did not enhance either metric.

This process improvement effort (that could have cost much in resources) was in an organizational silo that did not benefit the big picture.

lean six sigma implementation and avoidance of silo projects

Further analyses indicated that most of the organization’s improvement efforts should focus on marketing and sales, not operations, to improve the business’s financials.

This type of “enterprise as a whole” analyses breaks down organizational silos when determining where to undertake improvement efforts so the big picture benefits.

Lean Six Sigma Implementation Problems

Among other things, commonplace Lean Six Sigma deployments have the following problems:

  • There is no structural integration of process improvement efforts within an overall business management system
  • Lean and Six Sigma process improvement efforts are often undertaken in silos and do not benefit the big picture when completed
  • The focus for improvement projects does not emphasize improving a high-level reported process response from a 30,000-foot-level perspective
  • Changing the mindset of employees to focus on growth and continual improvement does not occur because there is no structural integration of the improvement system within an overall business management system and its software
  • Improvement efforts do not give focus to improving KPIs that are important to the business as a whole and reported from a process-output response perspective
  • Lean and Six Sigma deployments are often not long-lasting since executives do not see the benefits of efforts relative to positively impacting the bottom line
  • Report-outs showing the benefits from the improvement projects are often anecdotal, where there is no high-level reported demonstrated process-output response change that is statistically significant from the improvement effort
  • Often the selection of Lean or Six Sigma tools for use in an improvement project depends upon a practitioner’s training or compassion; i.e., not necessarily the best tool for improving a high-level output response for the given situation
  • Opinions and not data analyses (from a high-level enterprise systematic point of view) is the basis for the selection of improvement efforts
  • Undertaken improvement projects can take a very long time for completion, if at all

The Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) business management system with its Enterprise Performance Reporting System (EPRS) software addresses these issues and more.

IEE Business Management and Improvement System

IEE with EPRS software provides a “click of the mouse” organizational understanding system in an organization.

The IEE system structurally addresses all the aspects of the Wikipedia definition for a Lean Six Sigma deployment.

The IEE business process management (BPM) system consists of 9-steps.


IEE Lean and Six Sigma Project Selection Roadmap


A description of each of these 9-steps shows the value of the IEE enhanced business management system.

Highlights of the IEE management information (MIS) system relative to Lean Six Sigma process improvement efforts are:

  • Step 3 includes the analysis of the enterprise as a whole, which can identify improvement opportunities
  • Step 4 is the establishment of financial goals for the organization; e.g., mean monthly reported EBITDA
  • Step 5 is the creation of targeted strategies that are in alignment with improving a monthly-reported mean monthly financial
  • Step 6 is the creation of an Enterprise Improvement Plan (EIP) for the identification of 30,000-foot-level process output responses that, when enhanced, should benefit the business as a whole
  • Step 7 is the execution of a process improvement project, where there will be the use of the most appropriate Lean or Six Sigma tools to improve a process response through the IEE DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) roadmap. The IEE system suggests that the process owner periodically reports to leadership the status of improvement efforts to enhance the strategic identified project in their area; hence, a sense of urgency exists for timely project completion.


An overall IEE Lean Six Sigma DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) roadmap is available with clickable drill-downs, which provides specific direction for selection of the best Lean or Six Sigma tool to apply for a given situation to improve a process-output response metric.


IEE Lean and Six Sigma project deployment roadmap


Lean Six Sigma Student Training Testimonials

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Training Student Stories: Webinar

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Training Student Stories: Webinar


Additional Information

For more information about IEE and its Enterprise Performance Reporting (EPRS) software, see:


Let’s schedule a Zoom meeting to see if your organization might be a good fit for benefiting from a system that transitions organizations from no-benefit silo improvement efforts to where (and how) to enhance the big picture financials.


business management system meeting


Contact Us through an e-mail or telephone call to set up a time for a discussion on how your organization might gain much from an Integrated Enterprise Excellence Business Process Management system. Or, a Zoom meeting can be schedule directly:

E-mail ([email protected]) or call us (+1.512.918.0280), if you encounter difficulties setting up a Zoom session directly or want to schedule another time that is not available in the Zoom-meeting calendar.

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