Pyramid Power

Abstract:6TOC, a method that combines the principles of Lean Six Sigma with the theory of constraints, could be the next phase of Six Sigma. Using tools common to both methods, 6TOC provides a systemwide improvement process resulting in bottomline benefits, an organizational metrics pyramid, and a communication system for monitoring performance. 6TOC can help practitioners knit together Six Sigma concepts that have evolved over time into a holistic system that eliminates constraints while reducing defects, waste, and …

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Dr. Creasy has presented a different and useful perspective on the use of metrics to drive change. As many organizations resist the metrics dashboard, perhaps this perspective may encourage more use of metrics, which is commendable. Dr. Creasy's linkage of the foundational metrics to the capstone metric appropriately enables all levels to consider the business priorities and to focus on them.

People do not typically like metrics when they feel they cannot control them. Metrics require management to fully understand their processes. Only then will they feel comfortable with any set of them. Likewise, management needs a set of tools to improve processes. 6TOC, LSS, Six Sigma, Lean or any other approach must be understood, mastered and appropriately applied to the situation to get the most effective use of them.
--Randall Johns, 06-18-2009

Between TQM, Six Sigma, Lean, & TOC, there are both similarities and differences, with their own strengths and weaknesses. The article at least provides us a thinking way to synergy them by utilizing their individual advantages, and that's interesting.
--Wang Zhong, 06-13-2009

I agree with Troy about the new branding and that Lean or LSS should already be considering constraints, although most practitioners don't seem to know how to do that in more complex environments. And this is exacerbated when the bottlenecks float due to changing product mix orders. The users could benefit greatly by using simulation software or finite capacity scheduling software (or such a module within E/MRP). But the author does do a good job of describing the Lean, SS, and TOC integration and discussing a hierarchy of metrics.
--Mike White, 06-12-2009

Good organizational planning should ensure that corporate goals are relevant and flow down to the rest of the organization. The capstone metric/pyramid is an effective visual, but the concept is not really new.
--Ray Sharkey, 06-12-2009

While I got value out of the thoughts provoked by the article, I found it didn't hold my interest. Perhaps its because my company has been combining the ideas of lean, Six Sigma, and TOC for years, but this new "brand" called 6TOC doesn't seem to bring much to the table. Nice discussion about metrics, but in my opinion, a good LSS implementation should do that anyway.
--Troy Gregory, 06-12-2009

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