Overview: Improve team collaborative performance by systematically removing waste and reducing variation.
Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is the process improvement method to analyze company processes, find issues in the process, and build sustainable new processes to replace them with.
The four-day process involves a small group of experts from various departments. They pull apart company processes step by step and analyze each step. The goal is to: 1) better understand areas of improvement in company processes and 2) build new processes that are more efficient for the company/team that are of higher quality.
Of course, we wouldn’t promote a process if we haven’t tried it. Smith Marion & Co. is happy to have completed two Lean Six Sigma processes in the past year! And we’re very satisfied!
While it may sound like a pipe dream, it is possible to take a group of team members and create a more efficient process together. But, as the facilitator of our tax process, I witnessed firsthand the team coming together to collaborate and contribute.
One of the best things about LSS is that it is about continuous improvement. This means that after this tax season, we will readdress our processes and reevaluate it to ensure that we’re continuing to adapt and improve.
In this era of ever-changing technology and work ethics, companies simply can’t afford to fall behind — and that includes us. We never want to be a firm that is stuck in old habits. We want to pull apart and examine what we’re doing because, if there is a better, more efficient way of doing something, we want to do it that way!
We know that change can be hard; it can be easier to keep doing what you have always done out of comfort and fear of the unknown. There are so many reasons to stay where you’re at! But when an organization can embrace a continuous improvement mindset, they are able to build processes that are high quality and efficient. (Trust us, we’ve experienced this firsthand!)
As SMCo facilitator, saying that I am proud of our team is an understatement! They dove into this process and were fully committed to making our tax season go more smoothly, even if it meant stepping outside of their own comfort zones or sacrificing parts of the process that they had previously developed. It was all for the betterment of the firm, and it paid off.
I’ll be more than happy to talk to you about what a Lean Six Sigma project would look like for your organization. LSS has helped our company — it can help yours, too!
Hannah Baldwin, SHRM-CP, PAFM, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
Smith Marion & Co.