The COVID-19 or coronavirus continues to disrupt society around the world, becoming not only a major health crisis but a major economic crisis. However, it’s also sparked a surge in innovation in optimizing the business processes to level up with cash crunch, some of it involving the application of Lean Six Sigma.
There’s arguably no discipline more critical today than Process Improvement, with governments and industries desperately trying to support the ongoing efforts to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. This change aiming at improvement is inevitable. Many of you already know, Lean Six Sigma is aimed at adapting to change; achieving continuous improvement even when the world around us is changing at a rapid pace. More than ever, we now need to innovate and improve the way we work.
With COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic, there is a lot to learn from the data being gathered and the processes and procedures being followed. From looking at how the virus spread to how businesses are handling the virus, much can be learned in regard to both short term and long term solutions.
Few of Lean Six Sigma’s major purposes is to remove waste, decrease defects (DPMO) and improve variation in an organization’s process. With this in mind, many Lean Six Sigma Tools can be used in Crisis Management situations. Crisis management is used to manage emergency situations in any type of environment.
While some crisis cannot be managed alike COVID-19, their impact can be minimized by future planning and quick reaction using Lean Six Sigma, to help mitigate the impacts.
Faced with the daunting task of continuing operations through a period that requires remote working in case of IT & ITeS businesses while the other industries are almost paused and eagerly waiting to resume. With strict government norms, most of the industries would be allowed to operate only with 10-50% of their total workforce. The challenge arise here is to achieve optimum Productivity with limited resources.
There are many Lean Six Sigma tools such as Value Stream Mapping, Process Mapping, Failure Mode of Effect Analysis (FMEA), SIPOC, GEMBA Walk & more can help you optimize the business processes regardless the domains in order to boost the productivity.
Economy, whether that of a country or a business, largely follows the supply & demand rule. Due to COVID-19, most of the economies are witnessing the free fall in the demand by the consumers mainly due to the uncertainty in the near future. Governments are trying their best to control the downfall first and then uplift the demand followed by aligning the supply chain as well.
The demand is expected to increase to a significant extent, the another challenge to be faced by the suppliers will be that of a stiff competition, which will trigger a Price War. Suppliers will do their best to offer a non-beating price with lowest possible margins whereas the consumers will still negotiate.
Keeping the prices at the lower sides is possible only when the suppliers successfully able to control their wastes, defects and any kind of variations in their respective processes. Lean Six Sigma will help the businesses to do so.
Opportunities to UpSkill & Grow
While many companies have already started laying off the employees to keep their expenses in control, the only employees will be retained who can actually add value in fighting the economic crisis. The value shall not remain limited to the core skills or expectations. For example, a software development, who otherwise expected to do the coding, will now be expected to do coding with ZERO Defects with reduced SDLC.
This can be achieved through upskilling. The employees from wide range of profiles are hence prone to learn new skills in addition to their core skill sets to remain in their jobs. Lean Six Sigma tops the list due to its ability to provide the learners necessary capabilities to boost their productivity with optimum quality of deliverables using minimum resources with reduced TAT.
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