The TLS Continuum

Every thing we involve ourselves in change over time and the Six Sigma CPI pace is no different. It has been demonstrated over time that the individual components of the continuum operate better as a whole rather than as a stand alone item. Let’s look at the individual parts first:

Part 1: TOC

The Theory of Constraints, created by Eliyahu Goldratt, provides us with a concrete method for developing a picture of what is holding up the process. It leds us to an analysis of the cause and effects of what is causing the problems within our organization.

Part 2: Lean

The lean side of the equation is designed strictly to make the process work more efficiently by removing the non-value added activities or steps from the processes. These non-value added activities hold up the process because they do not meet the standard of what the customer is willing to pay for the service delivered.

Part 3: Six Sigma

The purpose of the last part is to create a process which is repeatable. This would mean that everytime we begin a process we take the same steps to complete the effort each and every time. In the course of  proceedding through the Standard of Work we are keeping an eye peeled for activities that are not in alignment with the Standard of Work. These variations constitute waste within the process.

As can be seen from the above descriptions, none of the three parts can operate on their own. Each has a very important interdependent benefit to the continuum.

The TLS Continuum

Lets look at the combination of the three parts. We begin the process through the use of the Logical Thinking Process to locate and identify the roadblocks which are holding up our process. For example, in one of the seminar presentations, we had an HR professional tells us that in the course of hiring someone the job requisition is reviewed three times -BY THE SAME PERSON. It was a step that went hidden because someone had not taken the time to map out the process.  

Once we have identified the roadblock we move to the second stage – Lean. The sole purpose of lean is to make the system run more efficiently. So with the roadblock identified we can take lean tools and remove the roadbck from the process. We do this by using creditable, verifiable data and steps to lay a path for their removal. 

Our ultimate goal is to make the overall process as near perfect over time as possible. This comes from implementing the six sigma methodology to create a standard of work based on the removal of the roadblocks.The methodology tells us when we see variations arising which are taking us away from the established repeatable standard of work. 

Have you experienced the use of the continuum within your organization. Share with the group what you found and how you resolved the issues. Provide us with reality of the use of the continuum within your organization.

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