Lean Six Sigma for Good

Using your improvement skills for social good. Humanitarian engineering, social services engineering, skills based volunteering, sustainable engineering

Putting Six Sigma to Work for Your Nonprofit Organization

2 min read

It seems like Six Sigma and profit go hand-in-hand.

The methodology was designed around manufacturing, after all. When you hear terms like Lean or Kanban, you probably think of names like Toyota and Motorola (and recently, Amazon). You picture warehouses and forklifts and shelves stacked with products.

Or maybe you think of service industries, like airlines or restaurants – packing as much efficiency as possible into every single aspect of their business, in order to maximize return on what they charge you.

But do you think of libraries? Do you think of boy scout camps? What about women’s shelters or food banks?

Nonprofit organizations, despite their profit-agnostic approach to business, benefit from the same efficiencies as all other organizations.

Since nonprofits don’t always prioritize revenue, Six Sigma seems difficult to implement. You don’t necessarily measure success in dollars; you measure it in the service you provide to clients, or the satisfaction of the people you help. So, if your efforts aren’t necessarily impacting something measurable (like revenue), then how do you use Six Sigma to facilitate success?

Simple. It’s the same way HR professionals use Six Sigma to boost employee happiness and company culture – you measure something else, and improve the business holistically.

That’s step one. Find an outcome to measure, so you know if your effort is working or not.

Once you have a measurable outcome, try these things to see how it’s being impacted:

  • Save high-cost resources for high-value work
  • Create a standard process for every outcome
  • Don’t measure things you don’t need to know

Read the entire article at: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/six-sigma-nonprofit/

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