Six Sigma skinnies down to Lean Sigma (GE)

A number of previous posts have discussed Six Sigma (See my post of May 3, 2006 #2 and references cited.). According to General Electric and a piece on it in Corp. Counsel, Vol. 14, Jan. 2007 at 61, Six Sigma focuses on consistency in processes. A variation of Six Sigma is Lean Sigma, which focuses on waste and inefficiency in processes (See my post of Nov. 14, 2005 about Lean Sigma at Xerox.).

When GE’s Aircraft Engines division law department assembled a team to apply Lean Sigma methodology, the team identified 117 tasks for improvement. One of them involved contract processes at the division (See my post of Jan. 14, 2007 on this team’s innovations for contracts.). More specifically, during a weeklong meeting clients and in-house lawyers filled walls with sticky notes and slew many dragons of wastefulness. Among other lessons the “action workout group” learned was that the contracts were too long; they slashed their form contract to a quarter of its former length.

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