top of page

“Project (s) defined around constraints related to customer complaints are bound to succeed, thus rapidly increasing belief in your culture..”

Tweet # 72

Hopefully, any of you (or your family members or friends) reading this wouldn’t have the need to check your arteries for clogging as a result of cholesterol build up.

The gradual build up of the LDL (known and Low Density Lipoproteins – Bad Cholesterol) will eventually constrict the arteries causing a constraint to the normal blood flow to different parts of the body.


A diagnosis of our arteries helps our medical doctors focus on such constraints rather than beautifying our skin or hair that would have an insignificant impact on our health. By just reducing the cholesterol build up on the inner walls of our arteries; the blood flow can be improved as shown below where we compare a normal artery to that where plaque is building up.



Likewise, in an enterprise, we have constraints in the business value chain from the design concept stage all across to the silos relating to customer delight.

Our LSS (Lean Six Sigma) project (s) need to be defined around constraints, meaning which when acted upon, creates or accelerates cash flow (revenue) into the enterprise.



Does this indirectly mean that project (s) not related to relieving a constraint in the enterprise aren’t of any value? Not necessarily. If your management is looking for tactical dollars, the project should be built around relieving a constraint. Again a constraint can be either of the following:

1. Increasing revenue to the enterprise (Increase in EBIT).
2. Reducing (idling) inventory carrying cost to the enterprise.
3. Increasing the consistency of items 1 and 2 across the fiscal year.

The advantage of designing project (s) around the constraint is that not everyone in the organization needs to be sent for training in Lean Six Sigma (LSS). The team and champions involved in the success of the project are alone needed. At some point while constraints are being relieved, the other silos of the enterprise become the new constraints and we can then invite those people appropriately.

Thus a simple qualification for a constraint can be some difficulty or a bottleneck which when addressed causes positive results for an organization. When one applies the 5Ds toward these areas, there is a tremendous benefit for the entire value chain. The 5Ds are:

1. Defects
2. Delays
3. Deviations, Reduction of the 1st 3Ds lead to:
4. Delighting the Customer
5. Delivering Dollars

In conclusion, look at the constraints in a process and build solutions around it. Constraints keep shifting for different reasons and allocating our attention and the needed resources allows an enterprise to leverage the benefits of LSS to a much larger extent, than simply executing a project for the sake of doing so!

bottom of page