Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma: Which is the right methodology for my organization?

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Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma - Which is the right methodology for my organization
Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma - Which is the right methodology for my organization

Choosing the right methodology depends on the outcomes you are looking in for.  You clearly need to define the end deliverables you want for your organization.  So if you are clear of the end deliverable then it would be very easy for you to decide which of the two methodologies viz. Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma you should be choosing.

Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma - Which is the right methodology for my organization
Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma – Which is the right methodology for my organization

Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma

Both these methodologies are extremely powerful but at the same time it has its pros and cons. Total Productive Maintenance is a very powerful methodology if you are looking for a long term sustainable improvements in your organization.  It is very helpful for those organisations where the intellectual level of the employees is not very high.  Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) methodology is very easy to understand and implement.  It inculcates a lot of teamwork and team participation.  The improvements are slow but sustainable.  For implementation of TPM methodology you need to have a top down bottom up approach.  Meaning, the top management has to show visible commitment and has to define clear objective for TPM implementation.  While the people working on the shop floor will have to translate these objectives into action able plan and have to convert it into results.  At the same time the issues and the problems that the people are facing have to be addressed so that the people comfortable implementing TPM methodology.  Since the core concern of the people are addressed using TPM so that commitment towards TPM increases there by bringing a long term sustainable results.

Now let us talk about Lean Six Sigma.  Lean Six Sigma is a top-down approach and is more focused on bringing specific improvements in the organisation.   It is like setting up the overall objective for the organisation and then identify specific improvement projects for the organization. Once done, choose the Black belt or a Green Belt who would be driving these improvement project.  Quantum changes and significant improvements in a very short span of time can be expected out of Lean Six Sigma implementation.  However you require specific people with deep understanding of statistical tools for implementation of Lean Six Sigma.   Once Lean Six Sigma project is implemented a lot of statistical analysis is done and based on that root causes that have been identified, corrective actions are taken.  After the processes improve the project is handed over back to the process owner who is supposed to take care of the long term sustainability of the project.

Resources Required for Total Productive Maintenance or Lean Six Sigma implementation:

For the implementation of both these methodologies you need trained person who can drive it throughout your organisation.  For implementation of TPM methodology you would require either a TPM instructor or a TPM facilitator.  While if you need to implement in Six Sigma you would require either a Lean Six Sigma  Master Black Belt or a Lean Sigma Black Belt.  Both these methodologies would require extensive training to your company employees.

Can Total Productive Maintenance and Lean Six Sigma be integrated?

Though these two methodology are very different, but at the same time they complement each other. You can use the power of Lean Six Sigma while driving the focus improvement pillar (also known as Kobetsu Kaizen pillar).  If you are able to integrate Lean Six Sigma into your Kobetsu Kaizen pillar, you can demonstrate sustainable results in a very short period of time.

Now you after having read the basic difference between these two methodologies you can decide which particular methodology is more suited for you requirements.