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Assignment on Benchmarking & Lean Six Sigma

Words : 2000

Using the two paragraphs shown below as a starting point, write an essay that demonstrates how both Benchmarking and Lean Six Sigma can be used by organisations to facilitate change in their business processes to enhance and sustain their competitive advantage.
In your essay you need to discuss the following:
a. What are Benchmarking and Lean Six Sigma?
b. How can both be applied to business process change?
c. How have organisations actually used one or both to improve their processes? (Case Studies)
d. How could you apply Benchmarking and/or Lean Six Sigma to your current organisation or to an
organisation you know well to identify business process change improvements?
You are expected to demonstrate a high standard of research to support your statements and assertions. As a guide you are expected to use a minimum of 20 references. The use of contemporary (recent) publications will be valued in assessing the quality of research.
The references must be authoritative and not sourced from Wikipedia, Slideshare, Businessballs or other non-academic sources.
The essay must be formatted to Kaplan guidelines and the Harvard Referencing System must be used for the references and citations.
The essay must be submitted through Turnitin. Any evidence of academic misconduct (plagiarism) will attract the appropriate penalty as published in Kaplan’s policies and guidelines. These penalties include the possibility of being given a mark of zero for the assessment.
Any student who is not sure of how to meet the requirements of this assessment is encouraged to discuss the issue with their lecturer at the earliest opportunity.
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Assessment Information
“Benchmarking improves performance by identifying and applying best demonstrated practices to operations and sales. Managers compare the performance of their products or processes externally with those of competitors and best-in-class companies and internally with other operations within their own firms that perform similar activities. The objective of Benchmarking is to find examples of superior performance and to understand the processes and practices driving that performance. Companies then improve their performance by tailoring and incorporating these best practices into their own operations—not by imitating, but by innovating.” http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/management-tools-benchmarking.aspx

Lean Six Sigma is a new business improvement methodology, combining both Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. The goals of Lean are to eliminate waste from processes and increase process speed by focusing on what customers actually consider value and working back from that. Six Sigma is used to eliminate process variation and make process improvements based on the customer definition of quality, by measuring process performance and process change effects. When combined they create a business improvement methodology that can be used for the standardisation and integration of business processes. Importantly, organisations that have adopted the Lean Six Sigma methodology have been seen to be able to deliver goods and services in a cost effective manner, with minimal waste.

2000 words

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