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Six Sigma Laws - The Law of Flexibility

Flexibility is an important trait in any business or organization. Employers like people who are flexible and willing to learn and implement various tasks. This results in increased productivity and the ability to eliminate waste.

This is where Lean Six Sigma comes into play. Lean Six Sigma focuses more on improving process flow and speed than on improving quality by combining the laws of six sigma with that of lean manufacturing. The concept of lean Six Sigma utilizes five different "laws" in order to make the process successful. The Law of Flexibility is the second law of lean six sigma. It states that the speed of a process is dependant upon the workers' ability to switch back and forth among tasks. This is important because the overall goal of six sigma is to increase a company's profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

In order to fully understand the Law of Flexibility and the laws of lean six sigma, it's important to become familiar with the concept of six sigma as well as lean manufacturing. In a nutshell, six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company's profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

Lean manufacturing, on the other hand, works to eliminate waste by first identifying what causes the waste. As a general rule, waste is categorized in the following ways:
- Overproduction - this refers to producing more than is required, resulting in wasted products and labor
- Excess Transportation - transportation that costs the customer money but doesn't add any value to the end product
- Excess Inventory - more inventory than is required to complete the project
- Excess Processing - refers to using more of the labor force than necessary
- Waiting - idle time, either via machines or laborers
- Correction - wasted time fixing a problem because it wasn't done correctly the first time
- Motion - wasting time to run errands like pick up parts, etc.

The Law of Flexibility
There are five main laws organizations follow in order to achieve lean six sigma. They are:

1. The Law of the Market
2. The Law of Flexibility
3. The law of Focus
4. The Law of Velocity
5. The Law of Complexity and Cost

The benefits of flexibility in manufacturing and business as a whole are important in a number of ways. Employees who are flexible in their training and skills cut costs as a whole, one of the goals of six sigma. Employees who can be cross-trained in a variety of disciplines are also more valuable to a company, as they can be used for a number of jobs.

In order for the law of flexibility to be advantageous, it's important for organizations to train their employees effectively. Even if workers can switch between tasks quickly, resulting in greater speed, that speed will be useless if the job is done insufficiently or incorrectly.

Flexibility is a key component of any successful business. The Law of Flexibility states that an organization's overall flexibility can contribute to a more productive workplace

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