Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma

Lean Competency System (LCS)

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The Lean Competency System (LCS) is a university developed and industry recognized lean qualifications framework for developing lean thinking knowledge and practical skills in the workplace.

It was originally developed by the Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC) at Cardiff University in 2005. The goal was to promote and develop lean understanding and application in organisations.

In 2014, a new business was launched to hold the Cardiff University LCS licence and exploit the potential of the system. In 2018, the LCS took over responsibility managing and developing LERC as part of its licence agreement with Cardiff University.

The LCS framework has seven levels of competency covering the entire spectrum of lean knowledge and application.

They are grouped into three categories:

  1. Fundamental
  2. Technical
  3. Strategic

FUNDAMENTAL

1a: On the underlying principles of lean, its development and antecedents

1b: On the tools and techniques required to understand and analyse the current state and solve problems.

1c: On the tools and techniques required to apply and sustain lean in the workplace.

TECHNICAL

2a: On the advanced lean knowledge and leadership competencies required for lean management. Ability to design and implement programmes, play a leading role in managing departmental or cross functional teams, with some support and guidance.

2b: On the advanced lean knowledge and leadership competencies required for lean management. Ability to design and implement programmes, play a leading role in managing inter-business, departmental or cross functional teams, with high levels of responsibility and requiring minimal support and guidance

STRATEGIC

3a: On advanced lean knowledge and the strategic and leadership competencies required for lean leadership at a senior level. Those with LCS 3a should be able to design lean strategies for an organisation (or a significant business unit) and demonstrate appropriate lean leadership qualities and practices.

3b: On advanced lean knowledge and the strategic and leadership competencies required for lean leadership at the highest level. Those with LCS 3b should be able to design and lead lean strategies for an organisation and demonstrate mature lean leadership qualities and practices.

Competency for each level has two dimensions: knowledge and application, both of which have to be demonstrated in LCS Assessments.

The certification corresponds with the traditional Six Sigma belt certifications in the following way:

  • LCS 1a: white, yellow
  • LCS 1b: green
  • LCS 1c: green, black
  • LCS 2a: brown, black
  • LCS 2b: master black
  • LCS 3a: n/a
  • LCS 3b: n/a

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