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Financial Services

American Express – Six Sigma

American Express began their Six Sigma journey with a pilot initiative late in 1998. A small group of Black Belts across disciplines, functions and business units were trained and completed projects. After the initial pilot the program spread slowly to…

Australian Bank to Revamp IT with Lean Six Sigma

To prepare for a three-year IT overhaul, Australia’s Westpac bank is applying Lean Six Sigma methods to improve customer service.

Bank of America – Hoshin Kanri and Six Sigma

Bank of America is one of the most prominent financial services company with a corporate-wide Six Sigma initiative, and they’re not afraid to talk about it.Their unique blend of Hoshin planning, Kanri management and Six Sigma separates them from the pack.

Bank of America Celebrates Six Sigma Success

Yesterday, Bank of America employees gathered for the third annual "Best of Six Sigma Expo" to celebrate and recognize the teams that completed the best Six Sigma projects in 2004.

Banking on Risk

Reacting to the last several months of turmoil in the capital markets, I want to discuss an area where Lean Six Sigma professionals who work in banking and financial services should focus their attention, acquire new skills, and start having an impact –?? enterprise risk.

Case Study Shows Six Sigma Role in Financial Services

An international bank, decided in 2003 to adopt Six Sigma in all its business units in Europe. It then set out to implement one of its priority business strategies - significantly grow its car loan business in the next two years.

Case Study: DFSS Used to Improve Account Setup Process

The bank in the following case study had been encountering problems with new customer accounts. The bank’s senior management decided to execute a Design for Six Sigma project to improve the information-gathering process for account setup. The project team followed the Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify (DMADV) roadmap.

Check Imaging Improvements with Lean Six Sigma

In this case study, Lean Six Sigma was used by a bank as the method for reduced costs and happier customers via its check imaging process, while avoiding any legal liabilities.

Countrywide Financial – FASTER

In 2001 Countrywide Financial launched an internally developed, proprietary program called FASTER. The six step methodology (Flow, Analyze, Solve, Target, Execute, and Review) is modeled after Six Sigmaand specifically designed for the financial services environment. FASTER as well as the…

Customizing Process Improvement for Financial Services

Companies in financial services can find ample opportunities for process improvement, but traditional improvement methodologies and tools need to be customized to target the specific challenges of financial services.

Delivering Value in Corporate Finance

In finance departments, focusing Six Sigma efforts on cost savings can be a recipe for failure. The way to be successful is to focus on the areas in which employees perceive more value – risk mitigation, metric development, controls, gap…

Demand for Six Sigma Hires Rising at Financial Firms

In the last two years of the Great Recession, financial firms have shown a heightened interest in hiring executives who are familiar with the rigors of the Six Sigma methodology, according to a representative from executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

DFSS Drives Results for Financial Services Firms

Lean Six Sigma remains a popular and effective tool to improve efficiency in financial services operations. However, many financial institutions are finding that identifying and reducing incremental defect variability does not fully maximize the full spectrum of improvement opportunities. To…

Driving Financial Services Excellence with Kaizens

Last year, business process outsourcing firm Firstsource, based in Mumbai, India, was one of the participants in the iSixSigma Live! Summit & Awards program in the Most Successful Start-up category. Recently, iSixSigma caught up with Chandeep Singh, Executive Vice President,…

Financial Services Industry – Six Sigma

Six Sigma has really taken hold in the financial services industry.Early pioneers included GE Capital, Sun Trust Banks, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.Below are the Fortune 500 companies in the Financial Services sector that are using Six Sigma.The Financial…

How to Make Interbank Image Exchange a Reality

More and more banks are using Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) to help them to take full advantage of such modern processes as electronic check presentment, thereby reducing expenses and increasing profits.


Six Sigma has been growing slowly but surely over the years at HSBC . The Six Sigma deployment model of the United Kingdom based banking corporation is best described as the “middle-out” approachin Michael Cyger’s blog entry, “Are All Six…

Improving Debt Collection Rate, or How to Gain $865,000

A collection agency was able not only to retain a complaining client's business thanks to a Lean Six Sigma project, but also to use the capability improvements it gained from the project as a selling point with both current and prospective clients.

JPMorgan Chase – Six Sigma

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the second largest bank in the US. The leading global financial services firm was built from the successful merger of JPMorgan and Chase Manhattan Bank in December 2000 and the recent merger with Bank One…

Lean Banking: It Is Not Always Just Single-Piece Flow

There are many projects where Lean is not about flow and pull, but about straightforward waste reduction. The key is to make Lean thinking (and usability) a key building block of the design and the review of IT applications.

Learning to Recognize Process Waste in Financial Services

To help Six Sigma practitioners in financial services begin developing a “waste-sensing” ability, here is a description of seven specific types of process waste that someone is doing somewhere in virtually every company right now.

Lehman Wants More Efficiency

The article, Lehman Wants More Efficiency, appeared today on The author, Liz Moyer, writes: “Lehman has quietly put together what it calls a “productivity and process improvement” group. Formed in January, it reports to Chief Administrative Officer David Goldfarb.”…

Leverage Six Sigma to Manage Operational Risk in Financial Services

To escape from post-financial crisis times, financial services companies need to effectively and efficiently manage their risks. This article showcases how financial services can leverage FMEA and control charts to manage their operational risk and reduce costs.

Linking OpEx with Your Project Management Office

A quality leader at a financial institution is deploying an Operational Excellence program across his organization that already has a project management office (PMO) in place. Recently he asked iSixSigma’s Discussion Forum about the pros and cons of using a…

Making Use of DFLSS to Cultivate a Shared Compute Farm

One approach to providing fast responses even with highly complex computations is distributed computing, or creating a shared compute farm. Making this work is a matter of integrating hardware, software and people resources. And DFLSS can help.

Productivity: More than Just Speed

An insurance firm discovers through value stream mapping that it must fix its broken processes before it can increase its productivity sustainably.

Quick Wins in Quotation Wait Times

A Black Belt project helped a financial services firm discover that their quotation process was not aligned with the needs of the customer.

Scorecards Help South African Bank Reap Savings

Standard Bank Group – one of the largest financial institutions in South Africa, with more than 1.33 trillion rand (R) (US$200 billion) – recently released a case study about how it deployed Lean Six Sigma methods to reduce waste and errors, and also created a balanced scorecard system to track its progress.

Six Sigma at Merrill Lynch

Patricia Collins wrote an article in the September/October 2005 issue of iSixSigma Magazine titled, “Better Business Leaders.” Patricia is the senior deployment champion for Merrill Lynch’s enterprise-wide Six Sigma program. The article details Merrill Lynch’s unique approach to leadership development…

Six Sigma Methodology for Credit Risk and Credit Scoring

Six Sigma is a mindset that ensures problems are approached with rationality and based on a scientific procedure. So why do science-oriented credit risk managers sometimes resist Six Sigma, even in organizations that embrace the methodology?

Sustaining Change with the SUCCESS Model

Sustaining change and building stakeholder engagement follows a model, known by the acronym SUCCESS, which stands for sponsor, understand, commit, connect, enable, support and sustain.

The Right Data: Why Actual Activity Is Better Than Aggregated Counts

Data is typically collected as a basis for measuring success and, ultimately, taking action. However, unless data is viewed realistically – separating opportune signals from probable noise – the actions taken may be inconsistent with the data collected in the first place.

Thinking Two Moves Ahead with Analytical Tools

A look at how two lesser-known tools – relations diagrams and systematic diagrams – can help identify root causes of problems and prepare practitioners for future changes.

Using Blended Optimization to Quantify the Qualitative

Some large U.S. financial institutions have sought in recent years to develop risk-rating scorecards to help them become much more quantitative in how they evaluate and assign risks. Six Sigma can provide that path to better risk-rating scorecards.

Using Triage to Manage Process Workloads in Services

Finding ways to manage workflow and minimize congestion, and the delays it causes, is a common challenge in service businesses. One of the most effective tools for dealing with congestion is triage.

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