Accounting (Govmnt) (5), Auditing (Governmental) (1)
There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Even for those familiar with it, Lean Six Sigma can mean different things to different people. The term can indicate a manufacturing technique designed to reduce waste and improve yield, a quality department tool set—or on the flip side— part of the latest 'fix-it' hype, consulting mumbo-jumbo, or management flavor of the month. However, Lean Six Sigma holds a wealth of techniques for squeezing the most out of any effort in the government environment.

This course is intended to provide a foundation for using Lean Six Sigma immediately within the accounting function of a government organization. You’ll learn about the origins of Lean Six Sigma, core concepts, the DMAIC process, Kaizen, and the top 13 Lean Six Sigma tools.

This course qualifies for Yellow Book Credit.


Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGAP, CGFM

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGAP, CGFM, converts the complex topics of accounting, finance, auditing, and strategic planning into information that professionals can absorb and use. She’s the author of Accounting Demystified, 2nd Edition; The Four Principles of Happy Cash Flow; and STEP-by-STEP: Building a Persuasive Audit Report.

Leita is an experienced facilitator, having led over 1,200 full or multiday seminars. She has also keynoted numerous conferences and developed over 25 distinct CPE courses, including self-study courses for Western CPE. She was named an Outstanding Presenter by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) in 2014.

Leita worked 5 years with the Texas State Auditor’s Office as both an auditor and a communications specialist. She has owned and operated AuditSkills, a training and professional development company, since 1995. Her clients include EDS, Dell Computer, First Data Corporation, Joseph Eves CPAs, the Texas State Auditor’s Office, among many others.

She’s a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s in business administration. Leita serves on the government conference planning committee of the Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA) and is a member of the AICPA, TSCPA, IIA, and the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).

Course Specifics

Accounting (Govmnt) , Auditing (Governmental)
Aug 1, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Identify the defining characteristics of Lean Six Sigma, noting factors that make it ideal for accountants as well as how it fits into the accounting culture

Chapter 2

  • Identify differences between Lean and Six Sigma
  • Recognize the philosophy, attributes, toolsets, and methodologies of Lean Six Sigma
  • Recognize the order of the steps in a basic lean Six Sigma process, identifying activities that occur during each phase

Chapter 3

  • Identify value-added and non-value-added activities, noting the defining characteristics of each
  • Recognize the characteristics of waste as well as value stream and flow, noting examples of each core concept

Chapter 4

  • Recognize the defining characteristics of Six Sigma, noting the components contained in each core concept as well as ways to standardize and control variation
  • Identify a family of measures for a function or organization

Chapter 5

  • Identify Lean Six Sigma tools, noting their purpose and application
  • Select an appropriate Lean Six Sigma tool for a given set of circumstances

Chapter 6

  • Identify the phases of the DMAIC model, noting the characteristics of each phase as well as applicable differences
  • Choose the appropriate tool for each phase of the DMAIC model given a set of circumstances
  • Classify activities of process improvement into the phases of the DMAIC process

Chapter 7

  • Define key Kaizen terms
  • Recognize the process in developing a Kaizen event, citing the stages, duration, order, team members, and applicable results of Kaizen events

Chapter 8

  • Identify the difference between a Lean Six Sigma project and a Lean Six Sigma program, noting the timing of when an improvement is easiest
  • Recognize the key factors for success, identifying the four 'rights' on a project as well as an activity that a sponsor can initiate to facilitate an improvement effort
  • Specify reasons why change fails and why resistance occurs, citing solutions for resistance to change

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Lean Six Sigma for Accountants—Introduction

Learning Objectives

Introducing and Demystifying Lean Six Sigma

What is it?

The Accounting Focus

Top Ten Factors That Make Accountants Ideal Users of Lean Six Sigma:

1.    Accountants and auditors see more

2.    Accountants and auditors have the data

3.    Accountants are often players in strategic planning… or should be

4.    Accountants and auditors naturally value accuracy, timelines, and control!

5.    Accountants and auditors are good at structure

6.    Accountants and auditors like the fact that Lean Six Sigma is bottom-line driven

7.    Accountants end up getting involved anyway

8.    Accountants and auditors will appreciate the holistic approach

9.    Accountants and auditors are increasingly held to non-financial performance metrics

10.   Accountants and auditors sometimes need an image makeover

Lean Six Sigma at Work

A University’s Experience

Why is it called “Lean Six Sigma?”

What does Lean Six Sigma do?

Is It Really “Breakthrough”?

Motivation via a Burning Platform

Is Your Platform Burning? – A Starting Point for Using Lean Six Sigma for Improving a Process

How Strong Are Your Controls? (How Good Is Your Process?): An Example

Do you want to be a McDonald’s?

Working with My Favorite Professor – Lean Six Sigma in Action

Lean Six Sigma and Breakthrough – some more examples

The Internal Revenue Service

Bank One

Lean Six Sigma and You

What’s in the Rest of This Book?

Chapter 1 Review Questions

Chapter 2 – Defining Lean Six Sigma

Learning Objectives

Some Background Context

Sibling Rivalry

Origins of Lean Six Sigma

Lean and Six Sigma – Comparative Attributes

Another Look

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants—The Pioneers

Sometimes the Engineers Ran Into Snags That Accountants Caused!

How can you use Lean Six Sigma?

How Lean Six Sigma Makes a Difference, Or At Least, a Good Story

The Taxonomy of Lean Six Sigma

Drilling Down Through Four Levels: Philosophy, Attributes, Toolset, Methodology

Lean Six Sigma Defined: The Philosophy

Lean Six Sigma Defined: The Attributes

Lean Six Sigma Defined: The Toolset

Lean Six Sigma Defined: The Methodology

PDCA and DMAIC Models Compared

The OESH Model

STEP 1: Organizing

STEP 2: Executing

STEP 3: Sustaining

STEP 4: Honoring

What Lies Ahead?

Chapter 2 Review Questions

Chapter 3 – Basic Lean Concepts

Learning Objectives

Core Concept: Value Added and Non-Value-Added Activities


The Customer Determines Value

Adding Value

Core Concept: Waste

Core Concept: The Value Stream and Flow

The Shorter the Stream the Better


Chapter 3 Review Questions

Chapter 4 – Basic Six Sigma Concepts

Learning Objectives

Core Concept: Variation

How Do You Control Variation?

Core Concepts: Standardization and Consistency

Core Concepts: Capability and Stability

Core Concepts: Common Cause and Special Cause

Core Concept: Metrics and Measurement

Different Types of Metrics

Measurement is More Nuanced Than Just Counting Stuff

The Four Types of Metrics

Chapter 4 Review Questions

Chapter 5 – The Top 13 Lean Six Sigma Tools

Learning Objectives

1. Brainstorming


Use it

2. Benchmarking


Use it

The Cash Cycle Benchmark – How Dell Does It

Concepts and Metrics That You Can Benchmark Against

Benchmark Targets—Metrics to Measure Your Success

First Metric to Benchmark—DSO

How Do You Collect Faster? Another Metric to Benchmark

Third Metric to Benchmark – DSI and DTB

How Can You Reduce Your Inventory?

The Last Metric – DPO

How the Metrics Add Up

3. Process Map or Flowchart


Use it

4. Value Stream Map

Evaluating Activities or Process Steps

The Value of Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping Can Be Used at Both the Strategic and Operational Levels


Steps for Doing Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and Making Use of the End Product

5. Check Sheet


Use it

6. Pareto Charts


Use it

7. Five “Whys”


Use it

Knowing Root Cause – Some Insight from Auditing

8. Cause and Effect Diagram – a.k.a. Fishbone Diagram


Use it

9. Impact/Effort Matrix


Use it

Low Impact – Low Effort: Easy To Do, But Relatively Less Impact or Benefit

Low Impact – High Effort: Definitely Not Worth Doing in Initial Stages

High Impact – High Effort: The High Impact Is Good, but Comes At Greater Cost In Terms Of Time and Resources

High Impact – Low Effort: This Is What You Want To Do First

10. Spaghetti Diagram


Use it

11. The Five S’s


Use it

12. FMEA (Risk Assessment Matrix)


Use it

13. Documentation


Use it

The Top Thirteen Tools

Chapter 5 Review Questions

Chapter 6 – The DMAIC Process

Learning Objectives

DMAIC and Kaizen


How the DMAIC Process Works






Using DMAIC—A Scenario

Chapter 6 Review Questions

Chapter 7 – Understanding Kaizen

Learning Objectives

Development of Kaizen

Rapid Improvement

Benefits of Kaizen within Lean Six Sigma


In Lean Six Sigma context

The Timeline

Kaizen Event: Define—Define the project

Identify the Kaizen leader and the Team—Team preparation

Management Buy-in and Support

Map the Process

Compare Current and Future States.

Kaizen Event: Measure

What to Measure

Where It Comes From

Kaizen Event: Analyze

Looking For Gaps and Non-Value-Added (NVA)

Midpoint Executive Review

Kaizen Event: Improve

Choose Improvements That Can Be Accomplished Immediately

Test and Implement

Kaizen Event: Control

Observe and Adjust

Establish Standards

Maintaining Improvements

Celebrate and Recognize


Chapter 7 Review Questions

Chapter 8 – Making Lean Six Sigma Work

Learning Objectives

Project or Program

Select the Right Sponsor

Select the Right Project

Select the Right Team

Select the Right Metrics

The Four Right Selections and Failure

Why Change Fails

Overcoming Resistance to Change

There Are Even More Reasons That Change Is Hard To Sustain

Recommendations for Overcoming Resistance to Change

Start at the Project Level

Look For Pain Points

Begin the Organizing and Honoring Phases of the OESH model

Your Role in Lean Six Sigma

Move to the Executing (and Honoring) Phase of the OESH Model

Moving on to the Sustaining (and Honoring) Phase

More on Honoring

Chapter 8 Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales





Qualified Assessment

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation

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