LGRA Certifies First Lean Six Sigma Green Belts
At LGRA, process improvement is crucial to improving the way we conduct our business. One of our Operational Excellence Managers, Ryan Kaisoglus, is responsible for accelerating this improvement through the teaching of Lean and Six Sigma.
LGRA's Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program, started in 2021, selects high-potential candidates from across the business and guides them on a certification path that includes 45 hours of classroom instruction, an exam and 8-12 months of project work. During the project, candidates are mentored in their application of classroom learnings to improve real business processes.
Students are taught to attack waste and reduce variation; leveraging a mix of statistical analysis, value-stream mapping, change management and influencing. This is hard work – the processes students work on have likely resisted earlier attempts at improvement - having left others at a loss as to what the root of the issue is. Students must be okay with not knowing the solution for months and trusting that, with enough data and proper analysis, the numbers will tell you what needs fixing and how.
Two of our newest Green Belt Certificate holders found themselves with the Annuity Certificates process. Together, they would take on improving the process as shown in the photo above.
The Annuity Certificates process, which begins upon contract execution and ends when the postal service is handed a unique Annuity Certificate for delivery to a new Annuitant, involves seven teams across Legal & General Retirement America (LGRA) and Legal & General America (LGA).
As part of their work, a four-day Lean event with 18 attendees was orchestrated. The group mapped current state process and noted examples of the Eight Wastes, opportunities to pull work as opposed to pushing it, and where steps can be re-sequenced to remove downstream work. The team then met weekly to prioritize and execute on the improvements.
The numbers speak for themselves, the team was able to achieve:
- 16% reduction in process steps
- 13% reduction in approvals
- 14% reduction in emails
- 22% reduction in wasteful activity
As we say in Six Sigma, "improvement doesn’t end until the process is fundamentally changed or retired." In other words, there are and will continue to be active efforts to decrease waste and improve quality in the Annuity Certificates process.
A focus on Operational Excellence, through a culture of Continuous Improvement and a practice of Lean and Six Sigma can bring employee development alongside large-scale process improvement.
Three more LGRA employees will begin their Lean Six Sigma journey in 2023.
About Legal & General Retirement America
Legal & General Retirement America (LGRA) specializes in customized pension risk solutions for institutional clients in the US market. Established in 2015, Legal & General Retirement America is a business unit of Legal & General America, Urbana, MD. Legal & General America life insurance and retirement products are underwritten and issued by Banner Life Insurance Company, Urbana, MD and William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York, Valley Stream, NY. Banner products are distributed in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. William Penn products are distributed exclusively in New York; Banner does not solicit business there. The Legal & General America companies are part of the worldwide Legal & General Group. CN04112023-1.