Deploying Excellence from the Ground Up at Chevron

From Lean Six Sigma to innovation, any large scale initiative is more likely to succeed with top-level support. The hard part can be getting all the decision makers to agree on the program that will move the organization in the right direction. That’s where strategic planning comes in, especially a method such as Hoshin Planning, which helps refine the organization’s goals and make them actionable.

In cases where multiple initiatives are battling for financing and executive support, knowledgeable and dedicated individuals can still make a difference. Several years ago at Chevron a small group of employees launched a Six Sigma effort in a single business unit in Indonesia. After initial project success, Lean was added to the unit’s toolbox and since then the program has spread to other locations.

Lean Six Sigma improves the operations at Chevron by helping the business units:

  • Find oil faster
  • Drill fewer dry holes
  • Enhance oil recovery
  • Lower operating costs
  • Obtain more value from people and equipment
  • Reduce safety and environmental incidents

Chevron has more than 300 Lean Six Sigma practitioners, and reported financial benefits of $200 million in 2007. 

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