Table of contents
LEAN vs. Six Sigma – Which Should I Choose?
Two different schools of thought were merged in one case to create a cohesive method that addresses multiple goals. LeanLEAN Definition LEAN is a production method aimed primarily ... Learn More... vs. Six SigmaSix Sigma Definition: Six Sigma is a set of techniques and t... Learn More... is a blend of history management chart methods that use the principles and focus on efficiency for companies called Lean Six SigmaSix Sigma Definition: Six Sigma is a set of techniques and t... Learn More.... Both methods aim to achieve the same goal: more efficient processes that result in a higher bottom line. You can see the difference in how they approach this goal with 3 sigma vs. 6 sigmaSix Sigma (6σ) is a set of techniques and tools for proces... Learn More....
Even the most successful business tools and methods must evolve over time to meet the changing market. Six Sigma is no exception. It has many branches, disciplines, and schools of thought, which have evolved from its original concept over time to meet new needs.
Every company dreams of trendy and innovative marketing skills that will surprise its competitors and open new markets. Organizations can use six-sigma and lean to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma was created with one goal in mind: to reduce variation and defectsMuda (無駄, on'yomi reading) is a ... Learn More... in production processes by statistical analysis. Six Sigma employs one of two 5-step methods to achieve this goal: either the DMAICDMAIC is an abbreviation of the five improvement steps it co... Learn More... method or the DMADVDMADV is an acronym that stands for Define, Measure, Analyze... Learn More....
Each method has its own uses. DMAIC stands to Define, Measure Analyze Improve, and Control. The DMAIC processThere are many ways to organize your lean six sigma processe... is about identifying the problem, taking stock of current processes, and then identifying and implementing a solution. This process is perfect for supply-chain performance issues, or when adjustments are necessary to the process and not a completely new function.
This is where DMADV (Define Measure, Analyze Design, Verify) comes into play. While the first phases are identical, the Design phase allows the creation of a completely new tool to solve the problem. The Verify phase focuses on verifying that the solution actually solves the problem.
The history of Six Sigma is about identifying and fixing problems in the supply chain.
What is Lean?
The Lean method is completely focused on eliminating wasteMuda (無駄, on'yomi reading) is a ... Learn More... and providing maximum value to customers while investing the least amount. Toyota’s Business System, which was a business philosophy that allowed the company to run at its best, was the first to use the term Lean. It encompasses every levelStatistics level A statistics level is the value of input in... Learn More... of an organization and helps to guide new processes as well as drive the allocation of resources. In history, Six Sigma and Lean are different in that Six Sigma is more focused on manufacturing. However, Lean often shapes all aspects of a company.
Lean Six Sigma blends these two approaches to create a powerful toolkit for waste reduction. The DMAIC method is a great way for companies to identify and solve wasteful practices. The synergy of these methodologies is primarily designed to eliminate the 8 types of waste. This means that any part of a process, whether it’s time, material, or effort, doesn’t add any value. These are the types of waste:
- Quality Standards Broken
- OverproductionMuda (無駄, on'yomi reading) is a ... Learn More...: Exceeding demand, or producing more than what was ordered
- WaitingMuda (無駄, on'yomi reading) is a ... Learn More... for Process bottlenecks and downtime
- Unutilized Talent – Inefficiently using or misallocating human resource
- Transportation Inefficient shipping methods
- InventoryMuda (無駄, on'yomi reading) is a ... Learn More...– Keeping on top of a surplus product or raw material
- MotionMuda (無駄, on'yomi reading) is a ... Learn More... Unnecessary Moving of Product, Material, or People
- Additional Processing – More work than necessary
What is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma, is a data-driven improvement method that emphasizes defectA defect is a physical, functional, or aesthetic attrib... Learn More... prevention rather than defectDefective definition in Six Sigma: A defective unit is one t... Learn More... detection for companies. It increases customer satisfaction and improves bottom-line results by decreasing variation, waste, and cycle time. While encouraging standardization and flow in work, it also encourages the use of work standardization, which leads to a competitive advantage. Every employee should be involved in the process, as it applies everywhere there is variation or waste.
Lean vs Six Sigma – Similarities and Distinctions
Lean Six Sigma is the perfect tool for companies that want to improve their processes and provide as much value as possible to customers. DMAIC’s phased thinking and clear plan can be very useful when applied to any type of business case.
New methods and unique philosophies will emerge as the lines between Six Sigma and Lean continue to blur. These experts will be the next big innovation in Six Sigma thinking.
The key difference between Six Sigma and Lean is the way Six Sigma practitioners identify waste chart. In Lean, waste is any activity or process that does not add value to the customer. Six Sigma considers waste to be caused by variations within a process. Six Sigma advocates, on the other hand, focus on process optimization to create value.
History and Goal of Lean Six Sigma
In complex manufacturing environments, both Six Sigma and Lean modern methodologies were created in history. As western manufacturers began to adopt the same principles and practices as Japanese manufacturers, Lean evolved into different forms. The strategies employed to achieve this objective vary depending on which approach is used.
Mindset vs. Practice
Lean is a mindset and a set of principles that enable decision-making when used holistically. Lean thinkers use continuous improvementContinuous improvement (or Kaizen) is a way to identify oppo... Learn More... to increase value and decrease waste. Lean thinkers can be any person, but it’s more effective when implemented from the ground up and integrated into an organization’s culture.
Six Sigma methodology is an organized approach to organizational problems that reduces risk and eliminates variability chart. One of Six Sigma’s most distinctive features is its certification system. Six Sigma professionals are available at all levels of an organization with their own roles and responsibilities. Here are some features of Six Sigma certifications. White Belt: This stage is the easiest and most suitable for beginners. This level is where people are involved in problem-solving projects. Yellow Belt: This type allows people to assume the role of project teamA project team level may consist of master black belts or gr... Learn More... members, gain knowledge of different methodologies, and evaluate process improvements. The Green level is for people with at least 3 years of full-time work experience. You will be able to understand and apply the methodologies and tools, and you will have hands-on experience with projects that involve some degree of business transformation.
Six Sigma is a hierarchical, structured leadership model that works well in highly structured organizations. Six Sigma certifications enable Six Sigma professionals to play a specific role within their companies organization chart. This usually starts with local problem-solving and then progresses to leading complex projects and training others.
Lean gives practitioners more freedom and encourages all contributors as well as executives to think big about organizational problems. Lean can be used in structured environments but it is most effective when there are more flexible organizational structures.
Software development was the inspiration for modern Lean practices, which are still being used today. Lean principles can be used by organizations and teams across all functional areas to provide more value to their customers.
Six Sigma has deep roots in complex environments, where it is crucial to reduce variability and risk for companies. Six Sigma can be applied in many areas including engineering, manufacturing, and plant chart operations. However, it is not suitable for all companies or processes. Small businesses often lack the resources to implement Six Sigma.
Which is right for you?
Lean may be the right fit for your company if you are looking for a light, continuous method to improve innovation and productivity. Six Sigma may be better suited if you are looking to reduce variability, risk, and complexity in a more complex environment. Although some companies choose one or the other, others choose to combine Six Sigma with Lean principles into a hybrid known as Lean Six Sigma.
Which do you prefer?
Tell us why in the comments below!
IS YOUR ORGANIZATION
DEPLOYING LEAN SIX SIGMA?
THEN YOU NEED TO READ "WHY THEY FAIL"
The Author, Kevin Clay, Master Black Belt with over 20 year experience, will show you why 90% of Continuous Improvement Efforts (like Lean and Six Sigma) either Fail within 18 months.
He will show you how to quickly identify the failures and how to avoid them. If you want to build a sustainable continuous improvement culture in your organization, READ THIS BOOK!
Subscribe to our Newsletter, Download the FREE Sample and get a glimpse into the Powerful Book “WHY THEY FAIL”