What is Lean Six Sigma?

Continuous and Process Improvement Strategy

Lean Six Sigma is a continuous improvement methodology that focuses on decreasing lead time by reducing waste and variation. The reduction of lead time results in lower operating costs, higher quality, and increased customer satisfaction. 

Lean Six Sigma combines Six Sigma methodology and lean methodology that can be applied in all types of organizations.

In addition, the reduction of variation makes a more predictable process, which yields fewer defects and enables you to make more accurate forecasts.

By utilizing Lean and Six Sigma together, you are able to achieve more than what you could by using one alone. This approach provides a wider array of improvement tools for you to draw from and increases the probability for success.

The following table gives a quick comparison between Lean and Six Sigma, note that the last element is common to both Lean and Six Sigma. They both require a change in leadership and employee mindset in order to become a successful and sustainable program.  

Six Sigma Lean
Focuses on reducing variation Focuses on eliminating waste and reducing cycle time
Primary goal is to reduce defects in the process output Primary goal is to reduce non-value add or wasteful process steps
Based on statistical formula that measures the impact of root causes on the process output Based on best practices
Data Driven Observation driven
Change in mindset of leadership and employees(Six Sigma Thinking) Change in mindset of leadership and employees needed (Lean Thinking)