Lean Six Sigma Definition

What Is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a team-focused managerial strategy that seeks to enhance efficiency by eliminating useful resource waste and defects.

It combines Six Sigma strategies and instruments with the lean manufacturing/lean enterprise philosophy. It strives to eradicate the waste of bodily assets, time, effort, and expertise whereas assuring high quality in manufacturing and organizational processes.

Merely put, Lean Six Sigma teaches that any use of assets that does not create worth for the tip buyer is taken into account a waste and needs to be eradicated.

Key Takeaways

  • Lean Six Sigma seeks to enhance worker and firm efficiency by eliminating the waste of assets and course of/product defects.
  • It combines the method enchancment strategies of Six Sigma and lean enterprise.
  • Lean Six Sigma helps to ascertain a transparent path to attaining enchancment goals.
  • The Lean technique was established by Toyota within the Nineteen Forties and makes an attempt to streamline operational processes, from manufacturing to transactions.
  • Six Sigma originated within the Nineteen Eighties and seeks to enhance output high quality by decreasing defects.
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Understanding Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a mixture of Lean methodology and Six Sigma technique. Lean methodology was established by Japanese automaker Toyota within the Nineteen Forties. Its goal was to take away non-value-adding actions from the manufacturing course of.

Six Sigma was established within the Nineteen Eighties by an engineer at U.S. telecommunications firm Motorola who was impressed by Japan’s Kaizen mannequin. It was trademarked by the corporate in 1993. Its methodology seeks to establish and scale back defects within the manufacturing course of. It additionally strives to streamline the variability of the manufacturing course of.

Lean Six Sigma emerged within the Nineteen Nineties as massive U.S. producers tried to compete with Japan’s better-made merchandise. The mixture technique was launched by Michael George and Robert Lawrence Jr. of their 2002 guide Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma with Lean Pace.

Firms can organize for Lean Six Sigma coaching and certification from a wide array of organizations specializing in the approaches of Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma.

The Lean Six Sigma Idea

The lean idea of administration focuses on the discount and elimination of eight sorts of waste referred to as DOWNTIME, an acronym shaped by the phrases defects, overproduction, ready, non-utilized expertise, transportation, stock, movement, and extra-processing. Lean refers to any methodology, measure, or software that helps within the identification and elimination of waste.

The time period Six Sigma refers to instruments and strategies which might be used to enhance manufacturing processes. The technique makes an attempt to establish and eradicate the causes of defects and variations in enterprise and manufacturing processes.

Six Sigma’s DMAIC phases are utilized in Lean Six Sigma. The acronym stands for outline, measure, analyze, enhance, and management. It refers back to the data-driven five-step methodology for bettering, optimizing, and stabilizing enterprise and manufacturing processes.

A Lean Six Sigma strategy that mixes Lean technique and Six Sigma’s instruments and strategies highlights processes which might be liable to waste, defects, and variation after which reduces them to make sure enchancment in an organization’s operational processes.

Lean Six Sigma Methods

The strategies and instruments used to perform important objectives of the Lean Six Sigma technique embrace:

  • Kanban: Workflow administration practices, reminiscent of work visualization and restricted work in progress, which maximize effectivity and promote steady enchancment.
  • Kaizen: Practices that have interaction staff and promote a piece surroundings that emphasizes self-development and ongoing enchancment.
  • Worth stream mapping: Analyze locations to eradicate waste and optimize course of steps.
  • 5S software: Technique to make sure that the office is environment friendly, productive, protected, and profitable.

Lean Six Sigma Phases

The DMAIC phases of Lean Six Sigma are Outline, Measure, Analyze, Enhance, and Management. They’re used to establish and enhance present course of issues with unknown root causes.


Outline the issue from an organization perspective, stakeholder perspective, and buyer perspective. Work out the standard expectations that prospects have and the extent of the issue.


Look at the present course of and the way it contributes to the issue. Decide whether or not the method can meet the beforehand outlined high quality expectations of shoppers. Match every course of step to your high quality standards. Assist your measurements with precise efficiency knowledge.


Look at all data gathered up to now to finalize the precise nature of the issue, its scope, and its trigger.


Clear up the issue and confirm the development. Collaborate to construction an answer that eliminates each the issue and its trigger. Use your knowledge to make sure that the answer suits the problem at hand. Take a look at the answer and derive efficiency knowledge to assist it.


Monitor enchancment and proceed to enhance the place attainable. Finalize acceptable efficiency standards. Set up a plan that may cope with variations that happen, maintain enhancements, and forestall a reoccurrence of the unique drawback.

DMAIC works finest when used to resolve an issue referring to a course of, high quality, or waste concern in a company.

Lean Six Sigma Belt Ranges

Lean Six Sigma coaching makes use of Belts to indicate Lean Six Sigma experience. The precise specs for every Belt could differ relying on what group supplies the certification.

 Belt Stage That means Reviews To…
White Understands the which means and objectives of Lean Six Sigma, is aware of the phrases related to the methodology. Inexperienced or Black Belts
Yellow Understands important Lean Six Sigma ideas, instruments, and strategies; may be a part of mission groups and obtain Simply-In-Time1 (JIT) coaching. Inexperienced or Black Belts
Inexperienced Has some experience in Lean Six Sigma technique; can launch and handle Lean Six Sigma tasks and supply JIT coaching to others. Focuses on using instruments and the appliance of DMAIC and Lean ideas. Black Belts
Black Superior Lean Six Sigma experience; may be full-time, cross-functional mission workforce leaders, in addition to a coach or mentor to Inexperienced Belts. Chargeable for placing Lean Six Sigma adjustments into place. Grasp Black Belts
Grasp Black Has intensive Lean Six Sigma experience; sometimes liable for the Lean Six Sigma initiative. Can act as coach or mentor and monitor tasks. Works with firm leaders to establish effectivity gaps and coaching wants. C-suite executives

1 Lean Six Sigma Simply-In-Time coaching permits staff to focus assets on what prospects want, after they want it, quite than build up pointless stock.

Advantages of Lean Six Sigma

There are a selection of established advantages to Lean Six Sigma strategies for workers, prospects, distributors, and the corporate.

By growing the effectivity of vital processes, corporations can enhance the work expertise for workers and the client expertise for patrons. This could construct loyalty inside and outdoors of an organization.

Streamlined, simplified processes can enhance management and an organization’s skill to capitalize on new alternatives shortly. They will additionally result in extra gross sales and income, decrease prices, and extra profitable enterprise outcomes.

Involving staff in a bunch or a company-wide effectivity effort can enhance their expertise (e.g., analytical pondering and mission administration), enhance their progress alternatives, and enhance camaraderie. By stopping defects, corporations save on the time, cash, and human effort beforehand required to establish and eradicate them.

Lean Six Sigma vs. Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma are two associated methods that may remedy course of issues. Each will help corporations make noteworthy enhancements in high quality, effectivity, and use of time by analyzing the best way their processes operate. Each use the DMAIC phases/methodology. Each are primarily based on making a problem-solving office tradition.

Nevertheless, Six Sigma is targeted on decreasing defects and course of variability to enhance course of output and high quality to fulfill buyer expectations. Lean Six Sigma is targeted on decreasing or eliminating the wasteful use of assets and defects to enhance workflow and create extra worth for patrons.

Lean Six Sigma combines features of Six Sigma (reminiscent of knowledge evaluation) and features of the Lean methodology (reminiscent of waste-eliminating instruments) to enhance course of movement, preserve steady enchancment, and obtain enterprise objectives.

What Is the That means of Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a course of enchancment technique that seeks to eradicate inefficiencies in an organization’s course of movement by figuring out the causes of waste or redundancy and growing options to handle them.

What Are the 5 Rules of Lean Six Sigma?

Outline, measure, analyze, enhance and management are the 5 ideas and phases of Lean Six Sigma. They’re the steps practitioners take to create extra environment friendly processes and a office tradition that is centered on steady enchancment.

Why Is Lean Six Sigma Essential?

Many think about it vital for the measurable and constant enhancements in operations and enterprise outcomes that corporations obtain utilizing it. It additionally may be thought-about vital as a result of it combines the numerous course of streamlining of the Lean methodology of the Nineteen Forties with the Six Sigma data-driven strategy of the Nineteen Eighties.

What Is Lean Six Sigma Coaching?

Lean Six Sigma coaching instructs college students within the fundamentals of Six Sigma methodology, in addition to the Six Sigma DMAIC roadmap. College students additionally discover ways to apply the ideas in sensible eventualities as they undergo the programs.

How A lot Does It Value to Get Lean Six Sigma Coaching?

The price of Lean Six Sigma Coaching varies relying on whether or not you are taking programs on-line, taught by a digital teacher, or in-person, in addition to the extent of belt you might be pursuing. A one-day White Belt coaching can vary from $99 to $499. An eight-day Grasp Black Belt coaching prices $4975 for each in-person and reside digital coaching. A 3- to four-day course in Lean Fundamentals ranges from $1300 to $2000 or $399 to $774 for a web based coaching.

The Backside Line

Lean Six Sigma is a administration strategy and methodology that endeavors to eradicate any wasteful use of assets plus defects in manufacturing processes in order to enhance worker and firm efficiency.

It attracts on the Lean idea of the Nineteen Forties established by Japan’s Toyota to scale back waste and the Six Sigma technique of the Nineteen Eighties established by U.S. firm Motorola to scale back defects.

By combining these teachings, Lean Six Sigma places the very best of each to work to streamline environment friendly operations and monetary outcomes for all types of organizations.