Create A Powerful Toolset By Combining Lean and Six Sigma

Posted by on Nov 28, 2021 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

There still seems to be an ongoing debate about the benefits of combining Lean and Six Sigma and whether organizations should consider doing so. Both methodologies focus on the customer. Lean declares a “war on waste,” while Six Sigma declares a “war on variation.”

Lean and Six Sigma empower people to create process stability and a culture of continuous improvement. Problem identification and problem-solving techniques exist in both methodologies. They include brainstorming, fishbone diagrams, 5-Whys, Pareto analysis, 8-Ds, FMEA, and others. 

Both methodologies place a heavy emphasis on careful problem definition and project scoping.

Should Lean and Six Sigma coexist in an organization? The answer should be a resounding “yes!” Implementing Lean provides stability and repeatability in processes. Establishing process stability will cause much variation to go away, and the process becomes more consistent.

Lean tools help:

  • Eliminate waste
  • Simplify processes
  • Improve flow
  • Reduce inventory
  • Reduce lead time
  • Error-proof processes

Six Sigma tools help:

  • Minimize variation
  • Eliminate quality issues
  • Identify and eliminate root causes

All organizations have both sets of issues, and combining Lean and Six Sigma reflects a more holistic and synergistic approach to continuous improvement. The two are complementary toolsets, not competing philosophies.

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