Reader Comments

Lean Six Sigma Details

by Tresa Scarbrough (2019-10-09)


Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma started life as improvement methodologies with completely different focuses. Lean was derived from the Toyota Production System and adapted as people used the underlying concepts into many other industries. It's primary focus will be the elimination of Waste from processes. Six Sigma started life with Motorolla, who first coined the phrase and primary focus is the reduction of variation. (Six Sigma is a measure of quality and is equal to 3.4 defects per million opportunities). As time has passed, the two methodologies have begun to overlap as people have come to realise that the primary aim of the philosophies is fundamentally similar - to enhance the way we carry out our work and so it became logical not to preclude either of these methodologies as well as the many useful tools contained within them, but to combine them.

This would enable the skilled improvement practitioner to possess a more rounded toolkit at his disposal when faced with any business problem.

However there is a caveat here! Giving someone a group of tools does not make them a talented practitioner (If you gave a full set of spanners to an accountant, it will not make him a qualified mechanic).

Hence the rationale the certification courses focus quite heavily on the application of what has been learned within the type of a documented project.

Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma can be learned separately as this was how it always used to be but as with everything, things evolve as well as the use of both these methodologies enables the optimum answer to be attained more of the time.