Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that uses Lean Manufacturing principles and Six Sigma quality practices. Lean six sigma can be used to improve any business process, but it has been most successful in the areas of manufacturing, service delivery, and product development. Lean six sigma allows for increased productivity with lower costs while at the same time improving customer satisfaction. It also produces better organizational performance by focusing on people’s strengths and improving their skillsets. Lean six sigma is an important tool for companies looking to increase efficiency within their organization while still maintaining high standards of quality.
Lean six sigma requires a significant amount of training and practice, but it is an invaluable tool for any company that wants to improve its processes. Lean Six Sigma can also be used as part of the product development process in order to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction by removing defects from products before they go into production. Lean manufacturing provides guidelines on how companies should look at their specific business model from both a physical standpoint as well as from a more abstract perspective with regards to employee engagement, where employees are empowered within the organization, etc., rather than focusing on simply increasing efficiency. Lean Manufacturing focuses on cutting out waste throughout all areas of the organizational structure while still keeping standards high enough so that quality does not suffer.
As discussed above Lean Six Sigma uses many Lean Manufacturing principles in order to achieve its goals. Lean Six Sigma also uses standard Lean concepts such as the elimination of waste and process mapping, but it expands on these practices by creating a set of specific tools that can be used within different processes throughout an organization. Lean six sigma is similar to Lean manufacturing in that it provides companies with a way to streamline their internal business processes while maintaining high standards for quality products or services being delivered across all departments.
Lean Manufacturing and Lean Six Sigma are similar in that they both focus on streamlining workflows while keeping standards high. Lean six sigma takes Lean a step further by breaking down different processes into specific steps, creating measurable goals for each process improvement project, and utilizing statistical tools to measure the effectiveness of proposed changes before putting them into practice. Lean Manufacturing is more focused on eliminating waste throughout an organization while Lean Six Sigma focuses specifically on improving business processes within departments or teams.
Lean manufacturing provides guidelines for how companies should approach their organizational structure from a physical standpoint as well as from a human resources perspective, whereas Lean Six Sigma targets specific areas of business operations such as service delivery or product development/manufacturing which can be improved through targeted projects with desired results set as measurable goals. Lean six sigma, as part of the Lean philosophy, focuses on non-value-added work and improving processes by removing defects from products before they go into production.
While Lean manufacturing and Lean six sigma share many similarities such as a focus on eliminating waste to improve efficiency within an organization, there are some key differences between these two philosophies that companies need to be aware of in order to determine which will be most effective for their particular business model or industry.
Lean manufacturing provides guidelines for how organizations should look at their specific business structure from both a physical standpoint (removing waste) as well as more abstractly with regards to empowering employees throughout the company rather than simply focusing on increasing efficiency. Lean six sigma focuses on eliminating unnecessary steps within a process and creating measurable goals for each improvement project while maintaining high-quality standards, whereas Lean manufacturing provides general guidelines to approach overall business structure from both a physical standpoint as well as with regards to human resources rather than focusing specifically on individual processes within departments or teams that can be improved through targeted projects.
In summary Lean six sigma is best suited to those companies that have existing workflows in place where any defects being produced could increase costs by causing rework or having to dispose of the defective items later down the line. Lean Manufacturing targets all areas of an organization’s workflow including its production/manufacturing department, but has less of a focus on individual projects and instead provides guidelines for how an entire company should be structured.
Lean Six Sigma is more effective in improving specific business processes within departments or teams that lead to defects being produced which could decrease overall efficiency as well as increase costs due to having to re-do the process later, whereas Lean Manufacturing provides general standards for how organizations can look at their internal structure from both a physical standpoint as well as with regards to empowering employees throughout the company.
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