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Article Revised: March 27, 2019
Although there have been three consecutive years of sustained demand for Lean Six Sigma skills, there was also a noticeable improvement in the demand for Six Sigma talent alone.
This marked the first time in the study’s history where demand for pure Six Sigma talent saw a noticeable year-over-year improvement relative to Lean.
The report cited that Lean tends to be the dominate skill requirement within job postings. However, Six Sigma came on stronger this year even within Lean job postings.
Several factors in this year’s report include:
- Even with Six Sigma’s “resurgence,” Lean still dominates as the desired skill. However, Six Sigma is important to continuous improvement as companies recognize that Lean isn’t necessarily sufficient to meet every continuous improvement need.
- According to the 7,097 Internet job postings reviewed for the study, 41 percent of the job openings sought pure Lean skills, while 27 percent sought pure Six Sigma skills. This suggests that companies may feel Lean’s focus on waste, flow, and flexibility is more practical.
- Though demand for Lean talent exceeded Six Sigma by slightly more than 24 percent, this was still a large drop from last year’s record-setting 68 percent.
Overall, the results seem to indicate that even though Lean dominates, Six Sigma plays an important role in corporate continuous improvement.
Ultimately, Lean and Six Sigma are complementary strategies that offer significant benefits when implemented individually. However, used in combination they provide a cohesive approach that increases improvements in quality, efficiency, and productivity.
Lean Six Sigma is a leading management technique that maximizes production efficiency and maintains control over each step in the process. For more information on Lean Six Sigma tools, concepts, training, and certification, contact Thomas Pyzdek, well-known Lean Six Sigma expert and author of The Six Sigma handbook, a standard reference in the field.
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