Article Revised: March 27, 2019
Lean Six Sigma actually combines two great philosophies: Toyota’s lean manufacturing process philosophy and Motorola’s Six Sigma management philosophy. Ultimately, the goal is to produce the greatest possible output using tasks that produce the best results and happiest customers.
Lean as a Continuous Improvement Philosophy
The lean philosophy in two words: eliminate waste. This includes wasted time, human action, inventory, equipment usage, and materials.
The lean methodology focuses on streamlining each process to determine how to eliminate anything that does not add value for the customer. The goal is to “design out” inconsistencies while ensuring the process is as flexible as necessary to eliminate stress or “overburden.”
Ultimately, lean means doing more with less – effort, equipment, time, space, and money – while giving customers exactly what they want.
Six Sigma’s Critical Process Philosophy
Unlike lean, the Six Sigma philosophy targets the elimination of manufacturing defects through process knowledge. It focuses on mechanisms designed to compare customer need metrics with operational processes to ensure alignment. By integrating the principles of business, engineering, and statistics you achieve quantifiable results.
Therefore, using a structured statistical analysis approach, we can base decisions on data, while actions focus on customers’ needs.
Lean Six Sigma Philosophy
While lean techniques focus on speed and increasing the amount of work completed in a process or value stream, Six Sigma focuses on improving the quality of each process to achieve a better result. Combined, they strive to offer the best business approach for satisfying customers.
By utilizing the tools of lean to eliminate waste and the tools of Six Sigma to focus on quality results, LSS offers a powerful method of meeting customer’s needs. The result is:
- Better execution by linking strategic plans and operational improvements
- Customer loyalty by focusing on customers’ needs
- Greater returns by reducing operating costs and delivery times
Ultimately, the customers get what they need, want, and value. Your organization gains recognition, loyalty, and success.