What is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma (Lean and Six Sigma) is a synergized management approach which involves: solving problems, improving processes, gaining efficiencies, improving consistency in meeting customer requirements, and conducting enhanced project management. Lean focuses on reducing eight common wastes: Defects, Over-production, Waiting, Non-utilization of expertise, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Excess-processing (DOWNTIME). Lean also uses 5S (Sort, Set-in-Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain; 6S if you add Safety) to improve processes.
Six Sigma adds a project identification and management approach using the DMAIC model (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control), which is aligned with PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act). Six Sigma focuses on improving the quality outputs of processes by removing the root causes of the problem (or opportunity for improvement). Combined, processes become more efficient, effective and consistent. Lean Six Sigma consists of levels of knowledge, experience and achievement in the form of Martial Arts ‘belts’ (White, Yellow, Green, Black, and Master Black). Often students start out pursuing a Green belt; however, it is recommended to pursue a White or Yellow belt at first.