Lean Six Sigma is a combination of two concepts: Lean and Six Sigma. These concepts were designed as a way to eliminate wastes such as overproduction, defects, motion, inventory, transportation and waiting. Lean focuses more on waste elimination, while Sigma Six improves overall quality.
Lean and Six Sigma in the Past: Efficient, Effective and Simple
These concepts were first coined in 2002, by author Michael George in his book Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma with Lean Speed. The original concept of Lean was to eliminate waste in order to improve overall productivity in Industrial Engineering. Six Sigma was mainly utilized by Quality Engineers to improve defect levels in products and services, in addition to boosting quality and reliability.
- Time Variability
- Increase Speed
- Eliminate Waste
- Quick Fix Solutions
In the past, Lean was used to eradicate anything that didn’t add value to a product or service. This process was considered ‘waste-elimination’. However, the goal wasn’t just to eliminate non-value adding processes, but also to improve process cycle times, on-time delivery performances and costs. Line Supervisors and Line Engineers used Lean daily to maintain continuous improvement in these areas.
- Process Variability
- Improve Quality
- Increase Yield
- Root Cause Solutions
Six Sigma uses a combination of techniques to help users to measure, understand and reduce variations in processes. The benefits that comes from this is a reduction in product or service costs and improved quality. This tool was originally aimed at black belt projects coordinated and run by Green Belts, Black Belts and Master Black Belts.
The Lean Sigma Six Combo: Improving Processes While Reducing Waste
Today, Lean and Sigma Six have merged to offer the most effective benefits that have ever been seen in processing and deployment. The speed and waste elimination of Lean combined with the improved quality and increase yield of Sigma Six ,significantly cuts costs, while improving business management processes and productivity.
The benefits that this powerful combo yields are far more than could ever be measured. To gain an idea of just how much Lean Sigma Six can help businesses, take a look at this chart:
As you can see, Sigma Six and Lean together eliminates the steps that are devoid of value, while continuously improving value adding steps and quality through variability reduction. Seperately, Lean and Sigma Six offer unmatchable benefits, but together they offer the best of both worlds.