Six Sigma and Lean management are two of the most popular quality improvement methods. Today's businesses continue to benefit from both techniques because they help to increase productivity while minimizing waste. By systematically implementing these methods throughout your organization, you can achieve improved customer satisfaction rates and reduced training costs and lead times. But what's the difference between them? In this article, we'll answer these questions and provide a full comparison between the two methods. So read on to learn all you need to know about Six Sigma vs Lean . Here we will also discuss the key similarities and differences between lean and six sigma .

Lean vs Six Sigma Basic: Comparison Chart

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Basic Points Six Sigma Lean

Six Sigma is a quality management system that was originally developed in the early 1980s for manufacturing companies.

It aimed to improve efficiency and reduce costs by reducing defective products and preventing rework.

Lean Manufacturing is a production methodology with the main goal of reducing waste and maximizing efficiency within the manufacturing process, as well as reducing response times from suppliers and customers. It is closely related to another concept called Just-in-time manufacturing.
Theme Ensure processes are free from variability Used for waste removals
Focus Bias for analysis. Main focus is on problem. Bias for action. Prime focus is on flow
Put Forwarded 1980's 1990’s
Introduced by Motorola Toyota Production
Tools Based on mathematics and statistics Primalry based on visuals
Objectives To meet the requirements of clients Main goal is to increase production and effienciny in production and supplier monitoring.
Outcomes Reduced flow time A uniform output from a process
Methods Uses DMAIC , DMADV and other quality tools. Kaizen events , value stream mapping , 5S and TPM etc.
Deployment Explicit infrastructure Implicit infrastructure

Similarities And Differences Between Lean And Six Sigma

There is a thin line difference between Lean vs. Six Sigma. By implementing both methodologies, companies can enjoy positive outcomes. Take a look at the key similarities and differences between Lean and Six Sigma .

Similarities Between Lean And Six Sigma

  • Both Lean and Six Sigma are used to enhance business operations, product quality, and customer satisfaction. They aid businesses in delivering high-quality goods and services, reducing waste, and managing their time better.

  • Lean and Six Sigma share the same objective: to boost performance and eliminate waste from a system. They both offer many resources that can be used to accomplish this purpose.

Differences Between Lean And Six Sigma

  • One major difference between lean and Six Sigma is how they discover and eliminate waste. Lean identifies and removes wastes in seven areas: overproduction, waiting, transportation, motion, over-processing, inventory, and defects.

  • Meanwhile, Six Sigma identifies and eliminates waste by reducing errors to the barest minimum. Six Sigma aims to identify and eliminate variations that cause defects in a process, product, or service.

  • Another difference between lean and six Sigma is that six Sigma focuses more on the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. In contrast, lean is better for businesses that primarily operate in the manufacturing space. Additionally, there are three methods associated with Six Sigma - DMAIC, DFSS, and process management. Learn also about the benefits of Lean Six Sigma .

  • Lean management is a business method that seeks to increase workflow while reducing waste and maximizing value with as few resources as possible. Six Sigma is another business method that strives for consistent results and aims to reduce variation and defects in any given process.

Questions Related To Six Sigma vs Lean

Do Six Sigma and Lean go hand-in-hand?

The answer to this question is "Yes." Lean approaches should precede and coexist with the application of Six Sigma methods. Lean provides stability and repeatability in many basic processes, becoming the foundation for Six Sigma methods. The data collected to support Six Sigma activities is more reliable and accurate when preceded by lean processes. Lean and Six Sigma tools can be depicted on a linear continuum, with lean Six Sigma in the middle as the most efficient way to complete a project.

Is Six Sigma Still Relevant?

Without a doubt, the answer is yes. However, we say this because, in the end, every organizational strategy—including Six Sigma and Lean—is helpful when utilized to streamline a manufacturing process, a factory floor, or a company.

Lean and Six Sigma can both be utilized to develop a more effective process, as we've previously discussed, and when used together, they can focus even more on that objective.

Wrapping Up:

There are similarities and differences between Lean and Six Sigma. Lean and Six Sigma are both process improvement methodologies. Each methodology has its own goals and objectives and can be used separately or in conjunction with each other. Like Lean and Six Sigma, Total Quality Management and Kaizen are process improvement methodologies. These methodologies can be used in various industries, although some are better suited for certain industries.

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