What’s the connection between lean and Six Sigma?


In Six-Sigma, we work by project, with a start and an end with the target of improve a process. In the project, we pass this phase:

  • Define the goal of the project by stating information about the problem, the customer, the opportunity, the resources, and the timeline.
  • Measure the actual process without any changes and define a metrics;
  • Analyze why the defect exists with the purpose of finding the root cause;
  • Improve the process by fixing the defect;
  • Control how the process works with the adjustment.

We already know that Lean eliminates non-valued-activity from processes to eliminate waste.

The connection between Lean and Six-Sigma is that each of the DMAIC phases has some tools for process improvement, and some of these tools are got from Lean. For example, eliminating waste from the process is a form of improvement.

We will look at Six Sigma, and we have some different knowledge levels of these tools expressed in belts. So we have:

  1. White/Yellow Belt: High-level knowledge of the tools;
  2. Green Belt: A basic understanding of the tools;
  3. Black Belt: A master level knowledge of the tools;

For the exam you need to remember that:

  • Six-sigma is project-oriented and has the target of improving process;
  • Lean has the target of eliminating waste;
  • Six-Sigma is connected with Lean because it uses some of its tools to improve processes by eliminating waste.
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