Lean and Six Sigma: Your Santa And Elves Of Technology


Christmas is finally here!

Have you received your gift from Santa yet?

It is said, there are little elves who work at Santa’s workshop in North pole the entire year to make gifts that were in your wish-list. And without them, delivering gifts to everyone across the world might have been possible for Santa, but it would have taken him 3-4 long years.

When we talk about Lean and Six Sigma, their relation is also kind of similar. Just like normal people think Santa is the one who makes gifts, most people think that Lean  & Six Sigma are the same.

In fact, after reading this, you too might be thinking right now, aren’t it is the same?

In this blog, we are going to tell you about Lean & Six Sigma differences and still how they can work together and create a better work environment.

Before we start, you must know there is a huge debate in the corporate world nowadays on the topic- “Which is better? Lean or Six Sigma?” Whereas, there is another group of people too who would rather like to implement both of them to create the most effective and efficient business culture. And these are the set of people who have actually succeeded in the business world.

You might be curious to know how they can work together by now.

Let’s look at the methodologies first.

Six Sigma Methodologies:

The basic six sigma concept is to reduce waste. In Six Sigma language, anything which doesn’t match the customer expectation is a defect or a waste. Six Sigma follows the DMAIC flow to detect a waste, which is:

  • Define: Here you will define the problem and find out how it is affecting the entire process.
  • Measure: By measuring the current data and defining the process, you can find out ways to make improvements.
  • Analyze: After measuring all the current data, you can start analyzing them to find the root cause of the problem
  • Improvement: By this step, you will easily be able to come up with solutions that will bring improvement.
  • Control: After implementing the new process, you must be aware of how to control that over time.

So, this was all about the Six Sigma methodology. Now, how does it differ from Lean? Let’s find out.

Lean Methodologies:

The idea of Lean methodology was introduced by Henry Ford. The main Lean & Six Sigma difference is they look at the waste in a very different way.

Lean identifies a few vital areas of ways which are very common in any kind of production. The 7 areas of waste are as follows:

  1. Overproduction: This occurs when products are being produced but there is no customer to demand it.
  2. Waiting: If there is a time lag after every step of production, no value is being to the project in the meantime.
  3. Transport: This happens when products are being moved in an inefficient way.
  4. Motion: This one denotes poor work standards and employees being involved in inefficient activities between tasks.
  5. Over-processing: This takes place when you spend too much time in producing a product.
  6. Inventory: When your inventory level is too high and you have too much work in progress, this kind of waste takes place.
  7. Defects: This is the number of times when employees spend identifying and fixing production mistakes.

Lean Methodology doesn’t follow the DMAIC methodology like Six Sigma.

So, how do you use them together when there are Lean & Six Sigma differences?

Let’s see how they work together hand in hand.

Lean Six Sigma Principle:

So, the question is how lean & Six Sigma can work together to eliminate waste?

The answer is simple! Lean Six Sigma!

Now, what is Lean Six Sigma again?

The concept of Lean Six Sigma was created in 2001 from a book- “Leaning into Six Sigma” by Barbara Wheat, Chuck Mills, and Mike Carnell. The book was written as a guide for managers of manufacturing plants on how to combine lean manufacturing and Six Sigma in order to improve quality and cycle time in the plant.

It is a managerial concept of Lean & Six Sigma. Lean focuses on the seven kinds of wastes whereas Six Sigma improves the quality of the entire process.

Let’s check some other benefits of it as well!

Benefits of Lean Six Sigma:

It is processes have their own benefits. But, when combined together, they can create a blast!

Few benefits of Lean Sigma can bring to your organization are mentioned below:

  • Increase in profit
  • Standardized and simplified processes
  • Decrease in error
  • Employee performance or development
  • Value to customer

Amazed? You should be! Wondering about how you can become a pro in Lean Six Sigma? Simple! Go for a Lean Six Sigma Certification after a Lean Six Sigma training!

Wondering about which is the best Lean Six Sigma certification? You don’t need to worry about that as well! We have listed a few for you here step by step.

Now, pick the one which is suitable for you and give it a go!


Undoubtedly, Six Sigma & Lean have different methodologies. But when two technologies share the same goal, there is no point in debating on the topic “Which is better Lean or Six Sigma?” Combine them together and get nourished by it instead!

Sounds logical? What are you waiting for then? Grab the modern age Santa and Elves together in order to bless your organization with a huge client base as a gift!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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