operations, quality, loyalty

Lean and Six Sigma

As aptly covered in Wikipedia "Lean manufacturing" or lean production, which is often known simply as "Lean", is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, "value" is defined as any action or process a customer would be willing to pay ". Basically, Lean is centered around creating more value with less work."

It grew to eminence though its deployment (as an approach) within the Toyota automotive company. Also known as the Toyota Production System (TPS) it has expanded to be considered the over-arching collection of tools, mindset and behaviors focused on getting rid of redundancies, waste, and 'waiting', and thus speeding up a task or operation. It also focuses eliminating errors, scrap, and rework (also 'waste'). In this regard it overlaps with Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is an approach to improving the quality of products or services through the reduction of variation, and the relentless pursuit of root cause analysis and problem prevention.  Similar to Lean, Six Sigma can be considered as the over-arching collection of tools, mindset and behaviors focused on making things better.

Together, the balanced and complimentary use and deployment of these approaches address all aspects of what it takes to make a company thrive.



Lean Tools and Techniques:

5S,  Visual Controls,  Total Productive Maintenance (TPM),  Standardization and Best Practices,  Rapid Change Over,  Error-Proofing*,  Value Stream Mapping*,  Just-In-Time / Kanban,  Kaizen/Work-out Events,  Workplace Layout,  Spaghetti Charts

* frequently used during a Six Sigma 'qualtiy' focus


Six Sigma Tools and Techniques (the most familiar):

Design of Experiments*, Process/Design Capability Index,  DMAIC*,  Failure Modes and Effects Analysis,  Brainstorming*,  Analysis of Variance*, Regression Analysis*,  Weighted Voting,  Pareto*,  Histogram*,  Hypothesis Testing,  Root Cause Analysis,  Statistical Process Control,  Quality Function Deployment

* frequently used during a Lean 'waste or speed' focus

Tools Training and Workshops



Search site

Operations, quality & customer loyalty consulting © 2008 All rights reserved.