ArticlePDF Available

Which is Better? (Comment with ... Lean? or Six Sigma?)

  • International Standard for Lean Six Sigma


Which is Better? (Comment with ... Lean? or Six Sigma?) Why limit yourself? Use all your options to achieve your goals and ensure your success! [Infographic] Download the Free Infographic here Start your free 2-week trial to any of our online Lean Six Sigma courses to ensure they’re a good fit for you and your teams. Sign up for a free 2-week trial today:
Do you have a favorite soup? Do you like a Lean Gumbo? Or do you prefer a Six Sigma Stew? The
strength of your efforts depends upon what goes in the bowl. Why limit yourself? Let the
situation serve up the soup. Use all your options Lean and Six Sigma to achieve your goals and
ensure your success. View the full infographic here.
PDCA A rapid cycle improvement method (Plan Do Check Act)
A3 A one-page, living document describing a process problem, the root cause analysis and potential
5S A five-step organization technique to create and maintain an intuitive workspace (Sort, Set In Order, Shine,
Standardize, Sustain)
8 Wastes The top eight elements that get in the way of process flow (Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-
Utilized Talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Extra-Processing)
Value Stream Maps Visual display of key steps including process data
Flow The unimpeded movement of a process
Pull Allowing customer demand to dictate process flow
Spaghetti Map Visual display of the wasted motion of individuals in a given workspace
Process Walks Interviews where the work occurs, with those who work in the process to better understand the
current state
Batch Sizing The practice of determining the smallest number of units to efficiently process at a time
Standard Work The agreed upon best method to accomplish a given task
Work Cell Design The layout of a workspace that results in the least amount of wasted motion for the workforce
Single-Piece Flow Processing each unit through to completion as opposed to creating batches
Lean Focuses on
Reducing waste
Maximizing flow
Removing steps that don’t add value for the customer
Using a holistic approach that builds a culture
Six Sigma
DMAIC A five-step process improvement method (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
Project Charter A one-page document that lays out the process problem, goal, scope, timeline and basic outline
of an improvement project
Data Collection Plan A guide to what data will be collected, by whom, how and when
Basic Statistics Measures of the average, median, range and standard deviation of any data set
Histogram A Graph that provides a snapshot of a data set displaying the spread, shape, average and range of
the data
Pareto Chart A cascading Bar Chart that displays the sources of process issues from the biggest source to the
Measurement Systems Analysis A way to test the accuracy, repeatability, reproducibility and precision of data
Hypothesis Testing A way to provide statistical rigor to theories about the root causes of process issues
Design of Experiments Controlled tests to assess the effectiveness of different ways to run a process with the
goal of picking the best conditions, materials and methods
Statistical Process Control Monitoring a process to ensure that it consistently meets customer requirements
Control Chart A powerful time plot used in statistical process control signals the presence of special cause
variation in a process
Six Sigma focuses on
Reducing variation
Validating hypotheses with statistics
Using the Martial Arts analogy to indicate knowledge level
Using a 5-step method to complete improvement projects
It doesn’t matter where the tool comes from – what matters is solving the problem!
Lean + Six Sigma Common Benefits
Stronger Customer Focus
“Live in a constant state of awesomeness!” – Kimberly Fleming
Engaged Workforce
“Customers will never love a company unless employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek
Problems Solved at the Root
“Why is it that we never have enough time to do it right the first time, but we always have enough time to do it
over?” – Jack Bergman
Error Reduction
“The only real mistake is one from which you learn nothing.” Henry Ford
Increased Capacity
“The future depends on what we do in the present.” Mahatma Gandhi
Greater Efficiency
“Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.” Peter Drucker
Minimized Costs
“Creativity before cash!” – Mike Osterling
Maximized Profits
“Profit in business comes from repeat customers. Customers that boast about your product or service and bring
friends with them.” – W. Edwards Deming
Operational Excellence
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Lean and Six Sigma are two great toolkits and together they provide all the support you
need to delight customers, reduce costs and build strong teams. Embrace the power of
“Yes, and” instead of “Either or” life is richer with options!
View the full infographic here.
Karlo Tanjuakio, Managing Partner & CEO at
Follow on LinkedIn
Follow GoLeanSixSigma,com on Slideshare
Follow on YouTube
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.