Difference Between Lean And Six Sigma Pdf
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In the business world, there has been some debate when it comes to Lean vs Six Sigma. Most people have strong opinions about which method is more effective for cutting costs and eliminating waste.
- Six Sigma vs. Lean Six Sigma
- Comparative Analysis between Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma Concepts
- Lean vs Six Sigma: What’s the Difference & Use Cases
- Six Sigma vs Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma. Both sides have proponents and detractors who can cite various situations in which one system may produce better results than the other. Others argue that the best approach to creating the most efficient and effective business structure requires incorporating both Six Sigma and Lean principles.
Six Sigma is about reducing defects and improving quality. It relies heavily on data analysis and leads to potentially more checks and balances to identify and remove the causes of defects in a process to minimise variability — so because this means putting more resource into production and by employing more trained staff who can utilise the Six Sigma methodologies, does this mean that it is counterintuitive to Lean? To put it another way, Six Sigma is great for people who are willing to pay more for quality and a reliable product — say an aircraft engine manufacturer who wants to ensure that each component is defect free or at least as defect-free as is possible — i.
Six Sigma vs. Lean Six Sigma
Tools and techniques : A comprehensive set of tools and analytical techniques that are used to identify and solve problems. Process and methodology : A series of phases that organize the use of the problem-solving tools to ensure that the true root causes are found and that a solution is fully implemented. Mindset and culture : A way of thinking that relies on data and processes to achieve operational performance goals and continuously improve.
These three elements reinforce each other. Analytical techniques are not used effectively unless there is a process for applying them and a mindset of continuous improvement creating the need for them. An improvement process does not produce the desired results unless it includes the tools and techniques that define the activity of the process steps and there is a culture that insists on systemic data-based approach to solving problems.
Finally, a culture that seeks to continuously improve will be frustrated if there are no tools and techniques for analysis and no process or methodology that can be applied to organize and focus the improvement efforts. Fortunately, the Lean Six Sigma approach to business improvement includes all three layers. Taylor described business as a series of interlocking workflows or processes that should be managed using data.
Lean was developed in Toyota as part of the Toyota Production System , which was built around the work of Shewhart and Deming. Toyota had been a client of Deming and established its operational management practices on the principles he taught. The fundamental driver of Lean is the elimination of waste.
In fact, a good description of the Lean approach is, "a set of tools that assist in the identification and the steady elimination of waste. If a company is doing large scale, high-quantity production like Toyota; then a process with waste in it means that company is creating large-scale, high quantity waste.
No company wants to do this. The Lean approach uses tools to analyze the business process. Using the terms of the Toyota Production System, the Lean methodology identifies and strives to eliminate three types of waste:. As you can probably tell from both of these lists, the principles of Lean can be applied to any business process or operation, not just manufacturing.
It is now used in literally all functions and all industries. Six Sigma was first developed at Motorola during the late s. The methodology was pioneered by Bill Smith, a quality engineer, whose goal was to improve the way the quality and measurement systems worked so as to eliminate errors.
The Motorola systems tolerated error rates that created too much scrap, rework, redundant testing and often customer dissatisfaction. The Six Sigma approach focused on identifying and eliminating anything that caused variation in the process. When the variation is gone, the process results can be precisely predicted — every time. By designing the system so that these precisely predictable results fall within the zone of acceptable performance from a customer perspective, process errors are eliminated.
But the engineers at Motorola went one step further. They knew from experience that many process changes were not effective because they did not get to the root cause of the problem. Also, the changes they made would not stick, as the operators reverted back to doing things in the original manner over time. Six Sigma was organized with five phases to address these issues. The methodology of Six Sigma will work with any process, product or service that has a definable performance goal and measurable characteristics, because the methodology heavily relies on data.
Lean and Six Sigma have been combined because, although they are different, they are complementary. The similarities allow them to mesh together well.
The differences ensure that there are analytical tools and solution options available that will improve the process, product or service. It is due to the similarities that both types of analysis can be done simultaneously on the same process, product, or service. However, there are some differences in the two approaches. These differences do not create a conflict, rather they provide multiple paths that can be used to reach a similar destination.
A Lean Six Sigma project should let the nature of the defect, as defined by the customer value, and the current state of the process, product, or service dictate which sets of tools are most appropriate.
The final solution is often a hybrid combination of both Lean improvements and Six Sigma improvements. The two approaches are compatible in so many ways that it was easy to merge them into one methodology so as to get the synergistic effect of combining them.
Lean Six Sigma, as it is normally practiced, avoids most of the pitfalls from earlier failed approaches. I have been directly involved in the successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in many organizations, and I have done consulting in several organizations who had tried and failed to implement an effective Lean Six Sigma program. In the successful programs, the following principles were adopted.
In the failed implementations, at least one or more principle was not followed. Lean Six Sigma is both a top-down and bottom-up methodology. The top-down element is associated with problem selection. The Lean Six Sigma project teams are focused on real-world problems that are impacting customers and processes right now. Often the team members are feeling the effect of the problem with rework and repair activities or addressing customer complaints. This lends a sense of urgency and importance to the project.
It is not just "busy work," it is real work. One of the reasons for the failure of the Quality Circle programs of the s was that every team could choose its own project. While this sounds great for empowerment, often the projects selected were not real-world problems. In one organization I worked with, one of the first projects selected by a team was to repaint the lunch room and put up new curtains.
Soon the whole initiative was viewed in the organization as a "fun" party time activity, but not related to real business improvement. It is often hard to get the organization to recognize the importance of this methodology for business success. Buy-in is much easier to achieve when both management and the team understand the importance of identifying and fixing the problem. But management does not dictate a problem and solution.
Rather the analysis by the team determines the true root cause. A Lean Six Sigma project is normally staffed by a cross-functional team that is involved with different aspects of the process being analyzed. Many business processes are cross-functional and a cross-functional analysis is needed to prevent sub-optimization of the process.
Improving one step at the expense of another step does not eliminate waste or variation, it just moves it to a different step in the process. A problem I have seen in several Lean Six Sigma implementations was that the Green Belt and Black Belt project leaders worked on their own to find and fix the problem without the help of a cross-functional team.
If the process and problem were small and the project leader understood the process, this would prove effective. However, with large cross-functional processes and projects, or in some cases when the project leader had no background in the type of process or problem being analyzed, the projects would become stalled and delayed.
By including a cross-functional team, all the perspectives of the organizations that are involved and impacted by the project are included in the problem analysis, and even more importantly in the development of the solution.
The in-depth knowledge of the different team members is helpful for understanding the problem and the implications of the data. These different perspectives are crucial to help the team create a solution that addresses the immediate problem and often will help to eliminate waste and variation in other aspects of the process.
Lean Six Sigma is best used for analyzing processes. Even when the problem under investigation is an obvious product problem, Lean Six Sigma will be much more effective when it is applied to the process that designs or builds the product, rather than looking at just the product itself. That is because the analysis is meant to investigate and improve actions, and actions are the steps of processes. Actions seldom happen in a vacuum with no impact from preceding or succeeding actions.
Instead they must be considered in the context of the process in which they are occurring. The Lean value stream map or Six Sigma process map provide a picture of that process. On numerous occasions, I have found that the creation of a map of the process immediately led to an understanding of what was happening, and recognition of some of the underlying problems that are hidden when an individual is only aware of their step in the process.
On a few occasions I have encountered a project team that focused solely on a product defect without considering the process that created or used the product. While they could identify the defect, they could not determine the actual cause and create a solution until a process map was created.
Lean Six Sigma relies on data, not guesses. The Lean value stream map is verified with a walk-through of the process, and then data is collected at each step.
The current condition of the process, product or service is measured in the Measure phase. This includes measuring the problem or defect and measuring anything that is done correctly. The data that is captured is used for analysis to determine the actual state of what is happening, not an assumed state. This analysis verifies the underlying causes so that the correct problem is fixed. But the reliance on data does not stop there. When a solution has been created, data is collected to determine if the solution has truly fixed the problem.
And then data is used to ensure the solution stays in place and the problem does not return. One of the challenges that continuous improvement and problem-solving initiatives have had over the years is a difficulty accepting the reality of the current conditions. Businesses are often in denial about problems and issues. I recently worked with a company that was implementing Lean Six Sigma. One of the initial project teams was tasked with resolving a product issue that created large levels of rework in their operation and was the source of numerous customer complaints.
The problem had been "solved" on numerous occasions by putting tighter controls on the process step that "caused" the problem. Except when we actually measured what was happening in each step, we found the problem was really due to several other factors. Because of "politics" and paradigms, the management at first rejected the analysis. But when presented with the data, they eventually recognized where the problems were originating and an effective solution was implemented. It was the data that finally broke through the paradigms about the problem.
This next principle is focused on the Six Sigma analysis. The practical impact of sigma is that it represents the amount of normal variation that occurs. It is always tied to a specific parameter or characteristic that is being measured. Same attributes of a product or process will have virtually no variation.
That attribute never changes, no matter how often the product or process occurs. Other attributes do have variation.
Comparative Analysis between Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma Concepts
Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma are organizational improvement programs. The concept behind the lean approach originated in post-World War II Japan, where Toyota executives created a better match for its mass production needs than that offered by the Henry Ford manufacturing system, which focused on cost-reduction in the mass production of identical products. Six Sigma, which was developed in the s by Motorola, stresses quality improvement. Douglas Ferguson, writing for the Institute of Management in an online article, defines "lean" as a philosophy and describes Six Sigma as a dynamic, problem-solving program. Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma differ in approach and in the ultimate goals sought. A small business owner should look at the differences in terms of cost, implementation and effectiveness before implementing either organizational program in his business. The Six Sigma approach uses teams to develop and apply solutions to specific problems in the production process.
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Lean vs Six Sigma: What’s the Difference & Use Cases
Six Sigma is no exception, with multiple branches, disciplines, and schools of thought having grown from the original concept over the years to fit new needs. In one case, two different schools of thought have merged into a single, cohesive methodology that can address multiple goals. This is Lean Six Sigma, a combination of management methods that builds on the principles of Six Sigma with a focus on efficiency. Both approaches aim to achieve the same thing: more effective processes that yield a bigger bottom line.
There is an ongoing debate in some organizations regarding the difference between lean and six sigma , and whether they are mutually exclusive. Toyota, in particular, is credited with making lean a well-known approach as embodied in the Toyota Production System TPS. Lean is about eliminating wastes, taking time out of processes, and create better flow. Six Sigma has been defined in a variety of ways.
Six Sigma vs Lean Six Sigma
Purpose — During the last decades, different quality management concepts, including total quality management TQM , six sigma and lean, have been applied by many different organisations. Although much important work has been documented regarding TQM, six sigma and lean, a number of questions remain concerning the applicability of these concepts in various organisations and contexts. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to describe the similarities and differences between the concepts, including an evaluation and criticism of each concept.
During the last decades, different quality management concepts, including total quality management TQM , six sigma and lean, have been applied by many different organisations. Although much important work has been documented regarding TQM, six sigma and lean, a number of questions remain concerning the applicability of these concepts in various organisations and contexts. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to describe the similarities and differences between the concepts, including an evaluation and criticism of each concept. While TQM, six sigma and lean have many similarities, especially concerning origin, methodologies, tools and effects, they differ in some areas, in particular concerning the main theory, approach and the main criticism. The lean concept is slightly different from TQM and six sigma.
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Munteanu Published Engineering. This paper analyzes the benefits of Lean Six Sigma in comparison with Lean and Six Sigma, traditional improvement methodologies. The introduction highlights the appearance of Lean Six Sigma, early s, as well as the benefits brought by the integrated approach. The following parts of the study emphasize the main differences between methodologies and their commonalities based on their synergy. Save to Library.
What is Lean?
Tools and techniques : A comprehensive set of tools and analytical techniques that are used to identify and solve problems. Process and methodology : A series of phases that organize the use of the problem-solving tools to ensure that the true root causes are found and that a solution is fully implemented. Mindset and culture : A way of thinking that relies on data and processes to achieve operational performance goals and continuously improve. These three elements reinforce each other. Analytical techniques are not used effectively unless there is a process for applying them and a mindset of continuous improvement creating the need for them. An improvement process does not produce the desired results unless it includes the tools and techniques that define the activity of the process steps and there is a culture that insists on systemic data-based approach to solving problems. Finally, a culture that seeks to continuously improve will be frustrated if there are no tools and techniques for analysis and no process or methodology that can be applied to organize and focus the improvement efforts.
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