Lean Six Sigma is a managerial strategy with a team emphasis that aims to increase performance by reducing resource waste and flaws.

It blends the lean manufacturing/enterprise mindset with Six Sigma techniques and technologies. It aims to save material resources, time, talent, and effort while guaranteeing the quality of organisational and production processes.

Lean Six Sigma advocates eliminating any resource consumption that doesn't provide value for the end user since it is wasteful.


  • Lean Six Sigma aims to increase individual and business performance by reducing resource waste and process/product flaws.
  • It combines lean business and Six Sigma process improvement techniques.
  • Establishing a clear route to accomplishing improvement goals is much easier with the aid of Lean Six Sigma.
  • Toyota developed the Lean approach in the 1940s, aiming to simplify all operational procedures, from manufacturing to transactions.
  • Six Sigma is a methodology that aims to decrease faults to increase output quality.

Lean Six Sigma Historical Background

Lean Six Sigma combines the Six Sigma strategy with the Lean methodology. Toyota, a Japanese automaker, invented the lean technique in the 1940s. Its goal was to get non-value-adding tasks out of the manufacturing chain.

An engineer at the American telecommunications corporation Motorola created Six Sigma in the 1980s after being influenced by Japan's Kaizen approach. The business registered a trademark for it in 1993. 

Its approach aims to find and minimise production-process flaws. Additionally, it aims to reduce manufacturing process unpredictability.

Lean Six Sigma began in the 1990s when huge American firms sought to compete with Japan's superior-quality products. In their 2002 book Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma with Lean Speed, Michael George and Robert Lawrence Jr. proposed the combo strategy.

Quick Fact

Companies can choose from various organisations that focus on Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma techniques to arrange for Lean Six Sigma training and certification.

Lean Six Sigma Theory

The eight types of waste that make up the DOWNTIME acronym—defects, overproduction, waiting, underutilization of talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and extra-processing—are the main emphasis of the lean management philosophy. Any technique, measure, or technology that facilitates the discovery and removal of waste is referred to be lean.

Tools and methods that are utilised to enhance manufacturing processes are referred to as Six Sigma. The tactic tries to pinpoint and eliminate the sources of errors and inconsistencies in production and commercial procedures.

Lean Six Sigma makes use of the DMAIC stages from Six Sigma. The acronym defines, measures, analyses, improves, and controls. It refers to the data-driven five-step technique for developing, optimising, and stabilising business and industrial processes.

To assure progress in a company's operational processes, a Lean Six Sigma method that combines Lean strategy with Six Sigma's tools and procedures identifies processes prone to waste, defects, and variation and then decreases them.

Techniques for Lean Six Sigma

The following strategies and technologies are utilised to achieve key objectives of the Lean Six Sigma strategy:

  • The DMAIC model is a Six Sigma road plan designed to raise the calibre of output from business processes. Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control are abbreviate as DMAIC. The twelve stages that walk you through the procedure will help you fill in these five components.
  • Six Sigma's project charter is a two-page document describing a project to enhance a process. The project's requirement is explained through data-driven information in the charter. The paper becomes the main resource for the Six Sigma team after it has been authorised.
  • The beauty of brainstorming is that it may be as free-flowing as the wind. It is a potent Six Sigma technique. It may be as systematic as utilising a template to keep your thoughts organised and in sync, flow in as a solution to an issue, etc.
  • Value stream mapping is used to identify areas for waste reduction and process step optimisation.
  • To guarantee that the workplace is effective, productive, safe, and successful, use the 5S tool.

The Advantages of Lean Six Sigma

  • Businesses may enhance the work experience for employees and the customer experience for customers by making key procedures more efficient. Both inside and outside of a corporation, this may increase loyalty.
  • Streamlined, simpler procedures can boost control and a company's capacity to capitalise on new possibilities fast.
  • They can also lead to increased sales and income, cheaper expenses, and more profitable company results.
  • Participating in a team project or company-wide efficiency drive may help employees develop new skills (including project management and analytical thinking), increase their career advancement possibilities, and foster camaraderie.
  • Companies save time, money, and labour by avoiding faults rather than having to find and fix them afterwards.
  • Employees, clients, suppliers, and the corporation all gain from the business process.

Phases of Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma DMAIC stages Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control. They are used to find and fix process issues with known root causes that already exist.


Define the issue from the viewpoints of the firm, the stakeholders, and the customers. Figure out consumers' quality expectations and the degree of the problem.


Analyse the existing procedure and how it adds to the issue. Check if the approach satisfies the clients' previously stated quality requirements. Match each process step to your quality standards. Provide genuine performance statistics to back up your measurements.


To determine the precise nature of the issue, extent, and cause, review all information obtained up to this point.


Fix the issue, and then check the improvement. Work together to design a fix; that eliminates the issue's root cause. Use your data to ensure the answer is appropriate for the current problem. Analyse the solution's performance to support it and test it.


Track progress and make further improvements as needed. Establish final performance standards. Create a strategy that can adapt to new situations, maintain gains, and stop the initial issue from recurring.

Levels of Lean Six Sigma Belt

Belts are used in Lean Six Sigma training to signify mastery of the methodology. Depending on the organisation issuing the certification, the requirements for each Belt may change.

Lean Six Sigma White Belt

Lean Six Sigma White Belt indicates that a worker is mindful of the principles and objectives of Lean Six Sigma. They are familiar with the terminology used in the approach and alert colleagues with Green Belts or Black Belts to any process issues.

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt suggests that workers know the fundamental Lean Six Sigma ideas, methods, and tools. They alert colleagues with either a Green Belt or a Black Belt about process issues. Additionally, they can participate in project teams and take Just-In-Time1 (JIT) training.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

With the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, a person may develop and manage Lean Six Sigma projects and demonstrate some proficiency in Lean Six Sigma strategy. They can train people in JIT. They put a lot of emphasis on using tools and putting DMAIC and Lean ideas into practice.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

An individual with extensive Lean Six Sigma knowledge reports to Master Black Belts is called Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. They can serve as Green Belt's coach or mentor and lead cross-functional project teams full-time. They are in charge of implementing the Lean Six Sigma modifications.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Master

Usually, the Lean Six Sigma initiative is in charge of a worker with a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and substantial Lean Six Sigma knowledge. They can supervise initiatives and serve as a coach or mentor. They collaborate with business executives to pinpoint inefficiencies and training requirements. To C-Suite executives, they report.

Employees can concentrate resources on what consumers need when they need it, thanks to Lean Six Sigma Just-In-Time training rather than accumulating needless inventory.

Comparing Six Sigma to Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma are similar approaches to dealing with process issues. Examining how their processes work may assist businesses in making measurable gains in quality, efficiency, and time usage. Both employ DMAIC stages and methodology. Both are predicated on fostering a culture of problem-solving at work.

To increase process output and quality and satisfy customer expectations, Six Sigma concentrates on minimising defects and process variability. To enhance workflow and provide customer value, Lean Six Sigma focuses on minimising or eliminating defects and the inefficient use of resources.

Lean Six Sigma improves process flow, maintains continuous improvement, and helps organisations accomplish their objectives by combining Six Sigma (such as data analysis) and elements of the Lean approach (such as waste-eliminating tools).

What Does the Term "Lean Six Sigma" Mean?

By determining the root causes of issues and creating solutions to them, the Lean Six Sigma process improvement technique aims to minimise inefficiencies in a business's process flow.

What Are the Five Lean Six Sigma Principles?

The five Lean Six Sigma principles and stages are defined, measured, analysed, improved, and controlled. They are the actions professionals take to develop more effective procedures and a work environment prioritising continual improvement.

Lean Six Sigma: Why Is It Important?

It's important because businesses can measurably and consistently improve their operations and financial results by using it. It is also noteworthy since it blends the 1980s Six Sigma data-driven technique with the 1940s Lean methodology's major process streamlining.

In conclusion

Lean Six Sigma is a management strategy aiming to minimise inefficient resource consumption and manufacturing process flaws to enhance worker and business performance. Lean Six Sigma combines the finest aspects of both to improve financial results and operational efficiency for all types of enterprises.