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Apr 22, 2014

Lean Six Sigma vs Six Sigma

There is always a debate in the business world between lean six sigma and six sigma what is the best suitable process to implement when it comes to organizing processes pertaining to business and eliminating wastes. Both these systems have their supporters, claiming theirs to be the best. For clearly understanding the debate, it is essential that the differences between the two systems should be understood. Let us figure out and get deep into this: Six sigma fundamentals: The main objective of Six Sigma is the elimination of wastes and defects for ensuring that efficiency and quality improvement is possible by streamlining processes. Initially, even though it was designed for use in manufacturing, it was quickly identified that it can be useful when applied to all aspects of a business; right from introduction of product/service to providing the appropriate support to customers post sales process. Nowadays, it plays a critical role in leadership and large-scale implementation of this system will be helpful for a company to achieve measurable results. What is Lean Six Sigma? This methodology is also used by companies in production and other processes. The purpose behind its usage is cutting down any unwanted steps in the process of product manufacture in such a way that steps that can directly add value to the products. When the unwanted processes are removed, the production can be quickened as well. When it comes to the lean approach, the only ideal method for determining if something has value or not is to find out whether a customer will be ready to pay for it. Combining both: Both have the same objective. Both of them try to eliminate waste and aim at creating the most efficient system possible. But, different approaches are taken by them for the achievement of the goal. The important difference is that they discover the fundamental reason behind the waste in a different manner. It is believed by lean practitioners that wastes arise out of unwanted steps in the process of manufacturing. These unwanted steps do not even add value to the product. On the other hand, it is pointed out by Six Sigma supporters that wastes can differ based on the variations taking place within the processes. The fact is that both of them can be highly helpful and this is the reason behind many businesses using them and is suggesting their employees to join in six sigma green belt certification and black belt programs. Experts suggest that these training programs can be very helpful in quality management for businesses. They suggest the following reasons as to why this tool should be used. When the employees are provided with the appropriate training, they can make use of statistical data for ensuring optimum profits to their employers. The usage of data can also help in meeting the satisfaction of customers with respect to quality of products. It will also be possible for them to compare each and every process within the organization. This will ensure better assessment. The training can enable efficient use of working force and their abilities. Differences between lean six sigma and six sigma: Wastes can be eliminated when both the techniques are applied. The team of personnel trained under the lean technique can focus on improving the speed of the process by effectively reducing wastes. On the other hand, team working on six sigma can focus on eliminating chronic problems. Both these teams can implement DMAIC and DMADV in an efficient manner and prove to be valuable assets to their companies. To conclude based on comparison, it purely depends on the requirement of the employer whether they provide training to their employees in six sigma or lean. Even though, removal of unwanted wastes is essential, unwanted problems arising in the processes can create issues in the whole process itself. So, many employers prefer six sigma certification over lean training. In today's education scenario, since the online learning or e-learning became popular, professionals need not travel all the way to the venue of the training institutes and straight away pursue online training for this kind of course. Care should be taken whether the institute is accredited to ASQ examination body or not. Any registered institute is termed as ATO.