November 27, 2013

Lean and Six Sigma

Some readings for my PMA today have led to me drawing some interesting conclusions on whether Lean and Six Sigma are compatible, or whether the concept of Lean Six Sigma is not a viable. Essentially what I have found out is that Lean Six Sigma is a further development of Six Sigma itself, drawing upon Lean's focus of reducing waste and utilising speed in processes. However, it is interesting to note that some concepts of Lean and Six Sigma may in fact be contradictory.


This can be seen when whilst utilising Lean, and subsequently the process of reducing waste in a process, that this could ultimately affect control under DMAIC within Six Sigma, as the process itself has been fundamentally changed. This could therefore create a very real problem when trying to incorporate a Lean Six Sigma process, as the process may be fundamentally different.


Essentially, as not all components of Lean and Six Sigma are the same (sometimes they are pulling in opposite directions), the use of a Lean Six Sigma program can see a sub-optimisation occur. This could be where one process, for instance Six Sigma, takes the dominant form within Lean Six Sigma, and the benefits traditionally associated with a successful Lean program become minimalised.


Therefore, whilst Lean Six Sigma in theory offers some advantages, it is not necessarrily a 100% complimentary system.


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