top of page
  • Writer's pictureFahad Gohar

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is the system preferred by businesses around the world to streamline, improve, and optimize any and every aspect of their organization.

Lean Manufacturing is a system for maximizing product value for the customer while minimizing waste without sacrificing productivity.


Lean manufacturing as we know it today has its roots in the Toyota Production System (TPS), but before it was known as TPS, they simply called it just-in-time manufacturing.

There were 3 things the Toyota Production System attempted to prevent:

  • Muda – Everything in your manufacturing process that creates waste or causes constraints on creating a valuable product.

  • Mura – Everything that creates inconsistent and inefficient work flows.

  • Muri – All tasks or loads that put too much stress on your employees or machines.

In Muda, there are 8 wastes you should work to eliminate:

1. Defects

2. Overproduction

3. Waiting

4. Not utilizing talent

5. Transportation

6. Inventory excess

7. Motion waste

8. Excess processing

Six Sigma:

Six Sigma is a data-driven process that seeks to reduce product defects down to 3.4 defective parts per million, or 99.99966% defect-free products over the long-term.

In all Six Sigma projects, there are 2 main methods of achieving the same defect-free goals. Below, we detail these 2 methods.

The first and most-used method in Six Sigma is a 5-step process called DMAIC:

  1. Define

  2. Measure

  3. Analyze

  4. Improve

  5. Control

The DMAIC process uses data and measured objectives to create a cycle of continuous improvement in your manufacturing methods.

While DMAIC is useful for improving your current processes, DMADV is used to develop a new process, product, or service.

DMADV stands for:

  1. Define

  2. Measure

  3. Analyze

  4. Design

  5. Verify

The DMADV process uses data and thorough analyses to help you create an efficient process or develop a high-quality product or service.

Lean Six Sigma:

Lean Six Sigma is the fusion of Lean Manufacturing with Six Sigma to create a complete system that removes waste and reduces process variation for streamlined manufacturing and optimal product output.

Lean Six Sigma primarily uses Six Sigma processes and methods as the backbone of the system – such as DMAIC and the belt system – to drive focused improvements in manufacturing while incorporating many techniques and tools from Lean to reduce wasteful steps and processes

Tools of Lean Six Sigma

The 5 Whys

The 5 Whys is a tool used to determine the root cause of problems within your organization. It’s often deployed as part of the Analyze phase in DMAIC.

The 5S System

The 5S system is a method of organizing your workplace materials for quicker access and better maintenance. This system is essential for eliminating waste that is produced by poor workstations and tools in poor condition.

Value Stream Mapping

A value stream map shows the flow of materials and information in one of your processes and was developed to help you improve and optimize flow throughout your organization.

Regression Analysis

A regression analysis is a statistical process for estimating and understanding the relationship between variables.

Pareto Chart

The Pareto chart graphically displays the differences between groups of data, allowing Lean Six Sigma teams to identify the largest issues facing the process.


Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) helps businesses identify and eliminate weak points in the early stages of any product or process.

Kaizen (Continuous Improvement)

Kaizen is the practice of continually observing, identifying, and implementing incremental improvements in the manufacturing process.

Poka-yoke (Mistake Proofing)

Poka-yoke is a Japanese term that means mistake proofing. It’s a process by which employees work to identify and eliminate the causes of human errors throughout the manufacture and production processes.

Credit: DearSystems


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page