Lean is now essentially a part of Six Sigma, and any Six Sigma course will spend a significant proportion of time explaining lean philosophies and methodologies to you. The two complement each other well.
At Yellow Belt you won’t need to know how to perform lean tools by yourself, but you will need to understand them so that you can assist where possible.
Lean is a core part of Lean Six Sigma, and involves removing inefficiencies from your systems and processes by removing Muda (waste), Muri (overburden) and Mura (unevenness). It is about concentrating your efforts on what gives value to your customers, and removing everything else.
The key aim of Lean is removing the 7 wastes (otherwise known as ‘Muda’) from your company, as these are the main ways that you waste money, time and effort.
Lean Six Sigma
Combining Lean principles and tools with Six Sigma for a more complete process improvement framework is called ‘Lean Six Sigma’. The Lean aspect removes the waste from the system, and Six Sigma removes the variation, to create a predictable, efficient and consistent output.
There are some useful tools that can be borrowed from Lean for using in your work / Six Sigma projects.
- Just In Time production (JIT) – Producing items at just the point when they are needed in the required quantity, to reduce waste and reduce working capital requirements
- 5S / CANDO – Organizing your workplace to be efficient, organized and clean (tour ready)
- Poka Yoke (mistake or error proofing) – designing your processes so that either the errors can’t happen, or if they occur they are immediately found and fixed
Incorporating these Lean tools and principles in your Six Sigma project will magnify the gains from your Six Sigma projects.