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Lean Six SigmaLean Six Sigma is a philosophy of achieving breakthrough improvements in performance using DMAIC approach. Concept of Lean SixSigma was originally used by Motorola but later got popular after its extensive use by Mr. Jack Welch’s GE.

Lean Six Sigma involves the following:

Identify a business problem

Transform ↓
Into a Statistical Problem

Evolve ↓
A Statistical Solution

Transform ↓

Into a Business Solution

What is Lean SixSigma?

  • Lean SixSigma is a Philosophy and not a mere statistical tool. It helps an organization to garner a zero defect culture.
  • Lean SixSigma is a companywide initiative as such for it to take root and flourish, a cultural change that persuades employees at all levels to embrace that change is vital.
  • Lean SixSigma delivers best when used as part of strategic planning than tactical planning.
  • The fact-based, data-driven philosophy of Lean SixSigma Breakthrough Quality Improvement values defect prevention over defect detection.
  • Lean SixSigma quality performance means not more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO).
  • It drives customer satisfaction and bottom-line results by reducing variation and waste, thereby promoting a competitive advantage.
  • Lean SixSigma applies anywhere that variation and waste exist, so employees at all levels of a business can play important roles in Six Sigma projects

Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that helps organizations focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. Why “Sigma”? The word is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from mean. The central idea behind Lean SixSigma is that if one can measure how many “defects” one has in a process, they can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to “zero defects” as possible.

“Sigma” means standard deviation and therefore Lean SixSigma means six standard deviations. Sigma Level Defects per Million Defects as Percent

Sigma Level DPMO Defects as %’ge
One Sigma 690,000 69%
Two Sigma 308,000 30.8%
Three Sigma 66,800 6.68%
Four Sigma 6,210 0.621%
Five Sigma 230 0.023%
Lean SixSigma 3.4 0.00034%

The objective of Lean SixSigma is only 3.4 defects (or errors) out of every million defect opportunities. This translates into 99.99966% perfection.

Six Sigma follows DMAIC methodology of quality improvement as described below:

Define – Define Process Improvement Opportunities
Measure – Measure Process Improvement Opportunities
Analyze – Analyze the root causes
Improve – Improve the Processes
Control – Control or sustain improvements

DFSS – Design for Lean SixSigma

Design for Lean SixSigma is a methodology applied for product and service design or redesign to develop robust design meeting or exceeding customer needs and expectations. Some Lean SixSigma Professional use DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design & Verify) framework and some use PIDOV (Plan, Identify, Design, Optimize, Validate) framework.

DMAIC is more reactive approach focused on problem detection and resolution, where as DMADV is more proactive approach focused on identification of potential problems and preventing them.