What is the difference between Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma only? by Shweta Ravi
Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology first introduced in the 1970s. Dr. Mikel Harry, the senior staff at Motorola, was first one to try statistical problem-solving. Later on Bill Smith, an engineer at Motorola designed six-step methodology to reduce variation and considered as the father of Six Sigma. Jack Welch then made it the center of business strategy at General Electrical. In today’s competitive world, Six Sigma has widely accepted as a philosophy for growth across different sectors.
Six Sigma is based on data analysis, hence helps in reducing risk which one of the many reasons that Six Sigma is still preferred over other improvement methodologies. The objective is to remove defects at the source and bring down performance to ‘six sigma’ level i.e. 3.4 defects for every one million opportunities. Continuous effort is made to achieve stable and predictable process.
Even before Six Sigma in 1930 in Japan, the owner of Toyota motors, Kiichiro Toyoda, asked Taiichi Ohno (Industrial Engineer) to look into Henry Ford, flow production model. This journey resulted in the introduction of Toyota Production System, which then became the foundation of ‘Lean Methodology,’ focused on reducing waste in the process.
In early 2000, the first concept of Lean Six Sigma introduced, which combines both the methodology to reduce waste and variation in the process.
Edward Deming has consolidated Six Sigma methodology in five step model widely known as DMAIC, (Define, Measure, Analysis, Improve, and Control), which continued for Lean Six Sigma as well. The objective of each step is now achieved using both statistical and lean methods.