Six Sigma uses a method known as DMAIC, which stands for Determine, Measure, Analyze, Implement and Control. Lean Six Sigma is more focused on observation in order to make decisions that can benefit the company’s productivity. It is more focused on shorter cycles that show where the benefits and errors lie through experimentation and observation.
This allows for small changes to be made as they recognized, whereas Six Sigma is more of an overall assessment. Six Sigma is typically used for a serious problem that requires much attention to detail in order to come with a quick solution, however Lean Six Sigma is implemented as a long-lasting solution to improve the organization of a company.
Lean Six Sigma requires the whole company to learn and implement the changes, whereas Six Sigma tends to just use teams instead. This is often more desirable for a large company that does not want to train all its employees but it can cause miscommunication, misunderstandings and feelings of separation. Lean Six Sigma requires each individual in a company to learn and develop skills that help the company lower waste and improve productivity.
Smaller companies will have a harder time using Six Sigma than Lean Six Sigma, since it requires much planning, analyzing and training in order to get the desired results. Small companies do not have the manpower to function without key members of the time, whereas larger companies can spare individuals from each department. Though some smaller companies choose to train and develop in increments at a time and put them together in the end, instead of fully engaging in a Six Sigma at one time.
It is necessary to have at least a single employee to undergo Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma at any time in order to provide training to the other employees. Many companies find it beneficial to hire outside help in order to train staff without disrupting day to day operations.
About the Author: Shruti Bhat PhD, MBA, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Dr. Shruti Bhat is an award-winning Business Excellence Leader, Global Continuous Improvement Mastermind, Best-selling Author and Speaker. She is Continuous Improvement Advisor to several start-ups, mid-size and growing firms in Canada, USA, India, Africa and Emerging markets. She has authored eight business books and is an invited speaker at several national and international conferences, symposia and workshops.
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