It seems “Lean Six Sigma” has been on the minds of some bloggers lately. There was a great discussion over at the Gemba Research blog here. I saw Rob commented on the topic here. Last, but certainly not least, the folks at the Scratching Post had some opinions (which, I admit, the poster made me laugh) here. And thanks for the nice plug KT Cat! I like your blog. Keep speaking your mind. The world needs to be challenged once in awhile. Not to be outdone I would like to say a few words about what “Lean Six Sigma” means to moi. First of all, I am not a proponent of teaching LSS as one methodology. In fact, I think this is a dangerous thing to do as it diminishes the true power of each methodology.
It should be made clear that Lean and Six Sigma are different. They complement each other perfectly, but they are different. It is these unique differences that drive me to recommend teaching them separately.
Many people like to say that LSS is just marketing and helps consultants sell books. While there may be some truth to this I find that, more often than not, the people making these claims are just jealous, and in some cases angry, they didn’t think of it first. Often times, these are just CAVE people that simply feel good when complaining about something.
My take on this hot topic is simple. Become proficient at both Lean and Six Sigma and then apply the tools when it makes sense. If you are proficient at both methodologies it will be easy to know when you should go Lean versus when you should go Six Sigma.
Make no mistake, those people willing to learn both Lean and Six Sigma will be in a much better position than someone proficient in only one methodology. This, my fellow continuous improvement practitioners, is a certainty.
If you have a hot sports opinion on this topic, pray tell. Until next time, I wish you all the best on your journey towards continuous improvement.