Are Lean vs. Six Sigma vs. Lean Six Sigma Different, Similar, or Compatible?

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on March 15, 2022

There’s more at stake here than a misunderstanding and a headache. Misunderstandings regarding Six Sigma, Lean, and Lean Six Sigma sometimes lead to individuals or entire companies enrolling in training that falls short of their expectations. Let’s clarify the aims of each of these approaches, as well as their similarities and differences.

Six Sigma stands for “Efficiency First.”

Six Sigma is based on the examination of cause and effect, which leads to enhanced process quality by reducing process variance. Processes become more predictable and controlled, in other words.

Six Sigma has its origins in statistical methodologies from the early European industrial age in the 1700s, although it is most widely identified with Motorola in the 1980s in the United States. New product creation, process improvement, and customer satisfaction are just a few of the sectors and corporate processes that benefit from the business improvement technique.

Six Sigma is used to improve not only individual goods and processes but also whole companies. The technique not only aids in achieving the results that all organizations seek (such as increased revenue and client retention), but it also aids in instilling a culture of productivity, efficiency, and engagement.

Lean: Value Add Only

In manufacturing, service delivery, and general business operations, Lean focuses on identifying and eliminating all types of waste. Lean works to eliminate procedures that do not add direct value to the product or service at hand, and it is used to optimize production and administrative operations.

Check out the 7 Wastes of Lean for a better understanding of the kind of activities that are avoided.

  1. Transportation
  2. Inventory
  3. Motion
  4. Waiting
  5. Defects
  6. Overproduction
  7. Overprocessing

When properly applied, the technique produces a clean, efficient process that adds value to the end-user. Lean companies concentrate on eliminating non-value-added activities from individual processes and the entire business. What’s the result? The highest level of operational excellence.

The Results-Generating Duo of Lean Six Sigma

Six Sigma and Lean are not mutually exclusive approaches that must be deployed separately. In fact, for a more unified approach, Six Sigma and Lean may be used together under the banner of Lean Six Sigma. Six Sigma’s tools and methodologies enable businesses to pinpoint the cause and impact of process inputs and outputs. Lean eliminates waste from these processes and promotes operational excellence to provide maximum value to customers. Lean is focused on reducing the number of possibilities for failure, but Six Sigma is focused on lowering the probability of failure for each opportunity.

Higher-income, less waste, and improved processes are all advantages of Lean Six Sigma for businesses of all sizes and sectors.

The type of training you (or your organization) chooses will be influenced by the nature of your processes, the maturity of your company’s processes, and, most crucially, your personality and interests. Overall, businesses should strive to use all three techniques and will require personnel who are knowledgeable in each.


Here at CourseMonster, we know how hard it may be to find the right time and funds for training. We provide effective training programs that enable you to select the training option that best meets the demands of your company.

For more information, please get in touch with one of our course advisers today or contact us at training@coursemonster.com