What is Lean Six Sigma ? ' is now another associated question. Why it is not the same as Six Sigma, why the word lean attached to it...
In our normal day to day life, we usually use lean with the healthcare and dieting concept - to become lean - if you have already gained lots of fats. So people go on various diet exercises to make themselves leaner by getting rid of extra fat and in order to look younger & smarter.
The concept of 'lean' in the broader sense remains the same, but it applies to companies to make them rid of extra fat & useless waste.
In order to understand in business world - what is lean Six Sigma, it means to get rid of all the non-value added steps in a process activities and to make the processes more efficient & faster for the customers.
Applying Lean methodology approach is to gain fast results and aims at the low hanging fruit. It utilizes the same Six Sigma DMAIC methodology to achieve its results.
Lean Six Sigma primarily focuses on increasing the Speed of the processes and final deliveries for the customers, whereas Six Sigma primarily focuses on reducing the defects & variation in the products & service quality.
In one way, both product quality & speed, are interlinked. we cannot increase speed without removing the defects and variation. But that is a perfect combo. The differentiating factor between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma is the primary focus. Whether speed or overall product quality.
Depending upon the size of the company and its products and processes, sometimes, it is faster to go for Lean Six Sigma application and focusing more on the speed. If you want to reduce the loan approval process from 10 days to 3 days. Lean Six Sigma may help to get the project done.
Whereas in another different company, the focus may remain on the quality of the product. e.g. if you want the book printing without any errors of ink and grammar, every time, Six Sigma may make more sense here.
It all depends what kind of project is identified - whether to give it Six Sigma Lean shape or to achieve Six Sigma quality.
There is one very direct & precise book available which is also one of my favorite books on ' What is Lean Six Sigma ' by Mike George, Dave Rowlands, & Bill Kastle.
It is one of the simplistic explanation of Lean Six Sigma and connects well with the common person, who can very well understand about Lean Six Sigma concepts.
This book ' What is Lean Six Sigma ' helps to understand not only basics but provides adequate depth in a very straight & understandable manner.
This book is the right start and comprising of about 90 pages, it is an interesting read as well.
However, you can also find many other resources on this website to know more about what lean six sigma is all about.