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Dear “Lean Six Sigma” Crowd – Lean is About Quality, Too

Lean and Six Sigma are same in the sense that they eliminate processes that create waste, thus streamlining processes. Even though they are similar, they are both different, but can be combined to produce a powerful, proven technique of improving business efficiency and effectiveness. This method is known as Lean Six Sigma. In his article on leanblog.org, author Mark Graban discusses how the ‘Lean’ part is not only about speed. It represents quality as well.

Lean Equals Both Quality and Speed

The “Lean Six Sigma” community is commonly distorting Lean. The basics of it is that Lean is seen as speed process as Six Sigma is seen as a quality process. Graban quotes,

This is factually incorrect, this notion that Lean is just about speed. It’s incorrect to say that Lean doesn’t address quality, both directly (through methods like error proofing and root cause problem solving) and indirectly (the improvements in quality that tend to come with better flow).

Lean isn’t just about speed and claiming that it doesn’t address quality as well, is wrong.

Toyota Uses Lean

To illustrate the qualities of Lean being both about quality and flow, Graban provides the example of Toyota’s Production System. The “Toyota House” has two pillars: Just-in-Time (flow) and Jidoka (quality at the source). Observing Toyota’s rich history for quality, there is no denying that lean is about quality and flow. In fact, they go hand in hand as “improving quality leads to better flow, better flow(through) less batching) leads to better quality.”

The Lean Six Sigma methodology is a powerful process-improvement program. However, the next time you hear Lean being referred to as a process only about speed, be sure to correct it. It may be about speed, but it also focuses on quality.

Click here to read the full article: http://www.leanblog.org/2011/08/dear-lean-six-sigma-crowd-lean-is-about-quality-too/

About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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