Purpose – To eliminate many misconceptions regarding Six Sigma and lean management by describing each system and the key concepts and techniques that underlie their implementation. This discussion is followed by a description of what lean organizations can gain from Six Sigma and what Six Sigma organizations can gain from lean management. Design/methodology/approach – Comparative study of Six Sigma and lean management using available literature, critical analysis, and knowledge and professional experience of the authors. Findings – The joint implementation of the programs will result in a lean, Six Sigma (LSS) organization, overcoming the limitations of each program when implemented in isolation. A thorough analysis of the two programs provides some likely reasons why the programs alone may fail to achieve absolute perfection. Practical implications – A lean, Six Sigma (LSS) organization would capitalize on the strengths of both lean management and Six Sigma. An LSS organization would include three primary tenets of lean management, and the LSS organization would include three primary tenets of Six Sigma. Originality/value – Suggestions are made regarding concepts and methods that would constitute a lean, Six Sigma organization. Figures summarize the nature of improvements that may occur in organizations that practice lean management or Six Sigma, and the corresponding improvements that an integrated program could offer.
The TQM Magazine – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 2005
Keywords: Quality programmes; Just in time; Total quality management; Manufacturing systems
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