Lean Six Sigma

DEFINITION of 'Lean Six Sigma'

Lean Six Sigma is a managerial approach that combines Six Sigma methods and tools and the lean manufacturing/lean enterprise philosophy, striving to eliminate waste of physical resources, time, effort and talent, while assuring quality in production and organizational processes.

BREAKING DOWN 'Lean Six Sigma'

Lean Six Sigma was introduced by Michael George and Robert Lawrence Jr. in their 2002 book Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma with Lean Speed. Lean Six Sigma refers to the eight types of waste it strives to eliminate as "DOWNTIME," which is an abbreviation of "defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion and extra-processing." Simply put, any use of resources that doesn't create value for the end customer is considered a waste and should be eliminated. Lean Six Sigma training uses "Belt" levels similar to Six Sigma.