Lean or Six Sigma? (Infographic)

Lean and Six Sigma, two popular process improvement methods, work together as Lean Six Sigma to help people and organizations achieve their goals of making customers happy, engaging workforces, reducing errors and costs, and much more.

Here are the differences between them and the benefits when they’re combined.

Infographic: Lean - or - Six Sigma? -

Do you have a favorite soup? Do you like a Lean Gumbo? Or do you prefer a Six Sigma Stew? The strength of your efforts depends upon what goes in the bowl. Why limit yourself? Let the situation serve up the soup. Use all your options – Lean and Six Sigma – to achieve your goals and ensure your success.


Six Sigma

  • DMAIC – A five-step process improvement method (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
  • Project Charter – A one-page document that lays out the process problem, goal, scope, timeline and basic outline of an improvement project
  • Data Collection Plan – A guide to what data will be collected, by whom, how and when
  • Basic Statistics – Measures of the average, median, range and standard deviation of any data set
  • Histogram – A Graph that provides a snapshot of a data set displaying the spread, shape, average and range of the data
  • Pareto Chart – A cascading Bar Chart that displays the sources of process issues from the biggest source to the smallest
  • Measurement Systems Analysis – A way to test the accuracy, repeatability, reproducibility and precision of data collection
  • Hypothesis Testing – A way to provide statistical rigor to theories about the root causes of process issues
  • Design of Experiments – Controlled tests to assess the effectiveness of different ways to run a process with the goal of picking the best conditions, materials and methods
  • Statistical Process Control – Monitoring a process to ensure that it consistently meets customer requirements
  • Control Chart – A powerful time plot used in statistical process control signals the presence of special cause variation in a process

It doesn’t matter where the tool comes from – what matters is solving the problem!

Lean + Six Sigma Common Benefits

Stronger Customer Focus

  • “Live in a constant state of awesomeness!” – Kimberly Fleming

Engaged Workforce

  • “Customers will never love a company unless employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

Problems Solved at the Root

  • “Why is it that we never have enough time to do it right the first time, but we always have enough time to do it over?” – Jack Bergman

Error Reduction

  • “The only real mistake is one from which you learn nothing.” – Henry Ford

Increased Capacity

  • “The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Greater Efficiency

  • “Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.” – Peter Drucker

Minimized Costs

  • “Creativity before cash!” – Mike Osterling

Maximized Profits

  • “Profit in business comes from repeat customers. Customers that boast about your product or service and bring friends with them.” – W. Edwards Deming

Operational Excellence

  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Lean and Six Sigma are two great toolkits and together they provide all the support you need to delight customers, reduce costs and build strong teams. Embrace the power of “Yes, and” instead of “Either or” – life is richer with options!

GLSS is the leading provider of Lean Six Sigma Training & Certification. Our integrated Project-Based Learning approach helps everyone complete Lean Six Sigma projects 3x faster than outdated approaches. Partner with us to create a Culture of Continuous Improvement.

What courses would you like to see from GLSS? Check all that apply.

start training

try it free




try it


Accredited by PMI. 100% Online & Self-Paced.