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Kobayashi’s 20 keys are a checklist of manufacturing improvement concepts, whereas Six Sigma is an industry neutral, 5-step process improvement model that takes a single opportunity from a problem statement to a sustained implementation. Many of The 20 Keys’ concepts are used in Lean Six Sigma but they are included within the relevant phases; Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve or Control. The 20 Keys can be very useful as a guide for a manufacturing audit.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.