Application of Lean Six Sigma a Literature Review

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Date Submitted: 11/26/2012 07:25 AM

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Application of Lean Six Sigma – A Literature Review


Abstract 2

Introduction 2

Key Focus areas for Lean Six Sigma implementation 3

Lean Six Sigma Implementation Approach 4

Lean Six Sigma Tools & techniques 5

Case studies 6

Conclusion 6

Bibliography / References 6


The purpose of this study is to investigate the application of Lean Six Sigma in manufacturing, services and public sectors respectively. Focus will be on highlighting the differences in approach and techniques used for implementing lean six sigma in above mentioned sectors.

This study is based on the information gathered from various literary works including books and journals published on lean six sigma adoption and implementation.


The term ‘Lean’ was originally coined for the manufacturing sector by James Womack and Daniel Roos (1990)[2] in their book The Machine that Changed the World. According to Womack and Roos (1990)[2] “lean methodology is based on the Toyota production system and focused on continuously minimizing waste including defects to maximize flow in the production system by streamlining and optimizing processes.”

Six Sigma methodology on the other hand originated at Motorola in 1986. According to Snee (2010) [6] , “Six Sigma is focused on process excellence by improving quality and controlling variation within process through defect reduction and cause and effect analysis.”

According to George (2002)[1] most six sigma tools are concerned only with defect elimination and do not focus on time and hence cannot improve process speed. He also points out that lean alone cannot reduce variation in the process. In short he wants to emphasize on the fact that Lean and Six sigma complement each other and when applied together will provide dramatic improvements in quality, process speed and hence customer satisfaction. According to Snee (2010) [6], “Lean Six Sigma Approach combines the three aspects i.e. integration of the human and...