What is Lean six sigma?

Lean six sigma is the combination of 2 independent philosophies, so before we can begin to look at this combined philosophy, it would make sense to dissect each of the independent philosophies first.


Six sigma

Essentially Six sigma is a set of tools and techniques that uses data at its heart to measure how many defects there exists in a process and then systematically eliminates the said defects until the defect levels are minuscule and maximising value. There isn’t a business process or business aspect that six sigma cannot improve.


Sigma in statistical terms is a Greek letter that denotes deviation from the mean. the number 6, refers to the sigma level. The table below showcases the different sigma levels and the corresponding defects per million opportunities. The 6th level is the one where a process is considered to have the optimum number of defects per million opportunities.

Six Sigma 

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So when we say that we are aiming for a process or system to reach a six sigma level, we mean that it should not have more than 3.4 errors per million opportunities in which errors could occur.


The core tenet of the lean philosophy revolves around maximising value for the customer whilst reducing resources, time, energy and effort. A company that has a lean mindset is able to enhance their levels of market competitiveness and innovation.


Through the use of the lean methodology, a company will be able to reduce the following 8 wastes.

source : lean6sigma4all

So why Lean Six Sigma?

The use of more problem solving tools and techniques will help to solve larger numbers and varieties of business problems. Exponents of the lean and six sigma philosophy began to see a symbiosis between the 2 philosophies. There was a concerted effort to combine the quality improving aspects of six sigma and the removing waste aspect of lean. The resultant philosophy, which amplifies the strengths of each individual philosophy whilst at the same time reducing their individual weaknesses, came to be known as Lean Six Sigma (LSS).

We conduct our trainings on various 'belts' within the LSS system. Follow the buttons below to find out more.