A Lean approach focuses on eliminating waste and optimizing the flow using various proven methods.
The main focus is on the customer, to address value-added (VA) and non-value-added (NVA) tasks. Creating a flow through Lean is to deliver products and services just in time (JIT), in the precise quantity, and at proper quality levels at the right place. By design a knowledge broker adopts a lean methodology.
Six Sigma focuses on minimizing process variation through problem-solving and statistical tools. Similar to Lean, Six Sigma is centered around a customer-focused improvement strategy. Six Sigma attempts to diminish defects and variation of critical variables to obtain an achievement of 3.4 defects per million opportunities in product design, production, and administrative processes.
Six Sigma uses five phases:
- Define the problem
- Measure the process
- Analyze for root causes
- Improve by eliminating or reducing root causes
- Control the improved process to hold the gains
An synergetic approach to process improvement using Lean and Six Sigma principles is required, as mutually Lean and Six Sigma characterize more of a cultural change in the way that a company does business rather than one-time tools to be used for quick improvement. Without a model to allow inclusion of the tools, the proper perspective of the tools may be lost.