Understanding Lean and Six Sigma

What is Lean?

The term, “Lean”, was coined in the late 1980’s to describe Toyota’s unique approach to achieving world class results, in comparison to traditional, mass production approaches employed by automotive industry giants such as Ford and GM.

“Lean production…is ‘lean’ because it uses less of everything compared with mass production – half the human effort in the factory, half the manufacturing space, half the investment in tools, half the engineering hours to develop a new product in half the time.”
The Machine that Changed the World
Womack, Jones, Roos ©1990, pg. 13

Lean-thinking organizations such as Toyota, achieve great results not by doing any one thing right. But rather, their success is derived from a way of thinking which gave way to an entire business system. Adaptive’s Lean Leadership training, developed directly from experience working within Toyota, can help you understand the “Toyota way of thinking” and the elements of a Lean thinking system, how a leader in such an organization must think and act, and a framework to guide your transformational efforts in your own organization.

What is Six Sigma?

One essential element of a great organization is the ability of its employees to solve problems. Adaptive understands that the tools needed to solve a problem depend on the problem being solved. When a complex problem requiring a more statistically driven solution arises, a Six Sigma-based approach may be the best option.

Six Sigma is a systematic, standardized, data-driven problem solving approach based on the scientific method. Adaptive offers Six Sigma training and certification for those seeking to add an additional skill set to their organizations.

Will Lean thinking work for my organization?

Absolutely. Lean thinking focuses on improving people and processes; all businesses are comprised, in part, of both. Whether your organization is large or small, public or private, produces an engineered-to-order product or a service, Lean thinking can significantly increase your customers’ satisfaction and your profits. However, regardless of “methodology”, maximum benefit will not be realized without a defined strategy, an engaged leadership team, a culture centered around process improvement, and strong management and accountability system to help execute and sustain the changes.