Six Sigma and lean manufacturing both are toolkits that are helpful to reduce the waste involved in business processes. Lean Manufacturing is a philosophy of management, which means it deals with reducing all types of wastes. Six Sigma focuses on process improvement and making improvements based on statistical methods.

The two tools have some overlap but they also have differences too: Six Sigma has more rigorous measures for success while Lean Manufacturing consultants Yorkshire help achieve an ideal state without being as strict.

Here are Key Differences:

Six Sigma and lean manufacturing both are toolkits that are helpful to reduce the waste involved in business processes. Business improvement consultants use both of these methods but use different sets of tools to implement these.

  • Lean does not use documentation or standardization whereas Six Sigma does have a need for these things.


  • In Six Sigma, every process is assigned a team that should be responsible for it and eliminates any possible root cause which may hinder productivity. On the other hand, in lean, teams are formed with respect to their specialization and are selected according to the needs of a particular process.


  • Lean Manufacturing is the first step to reduce the cost and increase the turnover by reliably and systematically wiping out functions that do not add value in any business process. Six Sigma, on the other hand, is a set of business practices that help to reduce defects in manufacturing and service operations.


  • Lean Manufacturing works on five principles, and on the other hand, Six-sigma has a DMAIC(Define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) model.


  • Lean Manufacturing is less costly, and Six Sigma is more of a costlier investment.


  • Lean Manufacturing also helps in an efficient way to reduce the number of customer complaints as well as eliminate many production errors due to flaws in product design.


  • Another difference between Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma is that Lean Manufacturing uses experiments, feedback loops, and quick tests while Six Sigma relies on statistical tools like control charts for process monitoring.


There is no one best method for everyone. It all depends on the needs of a particular company, whether they are looking to cut costs or improve their quality of production and service.

The bottom line of Six Sigma manufacturing and lean manufacturing is that Lean Manufacturing is more customer-oriented, while Six Sigma focuses on eliminating all defects which may hinder productivity. 

Six Sigma Manufacturing and Lean Manufacturing consultants both help in reducing waste by being focused on processes that can be improved but the difference between Six Sigma Manufacturing and Lean Manufacturing is significant.

Six Sigma is costlier than lean manufacturing which mainly focuses on removing waste through process improvements while Six Sigma aims at preventing defects from happening in the first place.