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Lean Six Sigma Tools

This set of tools and concepts drives improvement of Operational Excellence and Customer Intimacy

Lean Six Sigma contains an impressive suite of tools that are continually growing.   The Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt assists Black and Green Belts in the utilization of these tools.   Bring these Lean Six Sigma Tools to bear on improving your business:

  • Value Stream
    An aggregation of processes that add value for a customer. From first customer interaction to final customer delivery. The Value Stream is used to remove actions and activities that do not add value for the customer.
  • SWOT – a competitive analysis process to give a business a basis understanding.
    • Strengths
    • Weakness
    • Opportunities
    • Threats
  • PEST – The concept is similar to SWOT but from a different perspective. Both or one methodology could be used depending on the business environment.
    • Political
    • Economic
    • Social
    • Technological.
  • TRIZ
    Genrich Altshuller reviewed 40,000 patents and found that there was a lot of similarity of inventions. He developed a methodology that takes you from your problem to potential solutions. This is useful for design.
  • Project Charter
    The living document that contains the prerequisites and process needed for a successful project. Used for DMAIC (Improve an existing process) and DFSS (Design for Six Sigma, an new process).
  • Project Selection Matrix
    A matrix that applies a selection process to weight and select processes to work on.
  • Affinity Diagram
    A tool that segregates a large amount of variant data. Typically used to group brainstorming results.
  • Capability Indices
    A calculation of a single number that will overview a processes ability to meet specifications.
  • Critical to Customer
    The CTCs are what is important to a customer in their language
  • FMEA – an effective tool to bring to light all failures in design, a manufacturing process, a service or product. It predicts problems you may encounter.
    • Failure
    • Mode
    • Effects
    • Analysis
  • QFD/House of Quality is a multifaceted translation process that moves customer Critical to Customer requirements to design Critical to Quality Requirements. Lean Business added “risk” because risk always exists and can be quantified.
    • Quality
    • Function
    • Deployment
  • Critical to Quality
    CTQ includes the the internal quality parameters that relate the design to the customer requirements.
  • Cause and Effect Diagram
    A diagram that shows different levels of detail as it expands. The concept is similar to the Critical to Quality Tree. A detail example could be risk. There is risk and the expansion into the types or sources of risk. The Cause and Effect Diagram expose this information
  • Pugh Matrix
    This is a matrix that uses criteria, datum and concepts to narrow criteria and facilitate a structured selection of a concept.
  • Standardized Work
    Takt Time, Sequence of Activities, Inventory.
  • Visual Workplace
    Visual document tool placement.
  • RACI Diagram
    A powerful diagram that relates all they decision making against individuals. This allows you to quickly connect an authority with a responsibility.
  • SIPOC – A shorthand representation of a process. Including inputs and outputs. Inputs include:
    • Supplier
    • Inputs
    • Process
    • Output
    • Customers
  • This is list of integrated non Lean Six Sigma Tool concepts:

    • Continuous Improvement (Kaizen) – Continuous Improvement requires both a philosophy and a process. It must pervade the organization.
    • Theory of Constraints (TOC) -The concept of removing constraints from your organization in order to increase performance.
    • COQ (Cost of Quality) -Quality has a cost. It has a cost to reputation, to production, and to performance.
    • One-Piece flow -The nirvana of a perfect organization. Processes hand-off their product to the next process just as they are receiving their product. This is unattainable but should be the goal of every organization.
    • Gage R&R (Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility) -This is a statistical tool used to determine the contribution to the data value by the testing process itself.
    • 5 Whys -A process of rapidly determining the root cause of the problem. This is done by repetitively asking a question.
    • 5 S – Workplace guidance for efficiency.
      • Sort
      • Shine
      • Straighten
      • Standardize
      • Sustain
    • JIT (Just in Time) – The arrival of a supply or product just when it is needed.
    • DOE (Design of Experiments) – A methodology to test whether the inputs generate the outputs expected. This test is complex and usually performed on expensive processes.
    • hoshin kanri (Policy Deployment) – A method used to propagate strategies.This generates action based on the corporate strategy all through the organization.
    • X Matrix – This is a one page document of the strategy.It includes goals, strategies, initiatives, and owners.
    • Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award – Our national award for quality. It covers many categories and supports applicants with experts in their area.
    • Brainstorming – A way of rapidly generating ideas. It has the benefit of propagating ideas from other ideas.
    • Kanban – A method of notifying a downstream process that the upstream process needs more material or information. Used with JIT.
    • Kano Analysis -Is a model used to investigate customer required characteristics and the satisfaction that each characteristic deliverance.
    • MSA (Measurement System Analysis) – This is collected to determine that the process variation is coming from the process itself not from how the data was collected.
    • Poka Yoke – A mechanism that keeps the operator from making a mistake.
    • Advanced Statistics
    • Test Name

      What is tested

      Test Statistic


      Distribution Requirement or Test

      ANOVA Mean F-Statistic Measurement variation Normal
      Gage R&R Measurement Variation
      Kappa Analysis Repeatability & Reproducibility K-Statistic Test measurement error None
      Anderson-Darling Normality Test Normal distribution



      Do samples conform to a normal distribution Tests against normality
      Binomial Probability of discrete events p-Value Probabilities of discrete events Assigns discrete probabilities
      One Sample Proportion Test Mean Z-Statistic Statistics of discrete events Z Distribution
      F-Test Variance F-Statistic Valuable when deviating from normality F Distribution
      Mann-Whitney Test Medians



      Non-parametric test. Mean of  samples are the same Not Normal Distribution
      Levene’s Test Variances are equal L-Statistic Non-parametric test. Variances are the same. F Distribution
      Mood’s Test Median chi2-Statistic Non-parametric test. Medians are equal.  Chi2 Distribution
      Friedman’s Test Treatments F-Statistic Treatments are equal  Chi2 Distribution

      Related Videos:

      This Lean Six Sigma Tool shows the Power of a Value Stream:

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