Six Sigma Phases and Lean Principles for Safety

Lean Leader’s Commitment to Safety

It is a crucial aspect of any organization’s work to provide appropriate safety measures for its employees. As a lean leader, I realize my responsibility in this sphere and understand that I should demonstrate a personal commitment to safety in the company. While organizing safety measures may be time- and cost-consuming, it is always justifiable since people’s health and lives are above any financial value. However, it is necessary to minimize the expenses while simultaneously providing the most efficient safety techniques within the organization.

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The first thing necessary to organize is the integration of safety into both the operational and support processes of our work (Susca, 2017). To promote such synthesis, the leader should organize educational programs for the employees. For instance, I might incorporate dangerous energy control in the work instruction. Also, it is a good idea to perform job safety analysis and use the result of such analysis for building further safety strategies.

Another way of making the organization a safer place is to involve every employee in the process of controlling safety measures. One person should not be responsible for everything within the company (Susca, 2017). I will make the appropriate safety requirements visual and accessible to everyone. By doing so, I will enable each employee to notice anything wrong and report about the situation.

The third effective way of being safety-committed is creating the shortcuts. Normally, people are omitting the safety measures because they do not want to spend extra time on something they do not consider important or their responsibility (Susca, 2017). Therefore, it is necessary to organize the work in such a way that the employees would feel not forced but encouraged to pay attention to safety.

Comparison and Contrast of Six Sigma and Lean Principles

The process of Six Sigma is constituted of five phases that have an acronym DMAIC for the title (Patel, 2016). These phases are:

  1. define (the identification of the problem);
  2. measure (the measurement of the ongoing process);
  3. analyze (the analysis of the problems and coming up with possible resolutions);
  4. improve (the enhancement of the situation by putting solutions into action);
  5. control (the management of the situation by guaranteeing the sustainability of the positive changes) (Patel, 2016).

Six Sigma is one of the two processes believed to eliminate waste in the production process, the other one being lean principles. Six Sigma and lean principles have similar goals: they both aim at eliminating waste and organizing the most productive system available. Another common feature between these two principles of gaining production efficiency is that both of them are capable of enhancing customer satisfaction and product quality by improving the processes.

However, along with this major similarity, Lean and Six Sigma have a great divergence, it being the identification of the core reason for waste. Those who practice lean principles are convinced that waste appears due to the redundant stages of the production process that do not increase the value of the final product. In their turn, the practitioners of Six Sigma believe that waste is the outcome of process variations. Another divergent feature is that Six Sigma concentrates its endeavors on reaching steady outcomes while lean’s major aim is to intensify the workflow.

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Since Six Sigma and lean have a lot of productive features, many organizations combine the elements of these two systems to make their work process more efficient.


Patel, S. (2016). The tactical guide to Six Sigma implementation. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Susca, P. (2017). Think lean to make safety simpler. IndustryWeek. Web.

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