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Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma Quality with Lean Production Speed Hardcover – April 25, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Breakthrough Program for Increasing Quality, Shortening Cycle Times, and Creating Shareholder Value In Every Area of Your Organization

Time and quality are the two most important metrics in improving any company's production and profit performance. Lean Six Sigma explains how to impact your company's performance in each, by combining the strength of today's two most important initiatives­­Lean Production and Six Sigma­­into one integrated program.

The first book to provide a step-by-step roadmap for profiting from the best elements of Lean and Six Sigma, this breakthrough volume will show you how to:

  • Achieve major cost and lead time reductions this year
  • Compress order-to-delivery cycle times
  • Battle process variation and waste throughout your organization

Separately, Lean Production and Six Sigma have changed the face of the manufacturing business. Together, they become an unprecedented tool for improving product and process quality, production efficiency, and across-the-board profitability. Lean Six Sigma introduces you to today's most dynamic program for streamlining the performance of both your production department and your back office, and providing you with the cost reduction and quality improvements you need to stay one step ahead of your competitors.

"Lean Six Sigma shows how Lean and Six Sigma methods complement and reinforce each other. If also provides a detailed roadmap of implementation so you can start seeing significant returns in less than a year."--­­From the Preface

Businesses fundamentally exist to provide returns to their stakeholders. Lean Six Sigma outlines a program for combining the synergies of these two initiatives to provide your organization with greater speed, less process variation, and more bottom-line impact than ever before.

A hands-on guidebook for integrating the production efficiencies of the Lean Enterprise with the cost and quality tools of Six Sigma, this breakthrough book features detailed insights on:

  • The Lean Six Sigma Value Proposition­­How combining Lean and Six Sigma provides unmatched potential for improving shareholder value
  • The Lean Six Sigma Implementation Process­­How to prepare your organization for a seamless incorporation of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques
  • Leveraging Lean Six Sigma­­Strategies for extending Lean Six Sigma's reach within and beyond your corporate walls

"Variation is evil."--­­Jack Welch

Six Sigma was the zero-variation quality lynchpin around which Jack Welch transformed GE into one of the world's most efficient­­and valuable­­corporations. Lean Production helped Toyota cut waste, slash costs, and substantially improve resource utilization and cycle times.

Yet, as both would admit, there was still room for improvement.

Lean Six Sigma takes you to the next level of improvement, one that for the first time unites product and process excellence with the goal of enhancing shareholder value creation. Providing insights into the application of Lean Six Sigma to both the manufacturing processes and the less-data-rich service and transactional processes, it promises to revolutionize the performance efficiencies in virtually every area of your organization­­as it positively and dramatically impacts your shareholder value.

About the Author

Michael L. George is founder and president of George Group which, with over 70 consultants, is the largest Six Sigma consulting practice in the United States. The firm also provides its clients with a wealth of experience in Lean Methods, Supply Chain Acceleration, and other essential business strategies.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071385215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071385213
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert A. Drensek on December 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have been on the lean journey for over 4 years, and just started on 6 sigma. I have completed course work for a black belt and need to complete the project. This is just to provide a basic reference for my comments. (Update: 7 years lean & 6 sigma black belt)

The book is good and technically accurate. It is written by a consultancy, with a not totally overt message to hire them. They do not go in to the detailed nuts and bolts of 6 sigma or lean. If that is what you want, look elsewhere. They do discuss both, with more on lean than six sigma. Heavy emphasis on change management and leadership involvement (as it should be).

They have their angle on approach, which seems the case with most consultants (everyone has their flavor), but it is not out of line with the orthodoxy of either discipline.

The best benefit is how they integrate both disciplines. This integration was not an overt display with in the book, and that maybe intentional.
There is a line of thinking that Lean and 6 Sigma are two sides of the same coin, or a ying and yang to continuous improvement. The authors seem to go down this road. They take a project management approach, and in project definition try to decide if this is a 6 sigma or lean project. It wasn't crystal clear what they do if it is blended. My take away is that you blend your approach. This may mean spin-off projects from the main project or a longer total duration as you work through the lean and 6 sigma issues.

It is worth getting and reading. The DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) is better done elsewhere. Lean sigma is relatively new, so expect more books on different approaches. I like the integrated approach, pick the dominant theme and use those tools. Address issues as they come up. Move the ball.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't let a luke-warm review of this book distract you from the value of Six Sigma, which I'll presume that you are at least interested in. I'll try and save you some time.
If you are a CEO, and have not yet been adequately introduced to Six Sigma, I recommend first purchasing "The Power of Six Sigma" (ISBN 0793144345, also available in audio CD). Once complete, consider purchasing this book ("Lean Six Sigma"). Read at least the first three chapters, which focus on contributions to the bottom line. If hooked, continue.
"The Power of Six Sigma" gives an overview, and the first section of Michael George's book illustrates why this is important to you.
If your are "in the trenches," follow the above steps, but focus on chapters 10 and 15 of "Lean Six Sigma." Between you and I, the most compelling parts of Michael George's book was the second covering the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) process (chap. 10), also available many places on the web, and the very last chapter, where the author talks about how Six Sigma applies in the product development world (chap. 15, which I found fascinating).
Don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of the Six Sigma methodology, but was often times quite frustrated by this book. When I wanted more detail on tools within the Six Sigma framework I found myself completing the Yellow Belt course through Moresteam.com. This book simply does not cover the tools within the DMAIC framework in a level of detail I consider adequate.
Many times I found myself laughing because I am not in fact the CEO of this company. She has already committed to Six Sigma, and we therefore have little choice. After getting into the meat of the methodology, even after early involvement in TQM and other efforts, I am quite impressed with this latest evolution.
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Format: Hardcover
This book aims at calculating shareholder value improvements as a function of quality improvements and process lead time improvements. The basic idea is absolutely right, however, the framework presented in the book is quite shallow, as it seems to target a wider audience, and therefore annoys those in search of truly scientific solutions.
My sceptical rating is based on the following observations:
(1) Mr Georges framework for Shareholder Value-Calculation is grossly simplified and often faulty.
Example: EVA is NOT equal to (ROIC - WACC) as Mr George says, but EVA = Invested Capital * (ROIC - WACC)
Anybody with a real understanding of EVA will rip this book apart
(2) Mr Georges idea, that process time minimization and quality improvements are complementary goals, which one must solve simultaneously, is not new. The Boston Consulting Group did present the same idea in a much better book (STALK 'Competing on time' 1990) about 12 years ago. BCG based their ideas on a system dynamics model (experience curves). Mr George adds six sigma, but fails to capture the analytical insights one can study in 'Competing on Time'.
(3) The book does contain some valuable 'hands-on-lessons', but they get lost in the otherwise wordy,shallow book
(4) This book is written in a colloquial, flowery sales-person style, which annoys the educated reader. It switches from shallow facts to anecdotes, quotations from gurus, and value judgements. The few valuable hands-on-lessons often get lost in a swamp of marketing-speak.
SUMMARY: This is a 'consulting-fad-article-blown-up-into-a-business-book'-Textbook.In comparison with other popular business books it is still acceptable, but hardly deserves the label scientific.
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