Lean Six Sigma vs. Operational Excellence
There seems to be a lot of noise and general misconceptions about Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Operational Excellence (OE). Are they different terms for the same thing? Are they just different approaches to the same end goal? If they are different, which one is right for me?
This is not an inconsequential topic since both are considered approaches to Continuous Improvement (CI). Studies have found over half of executives say their CI programs have failed to produce the expected results and over 2/3 say their programs need to be changed or reconsidered. Without clear expectations, both on the expected benefits and the required investment and organizational commitment to make them work, expectations can easily be missed. Avoiding this requires having a clear idea of the difference between alternative approaches to CI and why some work in some situations but not others.