The continuing evolution of Lean Six Sigma

John Maleyeff, Edward A. Arnheiter, Venkat Venkateswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify upcoming challenges related to the implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles and techniques. Particular emphasis is placed on the changes needed to ensure that LSS continues to support an organization's competitiveness. Design/methodology/ approach - The methodology begins with a review of the projections of business experts as they relate to the practice of LSS. Then, the ASQ Six Sigma Body of Knowledge forms the basis of a reconciliation of these changes and the methods currently employed by LSS practitioners. Finally, four main modifications to standard LSS are proposed. Findings - In total, four implications to LSS practice are defined (rigorous value definition, vigorous accounting for risk, global workforce considerations, and international regulatory concerns); specifics are offered that explain how LSS practitioners need to respond. A construct is presented illustrating how the complexity of a LSS project will be affected by the four implications. Practical implications - Changes that supplement or replace LSS tools and techniques are suggested, including; a more robust methodology for value definition, expansion of the importance of risk assessment, appreciation for international regulations, and understanding how to motivate workers in various jobs, locations, and cultures. Coverage of manufacturing issues should not be sacrificed for the incorporation of these concepts. Originality/value - The construct developed can be effective in a number of ways, including assisting project teams with understanding the scale of the effort needed, the key skills necessary for project team members, and the selection among a number of candidate projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-555
Number of pages14
JournalTQM Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Lean production
  • Manufacturing systems
  • Quality programmes
  • Six Sigma
  • Total quality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'The continuing evolution of Lean Six Sigma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this