You may have heard various terms describing Lean philosophy. You may have heard talk of Six Sigma, different belts, and Six Sigma variations for different industries. What does it all mean?

Six Sigma is a set of tools used to control business processes by reducing defects and improving quality. It is based on the idea that defects result from deviation, and that therefore there should be no more than six sigma (standard deviations) between a process and its norm. Six Sigma involves understanding customer needs, analyzing data, and process improvement. A Six Sigma Belt (yellow, green, or black) denotes a particular level of expertise.

Lean refers to a set of tools that are designed to improve flow and reduce waste during a business process or material production. They can be used within Six Sigma efforts or on their own.