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Tools and Terms of Your Lean Six Sigma Toolbox

Lean Six Sigma tools for problem solving can be used by anyone, since they are pretty straightforward. Provided you know what the issue is, there is a Lean Six Sigma tool that can help.

lean six sigma toolbox

So we are going to go down a few of these Lean Six Sigma tools and terms and what they are used for. Remember these are just some examples; how these tools can be used is only limited by your creativity.

Tools and Terms of Lean Six Sigma

  1. Cause and Effect Diagram: this tool is a great tool for visually seeing the relationships between multiple causes and the effects they produce.
  2. Fishbone Diagram: this diagram resembles a fish and can be used as a cause and effect diagram. The spine represents the effect and the branches can represent various causes.
  3. The 5 Whys: this is an excellent tool where you keep asking why as you get deeper until you get to the root cause of the problem. This way you can implement the proper countermeasures to fix the issue.
  4. Kaizen: an honorary lean tool that was adopted into Lean Six Sigma. It is a Japanese word meaning “change for the better” and it is used for continuous small improvements, involving all staff members.
  5. Value Stream Analysis: this is an analytical tool that monitors all activities done and is depicted visually in a Value Stream Map. Here you can see what activities don’t add value and which ones are necessary, meaning they add value to the product or service.
  6. Root Cause: this is the ultimate cause of the problem/issue.
  7. PDCA Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act): this is a 4-step plan used to solve issues in quality control. It is also known as the Deming Cycle, Shewhart Cycle or Deming Wheel.

This is just a partial list. Interested in learning more about these tools and terms? Why not enroll in one of our Six Sigma training classes? For more information on our courses or services, please visit


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