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Six Sigma vs Lean Six Sigma: What's the Difference?

12th Sep, 2023
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    Six Sigma vs Lean Six Sigma: What's the Difference?

    Effective use of resources is essential to eliminate waste, keep defects at bay, and get expected results in the best possible manner. To achieve this, every business owner must work on streamlining the tasks and carry out the process with thorough planning to ensure the best products and services reach the customers. The improved quality you get helps improve the market reputation, and your revenue will increase exponentially in no time!

    The experts who directly handle these operations often go for certifications to learn to manage projects. Two fundamental certifications train the experts to achieve that efficiency level. One is Six Sigma, and the other one is Lean Six Sigma. The lean six sigma certification gets classified into belts, ranging from black to the master black belt. People often start a debate about Lean six sigma green belt v/s black belt, trying to figure out which one is the best. Let us discuss both the certifications in detail and give you valid reasons and solid points to choose one out of the two. If you are also trying to gain expertise in this domain, you should dig deeper and look for the six sigma green belt certification requirements and join a renowned course. 

    What is a Six Sigma Green Belt?

    It is a level of the lean six sigma certification, under which the individuals learn the various problem-solving skills and the way to implement them in everyday tasks. This knowledge helps individuals grab better job opportunities with competitive salary packages. Moreover, it also helps them perform better in their current job roles and secure their position. Initially, this certification and the techniques were only for people in the manufacturing industry. However, as time passed by, every industry started adapting to it.

    So, anyone working on the six sigma projects can work to get certified with the IASSC (International Association for Six Sigma Certification) green belt. In the beginning, you should go for the green one and keep leveling up to earn a black belt. But before you begin preparing for it or enrol yourself in one, you need to discuss lean six sigma green v/s black belt.

    To stay abreast of SSGB, visit essential guide to six sigma green belt certification

    What is Lean?

    As Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma are two fundamental certifications taken up by the experts, you first need to know what lean means. Lean is the systematic way to eliminate flaws, reduce resource wastage, and bring the best products or services to their customers. Therefore, a lean approach can ensure minimum wastage and higher customer satisfaction. Some of the perks of this approach which you can expect are: 

    • Reduces the total number of processes in a cycle, eliminating the unnecessary ones. 
    • It improves the project delivery time, ending with all kinds of delays.
    • Eradicates all the chances of defects or faults that can compromise the product quality. 
    • Ensuring better use of the resources and in the right direction to run a cost-effective and productive business. 

    This approach is what every professional struggling to reach a conclusion between Six Sigma green belt v/s Lean Six Sigma green belt chooses.

    What is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt?

    To get an apt answer for lean six sigma green belt v/s six sigma green belt, you need to understand what Lean Six Sigma green belt is and how it is helpful.

    As the lean approach is about eliminating errors and achieving utmost efficiency, the green belt in this certification is about the same. Any individual working to achieve this certification level focuses on the DMAIC (Define Measure Analyze Improve Control) model. It is an elaborate process that helps define, measure, analyze, improve, and control the entire process. After getting certified, the professional become qualified enough to handle the small six sigma projects that do not require the advanced level knowledge of a black belt.

    So, when it comes to lean six sigma black belt v/s green belt, the green belt would be enough if it is only the beginning level and you do not work on projects that require the full-time commitment of a black belt holder. You can join KnowledgeHut’s six sigma green belt certification course and know the exam requirements to begin your journey appropriately. In this course, you will learn about the domain and get hands-on knowledge of different concepts. 

    Six Sigma Green Belt vs Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

    For people working to improve the company operations to get better results, there is always confusion about lean green belt v/s six sigma green belt. The answer to this is quite simple. Six Sigma is a systematic program adopted by businesses to eliminate waste and get premium quality end products. They inspect the situation and plan the operations carefully, ensuring they achieve their targets and get the best results.

    At the same time, Lean Six Sigma is an extension to the six sigma approach, in which the experts focus on increased speed and promptness. Their target is to deliver the projects on time, ensuring quality products and services. Green belt is the level of certification that focuses on defining, analyzing, planning, and implementing the technique to get the results.

    Six Sigma Green Belt vs Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

    The table below will help you make a fair comparison between the lean six sigma and six sigma green belt. Check it out to compare and decide instantly.

    Six Sigma Green Belt 

    Lean Six Sigma Green Belt 

    Six Sigma does not change the existing working model or organizational culture in a company.

    Lean Six Sigma is a philosophy that plans a new approach, making significant changes in the company’s existing network and might change how its employees carry out various operations.

    Six Sigma only focuses on removing the errors or flaws in the system, helping achieve the project delivery targets, and ensuring the delivery of efficient products or services.

    Lean Six Sigma works on eliminating errors, but it also changes the entire working process till the time it achieves utmost perfection. 

    Six Sigma only emphasizes customer satisfaction and the quality of the end product that the company delivers.

    Lean Six Sigma emphasizes the process adopted by the company to deliver the product and ensures that the delivery is satisfactory and on time.

    There is no focus or stress on eliminating waste or eradicating overproduction in the industry. As far as the end product delivered to the customer is fine, nobody will bother to check any wastage.

    Lean Six Sigma is an elaborate philosophy. Its primary purpose behind focusing on the process is to ensure there is no overproduction and none of the resources get wasted during the process. 

    This table gives you a clear idea of the difference between both certifications. Depending on your vision for your professional journey, you can choose the program that helps you excel. If you still have a dilemma, the elaborate explanation of each program below will help.

     Check out our six sigma green belt certification? roadmap to CLSSGB blog posts for more information. 

    Develop the skills to lead successful projects from start to finish with our PRINCE2 Foundation exam preparation course. Enroll now and become a certified project management expert!


    It is fair to say that the type of certification you want to enrol in depends on your career goals and the job you want. Lean six sigma v/s six sigma green belt will always remain debatable unless the aspirant has the clarity of purpose. So, begin by educating yourself about the certification and figure out the SSGB certification requirements. Then, understand how it can help you excel in your career and decide which course and at what level you want to join.

    Once you decide on the certification, you need to work hard to prepare for it, and the ideal way is to join the KnowledgeHut’s quality management courses. The educators will train you to handle the flaws and deliver premium quality products on time to gain customer satisfaction.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Is Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma the same?

    Six Sigma is a philosophy, while Lean Six Sigma is an approach to re-organize a company's operations to improve the project delivery and quality.

    2What is the difference between Lean Sigma and Six Sigma?

    The difference between Lean Sigma and Six Sigma is that lean focuses on speeding up the process to ensure timely deliveries. At the same time, Six Sigma focuses on customer satisfaction by improving product quality.

    3Which Six Sigma Belt is best?

    It depends on your career goals and aspirations. However, people often choose between lean six sigma v/s six sigma green belt.

    4What is the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt?

    It is a structured approach that the operation experts use to ensure zero faults, premium quality, and timely deliveries.

    5Is a Six Sigma Green Belt worth it?

    This certification helps operation managers gain utmost efficiency in their team’s work, deliver projects on time with expected quality standards, and gain a good name for the company. 

    6Is the Six Sigma Green Belt exam hard?

    It is an advanced-level exam, and you need to prepare well for it. However, if you choose the right track, you can crack it without any fuss.

    7How long does it take to become a Six Sigma Green Belt?

    It takes about ten weeks to get the six sigma green belt. If you check the difference between lean six sigma v/s six sigma green belt, you will find out that any level of this certification takes the same amount of time.


    Shivender Sharma

    Blog Author

    Shivendra Sharma, an accomplished author of the international bestseller 'Being Yogi,' is a multifaceted professional. With an MBA in HR and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he boasts 15 years of experience in business and digital transformation, strategy consulting, and process improvement. As a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), he has led multi-million dollar savings through organization-wide transformation projects. Shivendra's expertise lies in deploying Lean and Six Sigma tools across global stakeholders in EMEA, North America, and APAC, achieving remarkable business results. 

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