Top 100 Famous Lean Six Sigma Quotes

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Lean Six Sigma Quotes

Here are famous Lean Six Sigma Quotes.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. – Peter F. Drucker

  1. Continuous improvement is not about the things you do well — that’s work. Continuous improvement is about removing the things that get in the way of your work. The headaches, the things that slow you down, that’s what continuous improvement is all about. – Bruce Hamilton

  2. “A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.”–Andrew Grove

  3. “If you need a new process and don’t install it, you pay for it without getting it.”–Ken Stork

  4. “Without a Standard, there is no logical basis for decision making or taking action”. – Joseph M. Juran

  5. “Don’t water your weeds.” – Harvey McKay

  6. “Willful waste brings woeful want.”–Thomas Fuller

  7. Lean Thinking provides a way to specify value, line up value-creating actions in the best sequence, conduct these activities without interruption whenever someone requests them, and perform them more and more effectively. – Lean Thinking, James P. Womack

  8. “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford

  9. Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before. –Shigeo Shingo

  10. “Why not make the work easier and more interesting so that people do not have to sweat?  The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people’s creativity.  People don’t go to Toyota to ‘work’ they go there to ‘think’” Taiichi Ohno



  11. “Everything can be improved.” –Clarence W. Barron

  12. All kinds of wastes occur when we try to produce the same product in large, homogeneous quantities. In the end, costs rise. It is much more economical to make each item one at a time. The former method is the Ford production system and the latter is the Toyota production system. –  Taiichi Ohno; Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production.

  13. “The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.”–Shigeo Shingo

  14. “There are many experts on how things have been done up to now. If you think something could use a little improvement, you are the expert.”–Robert Brault

  15. “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” – H. James Harrington,  Author & Management Mentor

  16. “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – Mark Twain

  17. Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. –William Bruce Cameron

  18. If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing. –W. Edwards Deming

  19. 20. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is Success.” – Henry Ford

  20. “Nature does constant value stream mapping — it’s called evolution.”–Carrie Latet




  21. Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage. The easiest of all wastes and the hardest to correct is the waste of time, because wasted time does not litter the floor like wasted material. –Henry Ford

  22. “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” – W. Edwards Deming

  23. “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree

  24. If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. –Lawrence J. Peter

  25. “Speed is everything. It is the indispensable ingredient to competitiveness.” – Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001

  26. “Practise isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell

  27. “It is not the employer who pays the wages. He only handles the money. It is the product that pays the wages.”–Henry Ford

  28. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless..–Thomas A. Edison

  29. “If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.” – Steve Jobs

  30. “Don’t waste time learning the ‘tricks of the trade.’ Instead, learn the trade.”–James Charlton



  31. The lean producer . . . combines the advantages of craft and mass production, while avoiding the high cost of the former and the rigidity of the latter. . . . Lean production is “lean” because it uses less of everything compared with mass production—half the human effort in the factory, half the manufacturing space, half the investment in tools, half the engineering hours to develop a new product in half the time. – James Womack, The Machine That Changed the World

  32. “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

  33. An environment where people have to think brings with it wisdom, and this wisdom brings with it kaizen [continuous improvement]. –Teruyuki Minoura

  34. “Many good American companies have respect for individuals, and practice Kaizen and other TPS {Toyota Production System} tools.  But what is important is having all of the elements together as a system.  It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner–not in spurts–in a concrete way on the shop floor.”  – Fujio Cho, President, Toyota Motor Corporatio

  35. Who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. – Harold Wilson

  36. “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gough

  37. “Waste is a tax on the whole people.”–Albert W. Atwood

  38. Startups that succeed are those that manage to iterate enough times before running out of resources.—Eric Ries

  39. “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

  40. “Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.”–Thomas A. Edison

  41. Waste is any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value.—James P. Womak and Daniel T. Jones, Lean Thinking

  42. “When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.”–Anthony J. D’Angelo

  43. What gets measured, gets managed. – Peter Drucker

  44. “Lean is about constant ticking, not occasional kicking.”  – Alex Miller, Professor of Management at The University of Tennessee

  45. Sometimes no problem is a sign of a different problemMark Rosenthal, author of The Lean Thinker

  46. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

  47. “Today’s standardization…is the necessary foundation on which tomorrow’s improvements will be based.  If you think “standardization” as the best you know today, but which is to be improved tomorrow – you get somewhere.  But if you think of standards as confining, then progress stops.”– Henry Ford in 1926

  48. Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what you need done and let them surprise you with their results.  - General George Patton

  49. “A bad system will beat a good person every time.”–W. Edwards Deming

  50. If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing. – W. Edwards Deming

  51. “It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality.”–Harold Geneen

  52. You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. –Charles C. Noble

  53. Success is not checking a box. Success is having an impact. If you complete all tasks and nothing ever gets better, that’s not success. –Christina Wodtke

  54. “A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo.  Use it often.” – Shigeo Shingo



  55. “Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.” –W. Edwards Deming

  56. The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company. – Masaaki Imai

  57. “Great companies will have strong lean vision in place with the Senior Management Vision and are working daily at getting on with doing a small number of important things consistently – day in, day out, week after week, month after month, year after year, as part of the middle management action plans. And finally the results must be visible at the Shop floor level.  That is what make for effective lean leadership within companies.”TXM, Total Excellence Manufacturing

  58. Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. – William A. Foster

  59. “There are three kinds of leaders.  Those that tell you what to do.  Those that allow you to do what you want.  And Lean leaders that come down to the work and help you figure it out.” – John Shook

  60. Running Lean is a systematic process for iterating from Plan A to a plan that works, before running out of resources. –Ash Maurya

  61. “Copying your competitor won’t help you beat your competitor. You need to think beyond your competitor.”  – Gerhard Plenert and Bill Kirchmier

  62. “The most effective way to improve productivity is to eliminate work.” – William E. Conway Jr.

  63. Speed is Everything. It is the indispensable ingredient to competitiveness. – Jack Welch

  64. “Quality depends on good data. It also depends on executive leadership in using that data”. –Juran Institute, Inc.

  65. Anybody who recognizes waste will try to eliminate it. The real problem is when people do not recognize waste when they see it. – Shigeo Shingo, Non-Stock Production: The Shingo System of Continuous Improvement, 1987

  66. “Automation and technology don’t cure behavioral ruts: they just create new instances of them.” – Kenneth Goldsmith

  67. “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”Albert Einstein

  68. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. – Albert Einstein




  69. “The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people’s creativity. People don’t go to Toyota to ‘work’ they go there to ‘think’.” – Taiichi Ohno

  70. Your lean process should be a lean process. – Author unknown

  71. “Many people think that Lean is about cutting heads, reducing the work force or cutting inventory. Lean is really a growth strategy. It is about gaining market share and being prepared to enter in or create new markets.” Ernie Smith, Lean Event Facilitator in the Lean Enterprise Forum at the University of Tennessee

  72. “Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

  73. Some of our greatest industrial organizations have learned their A, B, C’sin waste elimination and have found themselves well repaid, but they are still at the beginning, and the time is coming when every man who lays any claim to business ability will have to keep the question of waste before him constantly as now he does those of credit and collections, buying and selling. –Thomas A. Edison, as quoted in Business and The Book-Keeper, 1911

  74. Plans are nothing, planning is everything. – Philip Kotler

  75. “To be competitive, we have to look for every opportunity to improve efficiencies and productivity while increasing quality.  Lean manufacturing principles have improved every aspect of our processes.”Cynthia Fanning, Product General Manager for dishwashers at GE Appliances

  76.  “Lean Automation – the position of the words shows lean comes before automation.  By leaning out your operation you may find out your ROI for automation is not what you thought.”  – Dave Waters

  77. “The right place and the right time is here and now”. – Michelle Ustaszeski

  78. Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle, a cornerstone of continuous improvement. The Japanese term for continuous improvement is kaizen and is the process of making incremental improvements, no matter how small, and achieving the lean goal of eliminating all waste that adds cost without adding to value.” – Jeffrey K. Liker



  79. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”​ – Aristotle

  80. If this lean stuff seams easy, you are probably not doing it.- Jim Womack

  81. “Make your workplace into showcase that can be understood by everyone at a glance.” – Taiichi Ohno

  82. Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers

  83. “The starting point for improvement is to recognize the need.”​ Masaaki Imai

  84. “Quality management is needed because nothing is simple anymore, if indeed it ever was.” – Phil Crosby.

  85. “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision and action can change the world.”​ – Joel A. Barker, futurist

  86. “Rough waters are truer tests of leadership. In calm water, every ship has a good captain.”​ Swedish proverb

  87. “I say an hour lost at a bottleneck is an hour out of the entire system. I say an hour saved at a non-bottleneck is worthless. Bottlenecks govern both throughput and inventory.”  – Eli M. Goldratt, The Goal

  88. “Senior management is simply a flag bearer when a business decision is made. It is of no use unless others follow the flag.”​ Eiji Toyoda, former Chairman of Toyota



  89. “As much as 95% of quality related problems in the factory can be solved with seven fundamental quantitative tools.”​ – Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa

  90. “If you don’t understand how to run an efficient operation, new machinery will just give you new problems of operation and maintenance. The sure way to increase productivity is to better administrate man and machine.”  – W. Edwards Deming

  91. “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value”. – Jim Rohn

  92. Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of Thrift is limitless. – Thomas A. Edison

  93. For he who rejects change is the architect of decay. – Harold Wilson, 1967

  94. “If you are going to do TPS (Toyota Production System) you must do it all the way.  You also need to change the way you think.  You need to change how you look at things.” – Taiichi Ohno

  95. Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can’t get it wrong. –Author unknown

  96. Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing, layout, processes and procedures. – Tom Peters

  97. “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”​ – Sir Winston Churchill

  98. “The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”​​ – Peter Drucker

  99. “Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” – Henry Ford



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