Six Sigma is more popular than Lean

Google Trends: lean manufacturing, six sigma

More fun with “Google Trends.” Six Sigma (red line) is a much more popular search term in Google than Lean Manufacdturing (blue line). It looks like about a 7:1 ratio. That surprises me. Does that surprise you? Click the link above for a larger version of the chart and the Google site where you can try terms of your own.

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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5 Comments

  1. Mike says

    I’m not surprised. If you look at job postings many require six sigma certification of some degree or other, but only rarely do they mention any kind of lean qualifications. A person’s interests are usually where the money lies.

  2. Peter says

    It depends on the number of permutations of the word. Lean manufacturing is not an absolute term, as six sigma is. It would be more “fair” to compare just “lean” and “six sigma”. However that would also add alot of non manufacturing stuff.

    Alas, statistics is devil’s tool ;)

  3. stampf says

    Well, I have to disagree. Do a Googlefight.com on “lean” versus “six sigma” (with quotes).

    Lean: 82,600,000 results
    Six Sigma: 14,700,000 results

    well, if you search for “lean manufacturing”, you’re right. But is Lean only toward manufacturing ? I don’t think so (I’m in the service ;)

  4. Mark Graban says

    I guess part of the problem is that “lean” is very generic term and would bring up diet plans, etc. I originally started, looking to compare “lean manufacturing” and “lean healthcare”, but lean healthcare hadn’t received enough searches to count.

    Are the results really significant? No, not at all. What conclusion was I trying to draw…. none really. Just a fun thing to look at.

  5. Jon Miller says

    For what it’s worth, Googlefight results:

    5S = 17,000,000
    Six Sigma = 14,700,000

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