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 is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  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 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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