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
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


    1. 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. 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. 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. 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.


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