Links to Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma


I've often blogged about Dilbert and “dilbert lean” is a fairly common search term, so I thought I'd do my best to compile all of the Lean or Six Sigma related strips that I could find into a single post, providing links to them.

Previously, I had embedded strips (since the Dilbert website gave you code that allowed me to do that). A few years back, I got a really nicely-worded email from somebody at the company that distributes Dilbert. They asked me to not embed the strips and to, instead, link to the cartoons. I complied with their request and, to my surprise, they mailed me a really nice Dilbert coffee-table book.

You can reach this page at Click on any cartoon description to see it on, where you can also buy merchandise with your favorite strip.


10/16/11: Dilbert's boss does all he can to discourage ideas

1/19/07: Pointy-haired boss wants to combine Lean and Six Sigma

6/17/11: Wally misunderstands what a “kaizen” should be all about (also see this blog post).

9/30/11: Dilbert's boss doesn't want ideas

1/31/07: Lean has a “bias for action,” while Six Sigma sometimes suffers from a “bias for more analysis.”

1/26/06: I don't mean to be highlighting strips that mock Six Sigma. Many of these Six Sigma jokes could be applied just the same to Lean (or “L.A.M.E.“).

3/21/05: Maybe he meant “lean up” in a very colloquial sense, not really talking about Lean Management

10/6/01: The Lean philosophy embraces the concept of “no problems is a problem.” We have to uncover and understand the root cause of our problems… but first, we have to admit we have them (see strip)

10/3/01: Again, the same joke could be made with Lean

10/4/01: Again, not just picking on Six Sigma.

10/5/01: Wow, Dogbert doesn't practice the Lean concept of “respect for people,” does he?

9/9/05: Dilbert's company really misapplies Lean 5S principles.

12/5/94: Too many organizations, sadly, just try to copy Toyota instead of really understanding what's behind Lean and the Toyota Production System.

3/13/91: Wow, this is an old strip.

3/14/03: Poor Dilbert – Just in Time Inventory strategy

2/13/11: This illustrates how Dilbert's boss is not a Lean Thinker (blog post)

1/18/09: More waste illustrated at Dilbert's company (blog post).

12/4/2008: Dilbert's company is not big on employee ideas or “Kaizen,” apparently

11/11/2010: Dilbert's boss blames people, not the system

2/24/2004: Again, punishing people who take risks

4/18/1999 — Patty the Process Person who “doesn't know how to do anything” :-)

4/27/2004 — All the suggestions say “more money

10/14/1992 — Dilbert's boss sets a trap

Which strip is your favorite? Which hurts the most? Were there any Lean-related strips that I missed?

You can also see more recent Dilbert strips related to Lean that I've collected under the tag “Dilbert.”

What do you think? Scroll down to comment or share your thoughts and the post on social media. Don't want to miss a post or podcast? Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
  1. Matt Wrye says

    Mark –

    You went deep into the Dilbert archives. I love posting about the comparisons between lean and the Dilbert cartoons myself. Thanks for putting them all together.

  2. Pete Abilla says

    Great stuff; cartoons embody a lot of truth and conveys it in a way the breaks down resistance and defensiveness. Good stuff Mark.

  3. Rand Drake says

    Thanks, I needed that! What makes these so funny is that everyone has worked at the same company as Dilbert!

  4. Meikah Delid says

    This is really cool!

    You beat me to this! I’ve been planning to do a post like this. :-D

    I just love Dilbert!

  5. Patra Madden says

    Sorry I don’t have a link to this but there was a Dilbert that had “Patty the Process Person” who lasted just a bit longer than “Timmy the Facilitator”. I had it on my desk for a while but it has disappeared. If only I’d practice what I preach about 5S!

    Patra Madden
    Process Improvement Advisory Engineer
    Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
    Kesselring Site, W Milton, NY

    1. Mark Graban says


      Here is “Patty the Process Person”:

      Adding it to the post…

  6. Patra Madden says

    Thanks so much, she’s going on my office door!

  7. Andrew Bishop says

    This one on non-zero safety goals is a favorite of mine – could just as well be posted as a comment on the Paul O’Neill podcast:

    Safety Goals

    1. Mark Graban says

      Andrew – great addition. I’ll add a link to it on the O’Neill Podcast page.

  8. Herman Vis says

    Mark, thanks for putting them all together!

    Nice to read and so familiar… also in The Netherlands ;-)

    Gr. Herman

  9. Captain Technology says

    Brilliant. The strip about six sigma being widely discredited was just what I was looking for.


  10. […] See more Dilbert strips I’ve collected on themes related to Lean and Six Sigma. […]

  11. Thomas Sortino says

    Hi Mark – great compilation!
    I have a copy somewhere of a Dilbert has been taken hostage by Accounting trols and Dogbert rescues him by casing them to ‘shift their paradigms without a clutch’… Last time I had a fixed office I had it on the wall of cartoons-with-meaning, and it always got a laugh. It may fit with this series, although it doesn’t specifically mention either lean or SS.
    Keep up the good work!

  12. […] A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma (10,816 views) […]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.