New Paradigm of Lean Six Sigma in the 4th Industrial Revolution Era

Sung Hyun Park, Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park, Dong-Chun Kim


Purpose: In early 2000s Six Sigma and Lean were combined into Lean Six Sigma (LSS), which has been one of the major strategic quality initiatives all over the world. Now, we are in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR), which changes almost everything including LSS and quality management (QM) in the companies. We need new paradigm of LSS to boost LSS activities in this 4th IR era. In this paper, the typical characteristics of the 4th IR are investigated, and desirable new paradigm of LSS is presented.

Methodology/Approach: The changing characteristics of production strategy, quality goal and quality strategy with regard to QM in the 4th IR are discussed and presented. Then the new and emerging paradigm of LSS in this 4th IR era is discussed in detail. Also 9 success factors for this new paradigm of LSS are shown for practitioners in the industry.

Findings: The direction of the new paradigm of LSS will be ‘simple, speedy and smart’, which may be called ‘3S paradigm’. Simple open procedures and simple statistical modelling tools will be mainly used. Speedy on-site improvement based on Open Data, Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) will be favoured. Also smart mass customized ‘Smart Factory’ method will be emphasized.

Research Limitation/implication: Since we are in the beginning stage of the 4th IR, there are not many research papers which study the impact of this revolution to LSS and QM, which is the major research limitation.

Originality/Value of paper: This paper suggests some new and emerging paradigm of LSS, which could be of high value.


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Sung Hyun Park
Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park (Primary Contact)
Dong-Chun Kim
Park, S. H., Dahlgaard-Park, S. M., & Kim, D.-C. (2020). New Paradigm of Lean Six Sigma in the 4th Industrial Revolution Era. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 24(1), 1–16.
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