For each of these belt levels skill sets are available that describe which of the overall Lean Six Sigma tools are expected to be part at a certain Belt level. These skill sets provide a detailed description of the learning elements that a participant will have acquired after completing a training program. The level upon which these learning elements may be applied is also described. The skill sets reflect elements from Six Sigma, Lean and other process improvement methods like the theory of constraints (TOC) total productive maintenance (TPM).
Lean manufacturing is a process improvement methodology based upon the highly acclaimed Toyota Production System (TPS). The main focus in lean manufacturing is the removal of waste from a value stream. Waste in this instance is defined as anything that consumes resource but does not add value for the customer. By removing the waste in a value stream it becomes possible to only produce the right material, in the quantity desired by the customer, at exactly the right time. This results in a process that is more efficient and delivers product to the customer more quickly. The elements within a value stream that add value for the customer tend to represent a very small percentage of the total process. Therefore focusing on removing the waste , or non-value adding elements represents a significant opportunity for improvement in many businesses.