Lean and Six Sigma Project Ideas

The following is a list of Lean and Six Sigma projects to consider, based on your industry or department. Actual case studies we worked on are also available.

Finding a project to complete your Lean and/or Six Sigma certification is a major challenge for those who take training, so hopefully this list will give you ideas to consider.

In general, consider process areas that come to mind when you think about these questions:

  • Take the longest to complete?
  • Have the most complaints?
  • Require the most employees to support?
  • Seem inconsistent month to month?
  • Have the most mistakes?
  • Have costly mistakes?
  • Seem the most hectic?
  • Have the highest risk (keep you up at night)?
  • Have legal risk or potential reputation damage?
  • Have “heroes saving the day” to meet deadlines?

Here are some video examples: Lean in Nonprofits, Lean in Manufacturing, Government and Healthcare

Have too many projects to decide? Consider using a Project Prioritization Matrix to rank each project against many criteria.

Want help achieving a Green or Black Belt certification? Consider our virtual coaching and certification program!

Personal Life

Finance and Accounting

  • Reduce the cycle time to close the books
  • Improve the variation in forecast accuracy for sales or budgets
  • Reduce the time to generate recurring (weekly or monthly) reports
  • Reduce inventory levels while avoiding delivery risks
  • Improve processing timing or accuracy of payments to vendors/suppliers
  • Reduction of Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) 
  • Reduce payroll process cycle time or accuracy
  • Improve payment/collection processes
  • Reduce electronic financial transaction and processing costs
  • Reduce the cycle time of reconciliation
  • Reduce the procure to pay cycle
  • Standardize the accrual and deferral processes
  • Reduce time to process invoices
  • Reduce purchase order creation cycle time
  • Increase first-time approval rate of expense reports for employees

Human Resources

  • Reduce the turn around time to hire an employee
  • Evaluate and improve gender pay equality
  • Reduce the time to process an insurance claim
  • Improve employee on-boarding and orientation processes
  • Reduce expenditures for recruiting firms
  • Improve hit-rate for successful hiring
  • Reduce Attrition
  • Improve timeliness and the value of employee performance reviews
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Improve new hire training efficiency
  • Improve employee satisfaction from survey results
  • Identify and correct retention issues
  • Increase employee engagement


  • Improve cross-sell opportunities
  • Better predict future sales by month
  • Reduce time to respond to customer inquiries
  • Increase % of sales from new customers
  • Increase % of bids/proposals won
  • Reduce time required to enter sales orders
  • Reduce errors and rework associated with sales orders
  • Reduce customer credit worthiness cycle time
  • Reduce the number of “bad deals” that are processed
  • Improve the cycle time of the entire sales order to cash process
  • Increase repeat orders/customers
  • Help technical sales associates use data to improve their sales success
  • Reduce time to setup new customers in the system
  • Improve customer experience ratings and survey results (Net Promoter Score)
  • Improve service sales (cellular service provider top-up system)

Shipping, Receiving, and Warehouse

  • Improve on-time delivery of products to customers
  • Reduce number of finished goods inventory without impacting deliveries (oil drilling fluids)
  • Reduce processing time from items received until available for production team
  • Reduce time to retrieve parts when requested or triggered
  • Setup pull system with factory
  • Reduce transportation costs (reduce carrier rate per mile)
  • Improve on-time delivery of goods to our facility from vendors
  • Improve documentation accuracy
  • Reduce time to unload trucks and shipments
  • Reduce maintenance time and labor (truck maintenance)
  • Improve inventory control/rotation
  • Improve and minimize inspection processes
  • Reduce floor space requirements for warehouse

Information Technology (IT) and Software Development

  • Reduce network/server/application/website downtime
  • Improve process of logging-in to network from remote locations
  • Improve system reliability/uptime
  • Reduce time to release new software/app features and functionality
  • Increase speed of webpage loading/processing
  • Standardize computer loads for configuration and support productivity improvement
  • Reduce number of software licenses based on usage
  • Improve project request turnaround
  • Improve quote accuracy for projects
  • Reduce time to respond to help desk requests
  • Reduce hardware inventory
  • Reduce number of security alerts/alarms/false alarms/violations
  • Reduce risk of access to system from non-authorized employees
  • Improve data governance, data security, source control processes against best practices/guidelines
  • Reduce amount of resources, hours, or time delays for performing inspection/quality reviews in the process

Event Planning

Online Retailer / e-Commerce

Product/Service Design

  • Reduce time required to design a product or service
  • Reduce errors in design or find them earlier in development
  • Reduce estimated production cycle times
  • Improve predictions of capability and risk of new products and services
  • Reduce testing and inspection time
  • Reduce software bugs in programming code
  • Reduce risk of errors and defects in new products and services


  • Streamlining the loan approval process to reduce the time taken from application submission to final approval
  • Improving the accuracy of information entered during the account opening process
  • Decreasing ATM Downtime
  • Strengthening the security measures of online banking platforms to prevent fraud and unauthorized access
  • Improving New Customer Onboarding Process
  • Optimizing Credit Card Approval Process
  • Minimizing errors in check processing to improve accuracy and reduce the need for manual intervention
  • Streamlining Mortgage Application Processing Time
  • Reducing risk scores for personal loans

Call Center

  • Increase/decrease (depending on your business needs) average talk time
  • Reduce abandoned calls
  • Reduce time to answer and handle phone calls
  • Increase employee knowledge to reduce response time
  • Reduce number of times customer are put on hold
  • Reduce calls that are dropped
  • Reduce time to respond to issues and queries
  • Increase customer satisfaction scores (survey results)



  • Improve test yields
  • Reduce testing time based on sampling and defects
  • Reduce batch sizes
  • Standardize instructions for performing tasks
  • Reduce overtime %
  • Increase worker quality performance
  • Reduce time to complete key tasks
  • Increase capacity at process bottlenecks (steel hardware)
  • Reduce setup time during equipment changeover
  • Improve communication between shifts
  • Reduce lead time from work order start to finish (Aluminum Casting)
  • Reduce risk of supplier late deliveries or quality issues
  • Reduce time to respond to problems
  • Reduce variation in manufacturing processes (steel wire capability and cost reduction)
  • Reduce amount of resources, hours, or time delays for performing inspection/quality reviews in the process


  • Evaluate and analyze best marketing approaches
  • Reduce fan complaints
  • Increase average sales per attendee
  • Reduce concession stand line times
  • Reduce time for fans to enter venue
  • Reduce time to park vehicles in parking lot
  • Reduce traffic delays leaving venue
  • Reduce waiting time for restrooms
  • Reduce risk of litigation with fans, staff and players
  • Determine which combination of player lineups get the best results
  • Improve player performance (accuracy/consistency) on skills tests (4-yard dash, vertical jump, agility drill, throwing accuracy, etc)
  • Reduce weight (more exercise or less calorie intake)
  • Improve scouting or recruiting process based on historical data and outcomes (like the movie, Moneyball)
  • Reduce waste (motion, waiting, transportation, overprocessing, etc) during practice time


  • Improve customer satisfaction scores or flow of customer journey through store
  • Reduce checkout waiting times for customers
  • Reduce number of stock outs on shelves
  • Reduce waiting time for prepared food
  • Reduce time for customers searching for items (better signage, floor markings, etc)
  • Reduce time for customers to make buying decisions (better labels, color coding, etc)
  • Reduce number of lost shopping baskets
  • Increase number of customer bringing their own bags or reusable containers
  • Increase sales of local/regional baked goods
  • Reduce stock theft and losses (shrink)
  • Reduce wasted food from prepared foods
  • Reduce duplication of time refilling excess stock
  • Reduce time to manage/handle loose stock (items out of place)
  • Improve space utilization to maximize customer options
  • Lean Roster for Team Management
  • Improve organization and safety of back dock
  • Reduce handling and flow of products into store and onto shelf
  • Optimize use and management of equipment and assets

Nonprofits (Lean nonprofit examples video)


Corporate Responsibility, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Increase employee volunteering in community
  • Reduce gender and racial pay gaps when corrected for experience and education
  • Increase racial and gender representation in upper management
  • Align community and company racial and gender differences
  • Increase employee and company donations and fundraising to local nonprofits
  • Reduce employee harassment and inequity complaints
  • Increase employee retention across racial and gender differences
  • Increase use of minority and women-owned businesses in supply chain
  • Increase number of diverse candidate applications to job postings




Still not sure? I can help you determinine what project you could work. Simply book time on my calendar for a free 15-minute consultation to help you select a project to work on, either at work, at home or with a local club or nonprofit organization. You can also email us with your questions!


Want to learn more about Lean and Six Sigma tools, and apply them to an improvement projects? Check out these low-cost online courses and certification programs



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