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The pilot is a person who is directly impacted by the success and results of the project.


The pilot, the equivalent of the Sponsor in the 6 Sigma approach, is a person who is directly impacted by the success and results of the project. In other words, it is the person who has the hierarchical responsibility of the sector where the Lean project will take place. Involved right from the start of the project, he will intervene throughout it to support him and lift the barriers.

Lean Skills Needed

The pilot is not going to intervene ” technically ” on the project. This is the work of the animator. To do so, it does not need to have in-depth knowledge of Lean tools. On the other hand, it needs a basic minimum to understand what Lean is and the main tools. For this, the Lean Expert Will do an initiation to the approach of a few hours.

On the other hand, it will be necessary to have an exemplary behaviour and attitude in line with the mindset of the approach. And in this, a thorough training will have to be done with a certification at the end.

Its role in the project

Before the start of the project

Upstream of the start, the pilot will participate in the selection of the project and the choice of the team members. It will ensure the availability of the members as well as the resources necessary for the projects. In collaboration with the teams, he will participate in the realization of the project Charter and know if necessary to present it.

During the project

During the project, it will follow the smooth running at the organisational level (presence of the staff, availability of the means…) and inform the management. He will participate in all the project reviews and more if the pilot asks him. Beyond that, it will be the role of Challenger the project team to promote the achievement of the results of which it is the guarantor. It is he who validates the results obtained and lifts the barriers if necessary.

After the project

After the project, it must ensure that the improvements that have been implemented are maintained. He has to value and reward the teams.

Its role in the process

The pilot has a little less responsibility in terms of the overall approach. He participates and support of course. Nevertheless, his action is more about what he has in his perimeter of responsibility (his workshop…) than what is at the level of the company at the Global. It remains only as Sponsor and the Lean Expert, he is actively involved in infusing dynamics and selecting projects. But its most important responsibility will be to ensure that the improvements made by the projects are maintained over time.


G. Baglin, M. Camp (2000) – Lean services, a competitive approach for SME services

F. A. Meyer (2014) – Apply the ToC Lean Six Sigma in Services

N. Volck (2011) – Deploy and operate Lean Six Sigma

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