Six Sigma is a framework to make an organization more competitive by focusing on being effective and efficient.
Six Sigma’s Basic Premises
Six Sigma’s Approach to Problem Solving
Originally developed by Motorola as a general approach to measuring quality in business performance terms. Now it has evolved be a project driven approach to process improvement that follows the five-step process known as the DMAIC cycle. (Also see: History of Continuous Improvement)
The Primary Goals of Six Sigma are to Improve
- How effective you are at meeting or exceeding your customer’s needs and requirements.
- How efficiently you operate.
It achieves this by…
Three Key Elements of Six Sigma
Unlike other quality improvement philosophies, Six Sigma is comprised of three key elements:
Six Sigma Philosophy & Methodology
A result-oriented, continuous improvement process that includes active involvement from senior management.
Why Use Six Sigma?
Higher quality leads to happier clients, better products, engaged employees, higher profits.
The Strategy of Six Sigma
- Define the three major components of Six Sigma
- Examine the three elements of a high-functioning organization
- Examine the three major types of business processes
- Analyze who should be the process owners
- Discuss how to choose high-impact Six Sigma projects
Six Sigma and DMAIC
One of the chief tools in Six Sigma is the use of the DMAIC methodology.
There are five tools that are used in this method. They are as follow:
- Define: You have to recognize the problem.
- Measure what the process is. Find your baseline performance.
- Analyze: Study your data to see why your problems are occurring.
- Begin improving your results by elimination of root problems.
- Control: Start using a new process for production. Make certain you have achieved success. Measure your new process by your customer reactions.
Amusing: How this conversation usually goes:
Six Sigma Black Belt Certification ‘What is Six Sigma’ Questions:
Question: The primary reason that most companies implement six sigma is to: (Taken from ASQ sample Black Belt exam.)
Answer: The primary reason companies implement six sigma is to improve profit. Obviously a non-profit might have other goals (like be a better custodian of their source funds in pursuit of their mission. However, when looking at the other options listed, each of them would be done in service of the improve profit answer.