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Focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. Explanation of Six Sigma.


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What is Six Sigma? Description

Six Sigma is a quality management methodology that provides businesses with the tools to improve the capability of their business processes. This increase in performance and decrease in process variation lead to defect reduction and improvement in profits, employee morale and quality of product. It is a quality measure and improvement program that was pioneered by Mikel Harry and Motorola. It focuses on the control of a process until the point of six sigma (standard deviations) from a centerline, or 3.4 defects per million items. It includes identifying factors which are critical for the quality as determined by the customer. It reduces process variation and improvement capabilities, increases stability and designs systems to support the six sigma goal.

The Six Sigma model is a highly disciplined approach that can help companies to focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. It is based on the statistical work of Joseph Juran, a Rumanian-born US pioneer of quality management. The word "Sigma" is a Greek sign used for a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection (standards deviation). If the sigma number is higher, you are closer to perfection. One sigma is not very good; six sigma is defined as only 3.4 defects per million. The central idea behind Six Sigma is that if you can measure how many "defects" you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how you can eliminate them. Thus you can almost come to "zero defects".

The Japanese origin of Six Sigma can still be seen by the system of "belts" which it uses. If you are new to Six Sigma and you go on a basic training, you get a green belt. Anyone who has the responsibility for leading a Six Sigma team is called a black belt. Finally there is a special elite group called Master Black Belts who supervise the Black Belts.


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Five Steps in Six Sigma. Process

Typically, a Six Sigma process has the following five stages:

  1. Definition. The first step in any Six Sigma project is to clarify the problem and narrow its scope in such a way that measurable goals can be achieved within a few months. Then a team is assembled to examine the process in detail, suggest improvements, and implement those recommendations. In the manufacturing world, project managers and their sponsors typically begin by defining what constitutes a defect and then establish a set of objectives designed to reduce the occurrence of such defects.
  2. Measurement. In the second step of a Six Sigma project, the team gathers data and prepares it for high-level analysis.
  3. Analysis. Once a process has been mapped and documented, and the quality of the hard supporting data has been verified, the Six Sigma team can begin the analysis. The team members usually start by identifying the ways in which people fail to act as needed, or by identifying the ways in which people fail to ensure effective control at each stage.
  4. Improvement. Recommend, decide and implement improvements.
  5. Control. In the final stage of a Six Sigma project, the team creates controls. These are enabling the company to sustain and extend the improvements.

Six Sigma Methodology | Six Sigma Model | Six Sigma Approach Forum (38 topics) Help
  Best Practices Lean Six Sigma in Social Care
I have been using Lean Six Sigma (I'm a Black belt) in Adult Social Care in the UK and to my knowledge I am the only person in the UK using this in this business area. It is proving to be extremely useful.
The hardest thing is MSA ( Me...
  Quality Lessons in Dealing with Contractors
In the last 2 years I learned the following lessons working with Home Remodeling contractors.
Lesson One: Be careful who you hire. Top contractors find and keep top craftsmen while contractor...
  Applying Six Sigma to Landscape Architecture
How can Six Sigma be applied in Architecture practice? The deliverables being the project plan, the drawings and supervision. The accuracy of processes and thus the defects can not be precisely defined. Does it mean that Six Sigma is not applicable t...
  The Cost of Poor Quality: Tools for Effective Control & Reduction
Which Six Sigma tools are effective to determine and reduce the cost of poor quality (in the manufacturing sector)?
Since there are lot of quality tools used in industries, selecting correct, effective tools would lead to reduce time of problem...
  Is Six Sigma Enough? (To Improve the Quality Level of an Organization...)
In order to improve a process, or to get a new standard or higher quality level in an organization, is 6 Sigma a good approach?
My partners say that 6 Sigma is just for solving actual problems (d=define a problem), but it's not the best way to i...
  Six Sigma in Passengers Handling
How can Six Sigma be applied to passengers handling services in air transportation at an airport?...
  Six Sigma in Textile / Confection Industry
Any information or experiences about Six Sigma implementation in textile, confection industries? Thank you......
  Add Standardization to DMAIC Phases in Six Sigma (DMAICS)
In my experience I implemented the Six Sigma process following 6 instead of just 5 phases. The first five are the classical phases (DMAIC) for the analysis, solution implementation and solution effectiveness confirmation...
And in the last phas...
  Six Sigma Requirements
In order for Six Sigma to be successful in an organisation, the concept should be embraced from the grass roots to top management.
Involvement of all stakeholders should be emphasised, as data is generated by the grass roots and i...
  Six Sigma in Medical Transcription
How can Six Sigma be used in the field of medical transcription? What are all the gradients that need to be worked on in medical transcription with Six Sigma?...
  Hypothesis Testing in DMAIC Projects
Is hypothesis testing a must in DMAIC projects? Why (not)?...
  Evaluating Six Sigma Project Leaders
How can I evaluate the talent of Six Sigma project leaders (presentation skill, answering, strategic thinking, and so on)?
What grading and evaluation of the factors do you recommend?...
  Evaluating Six Sigma Projects
How can I evaluate the quality of 6 Sigma projects (logical think, creative, right tools, effectiveness and so on).
What grading and evaluation of the factors you recommend?...
  Focus of Six Sigma: The 6 Rights
Six Sigma management can focus on following 6 Right (Rights):
- Right Support
- Right Project
- Right Road Map (DMAIC)
- Right People (training)
- Right Tools
- Right Result (high performance, high benefit, and hi...
  Tools for Finding Root Cause?
Which tool is preferable in Six Sigma methodology to detect or find the root cause from special cause variation and then solve accordingly? And how to differentiate if the tool is suitable to use for common cause variation or special cause variation?...
  6 Sigma in Construction Industry
Can 6 sigma method be applied in construction industry? If yes, how?...
  Six Sigma Manufacturing Example
Businesses who are not very active in quality management most of the time have a process quality from 2 or 3 sigma. This means a failure of about 66.700 products per million opportunities. At first sight, this looks really nice.
But let's look a...
  Differentiating Six Sigma from TQM
Although invented at Motorola, Six Sigma has been perfected at General Electric. GE is truly the home of Six Sigma. The factors differentiating Six Sigma from Total Quality Management are Six Sigma's:
- Emphasis on measurement and statist...
  Six Sigma is a Story!
Six Sigma is a story of X, Y and Z.
When all X's and Y's are controlled, Z's improve.
X's are causes, Y's are problems and Z's are consequences....
  Good Practitioner Books on Lean - Six Sigma, S&OP?
Hi all, short question, currently I am working in a pure logistics field but would like to develop my supply chain knowledge further. Especially looking at job adverts the topic lean and Six Sigma are becoming more common as an entry level as and als...

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  Six Sigma Implementation Principles - Implementing Six Sigma Succesfully
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  Six Sigma Lessons Learned - Process Improvement of Six Sigma Projects
  Human Sigma - Improving Employee-Customer Encounters
  3 Critical Success Factors for Six Sigma Projects - Getting results out of a 6 Sigma project
  3 Six Sigma Variants - Differences in Six Sigma Approaches
  Six Sigma in Service Organizations - Challenges and Difficulties
  Design for Six Sigma - Supply Chain & Quality
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  Lean Six Sigma Programs - Driving Innovation
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  The DMAIC Process Step by Step Example - Six Sigma Implementation, DMAIC Process
  Radical Innovations - Assessing Your Level of Preparedness

Resources - Six Sigma Methodology | Six Sigma Model | Six Sigma Approach Premium
Six Sigma Dictionary (250 terms) - 6 Sigma Terms
Great Truths about Six Sigma - Introducing SIx Sigma
Six Sigma Explanation - Business Process Improvement
Six Sigma Intro - Introduction to SS
Lean Assessment Tool - Lean / Six Sigma Assessment
Six Sigma Calculator - Calculating DPM and PPM
SS Origins and Destinations - Six Sigma and Sustainability
Introduction to Project Quality Management - Quality Management, Project Quality Planning, Project Quality Assurance, Project Quality Control
Six Sigma Diagram - Quality Assurance
Overview Six Sigma - Six Sigma Method

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