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Business & Career Improvement
A General Look at Six Sigma and its Pros and Cons
- Categorized in: Six Sigma (General)
Six Sigma is a business method that allows organizations to increase profit and reduce cost. It is a controlled process that demands choosing only the best projects that meet an organization’s needs. It also demands complete dedication and proper allocation of resources starting from the top level of management in an organization.
The Six Sigma business methodology for quality improvement was started by Motorola as a way to reduce costs and maximize profits. It eventually evolved and can now be applied to many fields in many businesses in many industries; like call centers, project managements, etc. To many organizations, it represents a measure of quality that attempts to create perfection.
For an organization to successfully implement this program, great attention needs to be paid to some fundamental work that will make way for success in using it. The company needs to discuss how important it will be to them, and if it is right for their type of organizational setting. Getting trained and certified with this program involves money and time, so this should also be taken into consideration.
Six Sigma Training is offered through online and offline (traditional) classes, and there are various levels of certification. There are Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts, and Yellow Belts in order from highest to lowest level of training and knowledge. Once the training is completed, an exam is conducted to ascertain the required certification. Although this costs money, it should be looked at as an investment into the future of a company. Once a company decides that Six Sigma is the right direction for them, they should seek a training provider that fits into their budget, learning style, and time requirements.
This process uses two basic approaches for the Six Sigma Projects; the DMAIC and DMADV. The DMAIC is an abbreviation for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. This aims to improve on existing business process. DMADV stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify, and this method aims to create new products or services for the business to offer clients.
There are many pros and cons when it comes to Six Sigma. As for the pros, a successful technique will result in an increase in customer loyalty due to customer satisfaction. More resources will be put in production, defects will be corrected, and less money will need to be put towards correction. The entire process as a whole aims to achieve maximum satisfaction for the customer, while increasing profits and minimizing defects. The employees are not left out as they will be more satisfied and the quality of their work will also improve. It is a program that can be implemented in every business category, and it focuses on process of improvement not just final outcome.
Some of the disadvantages include the fact that it focuses more on the process of business and this can put innovation and creativity in the back seat. Critics argue that it promotes outsourcing of projects with no accurate accountability. Another setback is that it requires a skilled employee force and this makes control very difficult if not properly implemented.
The critics say that it is only applicable in large organizations, and there is no originality as it is an improvement on existing techniques. They also argue that there is no particular proof of its success. Another thing to consider is that applying Six Sigma techniques effectively in the field is far more difficult than the actual learning process.
Six Sigma is a business methodology that uses data and statistics to fine tune, measure progress, and quantify financial targets. It aims to improve profits and reduce overhead costs and create less room for errors in business. As with any quality improvement strategy, there are pros and cons that need to be researched and applied to a particular company on a case by case basis to decide whether or not it will truly be successful in any situation.
Six Sigma Basics
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