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Business & Career Improvement
Six Sigma; An Overview
- Categorized in: Six Sigma (General)
In 1986, Motorola developed a business management strategy entitled Six Sigma. Six Sigma aims at improving the quality of the process outputs of a business (products and services) by identifying and removing the causes of the defects and to minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.
The Six Sigma methodology uses a set of quality management techniques that include statistical methods, and creates a group of people organized into a team within the business who are experts in these techniques, as they have been trained and certified after mastering the theories and tools. When a business uses the Six Sigma Process, they follow a designed series of steps and have quantified monetary objectives.
The ultimate goal of a Six Sigma business process is to have less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO), which statistically speaking creates products and services that are anticipated to be free of deficiencies. Management and engineering practices routinely use the words “6 Sigma” for all of manufacturing operations, as their goal was to achieve this level of perfection. Business success results in using this process continuously to achieve stable and predictable process results. By implementing this process, organizations are able to use their characteristics to define, measure, analyze, improve, and control their business processes. This system is called the DMAIC process. When top level management uses this process correctly, they are able to attain continual quality improvement, as they are assured a clear focus on achieving measureable financial returns.
Six Sigma guarantees an increased emphasis on support for the management team within an organization. This approach uses different levels of leadership tactics which include but are not limited to teams of Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts, and Yellow Belt level trained individuals. Using confirmable data rather than making postulations is an underlying attribute of the success of this process. A process capability study is within a field of statistics from which this quality management theory is derived. It is the goal that when used over the short-term, long term process levels will be below 3.4 defects per million. Although the theory of the process itself was developed at the Motorola company in the 1980s, it has since also been adopted by many other successful organizations worldwide such as Honeywell and General Electric. By the end of the 1990s, two-thirds of the fortune five hundred organizations were using Six Sigma proposals.
Recently, many organizations have combined Six Sigma with lean manufacturing and have titled the new process Lean Six Sigma. This method combines lean thinking, which strives to eliminate all waste from business processes with Six Sigma which promotes the elimination of defects from all business processes in order to create perfect products and services. This serves as a foundation for innovation throughout many organizations such as IBM, combining manufacturing and software development to sales and service delivery functions. Many believe that this combination of the two theories is the best possible system for quality control within a business.
Six Sigma Basics
Six Sigma Videos
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