Six Sigma Programs – About Corporate Deployment

Six Sigma programs have become the global standard for quality control in the workplace. Deployment of Six Sigma is driven by competition and the need to develop and to keep customers and clients. Customers are happy with perfect or near perfect products and services. Any company able to perfect its processes and services will keep its customers and clients for the long term.

Prior to attempting to function in the Six Sigma culture, key employees must be trained and indoctrinated into the Six Sigma culture and methodology. These key players are the ones who will then roll out the culture of change for the rest of the organization. There are a number of Six Sigma programs the hard part is choosing the right one for the corporation, and this is where many corporations fail. Prior to monetary and worker commitment, a little research is needed to ensure the proper fit. Failure to do this ends up in wasted time and money. In Six Sigma programs, the truth is in the details. It is important to read the small print before signing on the dotted line.

Corporations need to decide whether they want to go into a heavy certification program or a simple learning program just to get the ball rolling. Simple Six Sigma programs give the basic knowledge and instruction on how to best utilize the various Six Sigma tools. Certification Six Sigma programs, on the other hand, are more labor intensive and usually very costly. Cost may prove no problem for big corporations, however a labor intensive Six Sigma program may prove too much for a smaller business. It will be necessary to look at training finances prior to making a commitment. It is important to note that a corporation should look at the cost of Six Sigma as an investment into the future rather than an expense. This is because the benefits of training employees in Six Sigma usually outweigh the expense over time.

Another possibility is off site training, however this can prove the most expensive way to go. Bringing outside Six Sigma consultant inside is also costly and may produce the worst results. For these reasons, many corporations choose to train a few key personnel and then allow them to train everyone else in the company. Many corporations train their key personnel with online Six Sigma programs which allow workers to train on their own time and at their own speed. Online training programs use modules, quizzes and final exams, which allow the workers to go back over difficult topics and materials. Some Six Sigma software can be accessed from home, allowing employees to do the training at their leisure, or off duty time.

Six Sigma programs are rated according to their depth of subject and use the language of martial arts for communicating levels of understanding. For example, personnel are referred to as Six Sigma Yellow Belts, Green Belts, Black Belts and Master Black Belts. Others in the hierarchy include champions and process owners, who usually make up senior management.


Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.