The History of Six Sigma

In order to understand what makes a strategy successful, it is important to look back at how that strategy got its start. The history of the quality control theory known as Six Sigma, is actually quite intriguing. This practice was originally instituted by the Motorola Corporation in the 1980s.

An engineer by the name of Bill Smith, along with the CEO of the Motorola company at that time, Bob Galvin, was desperately searching for a way to bring statistics and finances together for the betterment of their operations. They were able to mix their knowledge in order to be able to utilize different tools of measurement in order to significantly improve the quality of the organization as well as the profit margin.

The idea of the strategy was further acted upon by Richard Schoreder and Dr. Mikel Harry. They decided to work on the strategy a little bit further in order to transform it into a widely received process. They wanted to introduce the strategy to all of the top operating companies, and that is exactly what they accomplished!  Today, the Six Sigma Methodology is used by companies, both big and small, in many different industries, all over the world.

The strategy is a structured method that is used to improve daily processed used by businesses. The strategy focuses on reducing processing variations, while also reducing defects for products and services. These two things are able to be reduced through the use of statistical data and problem solving tools that identify weak spots within an organization.

When broken down literally, the strategy can be defined as a process that is carried out to identify and correct possible defects within a specific product or service. There is some controversy surrounding this method, with a group of people that believe wholeheartedly in its effectiveness and some others that do not. However, most organizations that have adopted the principle have discovered that the strategy is a great reference to use to eliminate defects that could have not been avoided with any other approach.

The method consists of six specific components that businesses can employ. Each strategy concentrates on helping businesses improve their present strategies, increase their efficiency, while decreasing waste and increasing revenue.

The first strategy point is to always put the customer first. It is important for a business to know their customer, and do everything to provide them with the services they require. The next concept is that all management decisions must be based on facts. The third is to put an excessive amount of attention in management, improvements, and processes.  The fourth concept is to create a proactive management team. The fifth is to ensure that collaboration is done without borders, meaning that every entity within the company should be involved in collaborative decisions. The sixth and final concept is that an organization should always be aiming for perfection.

The history of Six Sigma is a significant thing to learn. The only way to truly understand a strategy is to examine how, where, and why it emerged. It is apparent that the Motorola Corporation, the birthplace of this process, has managed to remain a global powerhouse. Obviously, they have been doing something right for all of these years.  Many companies since have been able to duplicate their success with this process as well.