What is Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a quality measure that every company is striving today to get perfection. It is a much disciplined methodology for eliminating defects.  This applies to all sectors of business like manufacturing, services, transactions and even products. Six sigma denotes the six standard deviations from statistical mean. Sigma is derived from a Greek word which means standard deviation in statistical language.

The first company to implement six sigma was Motorola in their manufacturing division.  Today it is being implemented in all sectors and the newest one is call centers. This method is used to improve the existing quality and remove any defects by re tuning them periodically. For achieving this six sigma used a technique called DMAIC. It stands for defining opportunities, to measure performance, analyze opportunities that are defined, improve performance of employees and organization and control the performances.

Six sigma has three important elements to improve process:

Customers: it is our customers who define what they want and the quality also. They expect the company to give them reliable prices, timely delivery of the same and also processing of transaction in time.  It is for this reason six sigma first considers the customers as the first element.

Processes: defining the process and setting calculable metrics is the second important element of six sigma. Since quality is what our customers require, the company also needs to maintain quality standards in all departments. For this purpose we have look at the processes from outside in.

Employees: the company should given the employees an opportunity to involve themselves in getting trained in six sigma. In fact every company is now a day’s making it mandatory for all employees to get trained in six sigma so that they can comply with the standards set by the company.

As discussed earlier let’s understand more about DMAIC. This is also known as steps involved in six sigma. When the company is talking about define it is actually defining the problem. These problem areas must be identified to check what kind of improvements they need. The next important by time consuming step is measure, here the experts will be defining the constraint that can be used to measure performance. Here a parameter for measuring variations in process also needs to be defined.

The next step will be to analyze the data that were collected. Here a gap analysis is done between the current performance and what is the performance that is expected. The best tool that can be used for this purpose is the regression analysis. The next step involves formulating a group of solutions and to identify the best solution. This is done to improve the performance of your existing process. The final step helps in originating procedure to control the process. If this step is not properly done then the entire attempt that was made to improve the quality of the business might be ruined.

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