Building high quality products and services that are robust and repeatable.
Improving Quality with Six Sigma
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a rigorous and structured management approach that aims at developing and delivering near-perfect products and services.
Initially set as a manufacturing goal towards zero defect, over time, Six Sigma has evolved into a management philosophy as more service industries adopt the approach. Today, it is widely adopted as a management system and business strategy.
Sigma is a statistical term that represents how far a given process deviates from perfection. It is used as a measure of process capability. The core idea behind Six Sigma is that if we can measure the "defects" in a process, we can adopt a systematic approach to eliminate them and get as close to "zero defects" as possible.
When a process operates at a Six Sigma level, the deviation is so small that the resulting products and services are 99.9997% defect free or no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). An "opportunity" is defined as a chance for non-conformance, or not meeting the required specifications. This means we need to be nearly flawless in executing our key business processes.
While Six Sigma corresponds to being 99.9997% defect free, not all business processes need to attain this level of performance. Organizations can also use the Six Sigma approach to identify top opportunities with the highest value and then focus their improvement efforts there.
The DMAIC Approach to Process Improvement
All your existing business and supporting processes can be improved using the Six Sigma DMAIC approach. The five phases of the DMAIC methodology are commonly used in process improvement. The phase objectives are described below.
Define the problem or opportunity.
Measure the current performance or capability.
Analyze to identify root causes.
Improve by implementing potential solutions.
Control by standardizing solutions and monitoring performance.
"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results."
Benefits of Six Sigma
One of the distinguishing features of Six Sigma from other approaches is a clear focus on achieving bottom-line results within a relatively short period of time.
The benefits of Six Sigma are many. They include the following:
Defining a measurable way to track performance improvements
Focusing our attention on process management at all levels of the organization
Improving customer relationships by addressing “defects”
Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of processes by aligning them with customers’ needs
After seeing the huge financial successes at Motorola, GE, Bank of America and other early adopters of Six Sigma management, many organizations world-wide have now instituted Six Sigma management programs.
The Six Sigma management approach can be applied to both manufacturing and service industries.
Through Operational Excellence Consulting’s training workshops and consulting guidance by our certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belts, you will acquire the knowledge and skills to use the Six Sigma disciplined process to improve efficiency, reduce costs, eliminate defects and reduce variation in your products and services.