Is a structured, disciplined and rigorous approach and methodology for process improvement through identifying and eliminating defects. It is a business management strategy, originally developed by Motorola, USA in 1986
The use of Six Sigma as a measurement standard is based on the concept of the normal curve, dating from the 1920s, when Shewhart demonstrated that three sigma (standard deviations) from the mean is a point where a process requires correction. In the mid-1980s Motorola engineers started to measure defects in millions per opportunities to provide adequate detail in measuring quality levels. The term ‘Six Sigma’ was coined in that period by one of the involved engineers, Smith.
Six Sigma can be perceived at three levels:
1. Metric: 3,4 Defects Per Million Opportunities (DPMO)
– DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve) is a structured problem solving roadmap and tools.
– DMADV (Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify) is a data driven quality strategy for designing product and processes
– DFSS (Design For Six Sigma) is an approach for the deployment of Six Sigma
3. Philosophy: reduce variation in the business and take customer-focused, data-driven decisions by implementing an measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvements projects.
Six Sigma uses a set of quality management techniques, including statistical information, and creates a unique infrastructure of people within the organization (‘Black Belts’, ‘Green Belts’, etc.) who are experts in Six Sigma. Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has quantified project targets (such as cost reduction and/or profit increase).
Six Sigma can be used by anybody who is involved in process improvement such as business analysts, engineers, project managers and advisors.
International Society of Six Sigma Professionals : http://www.isssp.com/
Knowledge database website: www.isixsigma.com