Six Sigma Methodology | Six Sigma Model | 6Σ / 6σ

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What is Six Sigma? Description

Six Sigma (6Σ, 6σ) is a quality management methodology that provides businesses with the tools to improve the capability of their business processes. This increase in performance and decrease in process variation lead to defect reduction and improvement in profits, employee morale and quality of product. It is a quality measure and improvement program that was pioneered by Mikel Harry and Motorola. It focuses on the control of a process until the point of six sigma (standard deviations) from a centerline, or 3.4 defects per million items. It includes identifying factors which are critical for the quality as determined by the customer. It reduces process variation and improvement capabilities, increases stability and designs systems to support the six sigma goal.

Six Sigma 6 ΣThe Six Sigma model is a highly disciplined approach that can help companies to focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. It is based on the statistical work of Joseph Juran, a Rumanian-born US pioneer of quality management. The word "Sigma" is a Greek sign used for a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection (standards deviation). If the sigma number is higher, you are closer to perfection. One sigma is not very good; six sigma is defined as only 3.4 defects per million. The central idea behind Six Sigma is that if you can measure how many "defects" you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how you can eliminate them. Thus you can almost come to "zero defects".

The Japanese origin of Six Sigma can still be seen by the system of "belts" which it uses. If you are new to Six Sigma and you go on a basic training, you get a green belt. Anyone who has the responsibility for leading a Six Sigma team is called a black belt. Finally there is a special elite group called Master Black Belts who supervise the Black Belts.

Five Steps in Six Sigma. Process

Typically, a Six Sigma process has the following five stages:

  1. Definition. The first step in any Six Sigma project is to clarify the problem and narrow its scope in such a way that measurable goals can be achieved within a few months. Then a team is assembled to examine the process in detail, suggest improvements, and implement those recommendations. In the manufacturing world, project managers and their sponsors typically begin by defining what constitutes a defect and then establish a set of objectives designed to reduce the occurrence of such defects.
  2. Measurement. In the second step of a Six Sigma project, the team gathers data and prepares it for high-level analysis.
  3. Analysis. Once a process has been mapped and documented, and the quality of the hard supporting data has been verified, the Six Sigma team can begin the analysis. The team members usually start by identifying the ways in which people fail to act as needed, or by identifying the ways in which people fail to ensure effective control at each stage.
  4. Improvement. Recommend, decide and implement improvements.
  5. Control. In the final stage of a Six Sigma project, the team creates controls. These are enabling the company to sustain and extend the improvements.

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Forum about Six Sigma.

🔥 NEW Sustaining Momentum of Process Improvement over Time
Improving business processes using methods like Lean, Six Sigma and Agile often works well initially, however quite ofte (...)
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Six Sigma Approach Part I
The Six Sigma approach identifies and prioritizes problems in response to customer needs. The method’s goal is to unders (...)
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Next Step after Voice Of Processes have been Defined?
We have defined all the Voice Of Processes for our 6Ϭ Lean Manufacturing project. What should be our next step to (...)
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Best Practices

The top-rated discussion topics about Six Sigma. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

🥇 3 Additional Six Sigma Levels
Besides the Sigma levels 1 to 6, we can actually also distinguish between 3 other levels of using Six SIgma: A. Use Six (...)
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🥈 The Basis of Six Sigma? Statistics and Discipline
Many of the tools of Six Sigma (and the concept of lean manufacturing with which Six Sigma is most closely identified) c (...)
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🥉 Six Sigma Organization Structure
Usually, Six Sigma organizations are composed of the following: Champions - these are members of the Senior Management (...)
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Six Sigma in an R&D context
Is it possible to use Six Sigma to improve the quality of R&D processes? Or do R&D activities naturally defy systematic (...)
8 reactions

The 5 x Why Method (The 5 Whys)
DESCRIPTION OF THE 5 WHY METHOD The "5 x why" method has been developed by Toyota to perform an iterative of productio (...)
35 reactions

Focus of Six Sigma: The 6 Rights
Six Sigma management can focus on following 6 Right (Rights): - Right Support - Right Project - Right Road Map (DMAIC (...)
1 reactions

Statistical Process Control (SPC)
According to many, Six Sigma is based on Statistical Process Control (SPC), a method of visually monitoring production p (...)
4 reactions

Is Six Sigma Enough? (To Improve the Quality Level of an Organization...)
In order to improve a process, or to get a new standard or higher quality level in an organization, is 6 Sigma a good ap (...)
10 reactions

Tools for Finding Root Cause?
Which tool is preferable in Six Sigma methodology to detect or find the root cause from special cause variation and then (...)
7 reactions

Six Sigma DMAIC and DMADV
Two Six Sigma sub-methodologies are called: DMAIC - Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control, and DMADV - Define, (...)
3 reactions

Six Sigma for Marketing
Six Sigma for Marketing (SSFM) is newest Six Sigma variant – drives growth. SSFM links interdependencies of strategic m (...)
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Evaluating Six Sigma Projects
How can I evaluate the quality of 6 Sigma projects (logical think, creative, right tools, effectiveness and so on). Wha (...)
4 reactions

Six Sigma Requirements
In order for Six Sigma to be successful in an organisation, the concept should be embraced from the grass roots to top m (...)
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Identifying Critical Characteristics
It is excellent to use Six Sigma in practice. But critical to its success is the right identification of critical charac (...)
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Hypothesis Testing in DMAIC Projects
Is hypothesis testing a must in DMAIC projects? Why (not)? (...)
10 reactions

Add Standardization to DMAIC Phases in Six Sigma (DMAICS)
In my experience I implemented the Six Sigma process following 6 instead of just 5 phases. The first five are the classi (...)
2 reactions

Six Sigma in Medical Transcription
How can Six Sigma be used in the field of medical transcription? What are all the gradients that need to be worked on in (...)
4 reactions

Six Sigma is a Story!
Six Sigma is a story of X, Y and Z. When all X's and Y's are controlled, Z's improve. X's are causes, Y's are problems (...)
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Differentiating Six Sigma from TQM
Although invented at Motorola, Six Sigma has been perfected at General Electric. GE is truly the home of Six Sigma. The (...)
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Evaluating Six Sigma Project Leaders
How can I evaluate the talent of Six Sigma project leaders (presentation skill, answering, strategic thinking, and so on (...)
2 reactions

Quality Lessons in Dealing with Contractors
In the last 2 years I learned the following lessons working with Home Remodeling contractors. Lesson One: Be careful wh (...)
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Six Sigma Implementation Roles
The following names (some are from martial arts) are used for Six Sigma professional roles: Sponsor - Senior executive (...)
5 reactions

Six Sigma Manufacturing Example
Businesses who are not very active in quality management most of the time have a process quality from 2 or 3 sigma. This (...)
1 reactions

Best Practices Lean Six Sigma in Social Care
I have been using Lean Six Sigma (I'm a Black belt) in Adult Social Care in the UK and to my knowledge I am the only per (...)
2 reactions

Six Sigma for Retail
What is best way to measure defects in a retail business in order to improve efficiency? (...)
5 reactions

Six Sigma Dictionary - Six Sigma Terms
LEAN components: Inventory reduced by kanban management. Plant layout with D-cells provides minimal handling, transport (...)
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The Cost of Poor Quality: Tools for Effective Control & Reduction
Which Six Sigma tools are effective to determine and reduce the cost of poor quality (in the manufacturing sector)? Si (...)
7 reactions

Six Sigma in Textile / Confection Industry
Any information or experiences about Six Sigma implementation in textile, confection industries? Thank you... (...)
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6 Sigma....Frame period
Hi..., I have a concern regarding the execution of 6 sigma... When a business has to move from one sigma level to anothe (...)
1 reactions

Six Sigma Implementation Process
I am looking for the Six Sigma implementation process. (...)
1 reactions

Six Sigma Effectiveness
Please, can someone evaluate the effectiveness of Six Sigma process improvement methodology. (...)
7 reactions

6 Sigma in Construction Industry
Can 6 sigma method be applied in construction industry? If yes, how? (...)
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Six Sigma in Passengers Handling
How can Six Sigma be applied to passengers handling services in air transportation at an airport? (...)
4 reactions

Good Practitioner Books on Lean - Six Sigma, S&OP?
Hi all, short question, currently I am working in a pure logistics field but would like to develop my supply chain knowl (...)
1 reactions

Organizational Development + Six Sigma or Lean
Have any of you integrated tools from Organizational Development with the use of Lean and Six Sigma. I would be interest (...)
4 reactions

Should Six Sigma start after Lean Implementation?
My perception to Six Sigma is that it should start after Lean Implementation, at least basic (Stability Phase and Contin (...)
1 reactions

Six Sigma In Inbound Call Center
How can Six Sigma be used in an inbound call center? What are the basic parameters to be defined? (...)
5 reactions

Lean Management in Retail
Hi all, I'm a student from UEB-VNU, Vietnam. I've start my first research on applying lean management in retail in Vietn (...)
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Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
I would like to know to what educational degree one can compare a Lean Six Sigma (L6S) Blackbelt certification? Thanks f (...)
4 reactions

Quality Critical Factors
How can the quality critical factors for a product be effectively identified like a pig lung, a pharmaceutical raw mater (...)
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Disadvantages of Lean Six Sigma. Drawbacks
Hello! I am a student and I am trying to investigate why not every company is willing to implement Lean Six Sigma (LSS) (...)
1 reactions

Lean 6 Sigma in Laboratories
Hello, I want to know about Lean 6 Sigma in as I am laboratory supervisor. How can I use this approach to reach to high (...)
1 reactions

Six Sigma Department
I am trying to apply Six Sigma in my work system like X Y, Z. Why are not all big companies implementing a department o (...)
1 reactions

Applying Six Sigma to Landscape Architecture
How can Six Sigma be applied in Architecture practice? The deliverables being the project plan, the drawings and supervi (...)
1 reactions

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Six Sigma. Here you will find professional advices by experts.

Six Sigma Implementation Principles

Implementing Six Sigma Succesfully (...)

Six Sigma Approaches / Steps Compared


Good Six Sigma Project Management

Six Sigma Project Characteristics (...)

Hypothesis Testing in Lean Six Sigma Explained

SS Hypothesis Testing (...)

6 Management Responsibilities in 6 Sigma

Six Sigma Implementation, Best Practices (...)

Human Sigma

Improving Employee-Customer Encounters (...)

Six Sigma in Service Organizations

Benefits (...)

How Six Sigma Supports TQM

TQM, Six Sigma (...)

Six Sigma Lessons Learned

Process Improvement of Six Sigma Projects (...)

Six Sigma in Service Organizations

Challenges and Difficulties (...)

3 Critical Success Factors for Six Sigma Projects

Getting results out of a 6 Sigma project (...)

3 Six Sigma Variants

Differences in Six Sigma Approaches (...)

Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA)

Testing Measurement Systems, Improving Measurement Systems, Assessing Measurement Systems (...)

Generic Six Sigma Project Ideas

Identifying LSS Projects (...)

Design for Six Sigma

Supply Chain & Quality (...)

How to Make Value Stream Map? Tips

Making a Value Stream Map, Creating a Value Stream Map (...)

DMAIC Approach is Sequential, But...

Six Sigma Implementation (...)

The DMAIC Process Step by Step Example

Six Sigma Implementation, DMAIC Process (...)

Lean Six Sigma Programs

Driving Innovation (...)


Six Sigma Method (...)

Six Sigma Improvement Team Composition and Procedure

Six Sigma (...)

Appropriate Sample Sizes in Six Sigma

Six Sigma (...)

Radical Innovations

Assessing Your Level of Preparedness (...)

Control Charts and Control Limits

Controlling the Process (...)
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Six Sigma. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

Six Sigma Dictionary (250 terms)

6 Sigma Terms (...)

Great Truths about Six Sigma

Introducing SIx Sigma (...)

Six Sigma Explanation

Business Process Improvement (...)

Lean Assessment Tool

Lean / Six Sigma Assessment (...)

Six Sigma Intro

Introduction to SS (...)

Business Process Management and Improvement: Six Sigma, BPR and (R)Evolutionary Change

Process Management, process Improvement, Business Process Reengineering, BPR, Six Sigma (...)

Six Sigma Calculator

Calculating DPM and PPM (...)

SS Origins and Destinations

Six Sigma and Sustainability (...)

Introduction to Project Quality Management

Quality Management, Project Quality Planning, Project Quality Assurance, Project Quality Control (...)

Overview Six Sigma

Six Sigma Method (...)

8 Wastes Assessment and 5S Analysis in Office Environments

Lean, 5S , WASTE (...)

Using the Whys Method

Six Sigma, Toyoda, Toyota, Lean Production, Root Cause Analysis (...)

Six Sigma Demystified

Powerpoint (...)

Plan for Every Part

Lean Production, Parts Management, Value Stream Mapping, Continuous-flow Manufacturing (...)

Battle of Champions in Performance Improvement: Six Sigma versus Lean

Performance Improvement Lean Six Sigma (...)

Six Sigma Diagram

Quality Assurance (...)

Certifications from Various Accreditation Agencies

Six Sigma Certifications (...)

Errors in Hypothesis Testing

Errors in Hypothesis Testing (...)

A Guide to Control Charts

Applying Control Charts, Types of Control Charts (...)

Rolled Throughput Yield

Calculating Yield of a Process (...)

Sample Size Calculation

Calculating Sample Size, Determining Sample Size (...)

Design of Experiments (DOE)

Designing Experiments, Designing Statistical Experiments (...)

Six Sigma Capability Studies

Determining the Six Sigma Level (...)

Compare with: Kaizen  |  Deming Cycle  |  Scientific Management  |  8D Problem Solving  |  Value Chain  |  Just-in-time  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  Value Engineering  |  Hoshin Kanri - Policy Deployment

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