Implementing Six Sigma

Implementing Six Sigma is one of the best steps that can be taken towards overall improvement of the functions of a company. The experienced professionals can plan and implement Six Sigma projects in the existing infrastructure of the company and the number of benefits derived from it is many.

Six Sigma is a set of unique strategies and rules widely used by the popular organizations in order to improve their product and service quality. Six Sigma applications can be easily implemented in the existing infrastructure of the company with simple changes. The company will need experienced and skilled professionals to implement these. Motorola was the pioneer is the field of Six Sigma implementation. Other companies like GE, Caterpillar etc. followed its footprints and emerged as winners in terms of business and quality improvements.

Companies intending to implement Six Sigma in their set up often seek advice from the Six Sigma consultants. Some of them hire the Six Sigma certified employees directly on their payroll. Few companies get their employees trained on Six Sigma. Implementing Six Sigma is just a matter of executing the specific steps like project planning, deployment of the projects, analyzing and controlling the progress. There are several benefits of implementing Six Sigma which are as follows:

• Quality Improvement: The Six Sigma approach clearly identifies the defects that are taking place in the system of an organization. All sorts of errors, not related to the customer service, are considered as organizational defects. In order to evaluate the quantitative performance level of a process, Six Sigma statistical tools are applied. All the nonconformities of a particular process are considered a defect according to Six Sigma policies. After implementing Six Sigma, it is expected that the rate of defects will reduce down to 3.4 defects per millions opportunities handled by an organization. For an example, GE, before implementing Six Sigma, used to experience 35,000 defects per million opportunities and after Six Sigma deployment, it came down to 3.4. It shows that Six Sigma holds great significance in quality improvement of the companies.

• Cost Cutting: Providing cost effective solutions to the business is an important objective of implementing Six Sigma.  Now, in Six Sigma, the various wastes of time and money are considered as serious defects and the strategies and tools aim to reduce these wastages. It automatically leads to remarkable cost cutting. You need to make certain investments initially which includes the training cost and hiring an experienced professional. But the money spent on this will yield several times higher than the investment costs. Your resource cost will diminish wherein the profit margin will go up. You will get to see the benefits in increase stock value and high annual revenues.

• Evaluating Skills of the Employees: By implementing Six Sigma, a company can easily evaluate the skill and competency of their existing employees. While the projects are implemented, each employee is assigned certain tasks and the success of the project depends on the accomplishment of all tasks. The Champions lead all the projects and the green and black belts execute the process. If all the employees are potentially skilled, it becomes easy to implement Six Sigma. Hence, after implementing Six Sigma, the management will vividly understand who all are competent and who are lacking the required qualities in them.

Implementing Six Sigma in the processes will definitely yield great results in terms of revenues and customer satisfaction and this has been proved by Motorola, GE and many others. If your company is suffering from quality issues, this is the time to implement Six Sigma and watch out for overall improvement.

Six sigma is one of the time-tested quality assurance programs that can help an organization run their set-up without any errors. With proper implementation of six sigma the organization will have the right to make only 3.4 errors per million of opportunities they avail. In order to make this implementation a success, the management of the company needs to believe in it. Proper training should be provided to each and every employee of the company. The managers often are willing to take up six sigma strategies in their related domains but for that they need equal cooperation from the peers and also sub-ordinates who are aware of the basics of this program. Each set of employees should be provided with a different level of training.

Now this is an important fact that the company needs to have certain basic features in their infrastructure to implement Six Sigma. So the implementation is not applicable or rather suitable for all small and large businesses. Here are the necessary requirements for six sigma implementation.

Requirements for Implementing Six Sigma:

    • Identify the Potentiality of Holding Six Sigma: It has been observed that not all the processes run by a company have equal potential to implement the six sigma strategies. There are certain processes which need drastic improvement and have large scope for six sigma to work on them. So the six sigma rules should be implemented in that very process which needs it. Before implementing Six Sigma, they need to find out if the value of the end product delivered by that particular process is significant for the company’s overall business or not. The cost part should be carefully taken care of before any such implementation is done.
  • Professional Consultancy for Six Sigma Implementation: If six sigma is a new approach that the company is about to implement, there are almost 100% chances that the employees are not aware of the program and the activities related to it. This is why the organization should seek help from the professional consultants of Six Sigma. One should hire people who have adequate experience in implementing six sigma in practically the organization resembling the one under consideration. The master black belts and black belts are the one who know all about six sigma and are experts of implementation. In order to make it a hit, one should get the employees trained professionally.
  • Cost Cutting Factor: While implementing the six sigma in your company, you should also look at the cost factor. Often the six sigma certified professional demand high pay packages or fees for their services. If this is going to be burdening for the company, it would be a better option to get the existing employees trained on the basics. This way you can get a good number of highly efficient employees who can be green belts or black belts and even master black belts.

Steps of Six Sigma Implementation:
In order to implement six sigma in a company, few steps should be followed strictly.

  • First of all the commitment level of the employees who are among the top leaders of the company should be judged.
  • All recent data related to the project should be collected which includes customer feedback.
  • There should be a monitoring system to manage the entire process and also locate the areas that need immediate improvement.
  • Team selection is obviously an important task on which the success of the process depends. The management should select the most skilled and well-trained people for the projects. The black belts should be leading the process while the green belts will assist them in planning and executing the process.
  • Management should be careful about the progress of the six sigma project and they should know what all improvements are required.
  • Communication among the employees of all level is really important as the contribution from them will make the project sheer success.

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