Six Sigma Process

Six Sigma process is based on the best cost-effective set of strategies available in the market and has taken the corporate world to a new level. More number of popular companies are trying to implement it in their systems in order to achieve overall improvement in their quality, customer service and revenues earned.

Six Sigma is a data-driven management approach, often used in the lean production method, where output is maximized at the minimum cost possible, resulting in overall improvement of a company. It was first developed by Motorola, and then adopted by several other companies like Xerox, Allied Signal, GE and Caterpillar. Six Sigma strategies are based on the philosophy of understanding the customer’s needs and demands and improvement of utility and quality of the products, allowing only around 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

This strategy equips the organization with an array of statistical tools and methodologies, thus enabling them to tackle complicated problems better than before and have an edge over the others in the market. After this method was adopted by the respective companies, there was a drastic improvement in the quality and performance of their products and services, improving the overall market competence of the company as well as increasing the level of customer satisfaction as well.

But before you can call any process a Six Sigma process, there is a huge calculation and analysis to be performed on the existing set up.

Selection of the Project: The right project should be chosen keeping the possibility of maximum benefits in mind. So, keeping abreast of the latest industry practice and methodologies, you can easily outperform the strongest contenders with extensive research on the Six Sigma process.  But this type of research can give you somewhat vague results. So, it is always better to follow the basic criteria laid down by the supply chain, which makes things easier for you.
Also while selecting the process; few things should be kept in mind:

  • It might not be wise to think about monetary profits always, since some processes actually may not directly bring you monetary gains but definitely, it can indirectly affect the driving sources like human labour, technology and reputation of the company in the market, which might prove crucial for the smooth and effective running of the other active processes in the company.
  • Before we actually select and start on a project, it is always advisable to measure the available resources, the goals we have set and the scopes of improvement in the related department.
  • Also, during the Six Sigma process, it is best to break it down into small phases, like tactical, analytical, strategic phases, which will result in better coordination and efficiency of the employees.

After the project is selected, it is time to run the Six Sigma strategy on it. Now, it follows a universal DMAIC model. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

  • Define: This step defines the project in detail. Here the professionals create documents or charters about the project, determining the scopes, expectations, opportunities and threats of the project. It demands an in-depth understanding of the customers’ needs and requirements and sets the objectives to be fulfilled.
  • Measure: Before you actually start the execution and defects elimination process, you need to take a good measure of the resources and the previous performance data. A statistical chart stating the customers’ expectations and the present ability to fulfill them should be chalked out.
  • Analyze: To create solutions to the problems that may arise, you first have to get to the root cause of the problems. This is the objective of this step. All the scopes are ransacked and every probable problem is evaluated to get to the root causes. It builds a better ground of functioning for the upcoming step.
  • Improve: This is the phase where innovative solutions are chalked out for the existing and probable problems; new strategies are tried and tested, thus eliminating the current defects and drawbacks of the project, cutting it down to as little as 3.4 DPMO.
  • Control: After the immediate improvement is noticed, it is also of utmost significance that different methodologies are applied to improve standards of the product, and make sure it doesn’t go down.

This process is repeated as long as the desired results are not acquired, and a large group of experts make sure the goals and objectives are met in the end.

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