Six Sigma

Topics: Six Sigma, Process capability, Process management Pages: 15 (4296 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Six Sigma is a set of tools and techniques/strategies for process improvement originally developed by Motorola in 1981.[1][2] Six Sigma became well known after Jack Welch made it a central focus of his business strategy at General Electric in 1995,[3] and today it is used in different sectors of industry.[4]

Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.[5] It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization ("Champions", "Black Belts", "Green Belts", "Yellow Belts", etc.) who are experts in the methods.[5] Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has quantified value targets, for example; process cycle time reduction, customer satisfaction, reduction in pollution, cost reduction and/or profit increase.[5]

The term Six Sigma originated from terminology associated with manufacturing, specifically terms associated with statistical modeling of manufacturing processes. The maturity of a manufacturing process can be described by a sigma rating indicating its yield or the percentage of defect-free products it creates. A six sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects (3.4 defects per million), although, as discussed below, this defect level corresponds to only a 4.5 sigma level. Motorola set a goal of "six sigma" for all of its manufacturing operations, and this goal became a byword for the management and engineering practices used to achieve it. Contents

1 Historical overview
2 Doctrine
3 Methods
3.3 Quality management tools and methods used in Six Sigma 4 Implementation roles
4.1 Certification
4.2 University certification programs
5 Origin and meaning of the term "six sigma process"
6 Role of the 1.5 sigma shift
6.1 Sigma levels
7 Software used for Six Sigma
7.1 Statistics analysis tools with comparable functions 8 Application
8.1 In healthcare
9 Criticism
9.1 Lack of originality
9.2 Role of consultants
9.3 Potential negative effects
9.3.1 Stifling creativity in research environments 9.4 Lack of systematic documentation
9.5 Criticism of the 1.5 sigma shift
10 See also
11 References
12 Further reading

Historical overview
Wiki letter w.svg This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (May 2013) Doctrine

Like its predecessors, Six Sigma doctrine asserts that:

Continuous efforts to achieve stable and predictable process results (i.e., reduce process variation) are of vital importance to business success. Manufacturing and business processes have characteristics that can be measured, analyzed, controlled and improved. Achieving sustained quality improvement requires commitment from the entire organization, particularly from top-level management.

Features that set Six Sigma apart from previous quality improvement initiatives include:

A clear focus on achieving measurable and quantifiable financial returns from any Six Sigma project.[5] An increased emphasis on strong and passionate management leadership and support.[5] A special infrastructure of "Champions", "Master Black Belts", "Black Belts", "Green Belts", etc. to lead and implement the Six Sigma approach.[5] A clear commitment to making decisions on the basis of verifiable data and statistical methods, rather than assumptions and guesswork.[5]

The term "Six Sigma" comes from a field of statistics known as process capability studies. Originally, it referred to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within...

References: Wiki letter w.svg This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (May 2013)
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