Six Sigma is a set of statistical tools adopted within quality management to construct a framework for process improvement ( Goh and Xie, 2004! McAdam and Evans, 2004). Six sigma is recognized as a problem-solving method that uses quality and statistical tools for basic process improvements but not necessarily! a comprehensive management system.
The second stream defines six sigma as an operational philosophy of management that can be shared beneficially by Customers, Shareholders, Employees and Suppliers.
It is also defined as a multifaceted, customer-oriented, structured, systematic, proven active and quantitative philosophical approach for business improvement to increase quality speed up deliveries and reduce costs
Six Sigma Adoption
It was developed and undergone significant changes! it initially applied in the manufacturing sector but has now spanned over Service and Financial sectors grouping these changes into three generations.
The first generation of this (1987 – 1994) was focused on the reduction of defects and enhancing the turnover of Motorola drastically.
The second-generation (1994 – 2000) was concentrated on cost reduction and was firstly adopted by General Electric, Du Pont and Honeywell.
The third generation (2000 onwards) is oriented to creating value for the customers and the enterprise itself like Posco and Samsung. Six sigma is very much in use within the manufacturing sector but is growing in the service sector.
Quality Tools For Six Sigma Work
- Pareto Chart
- Scatter Diagram
- Cause And Effect Diagram
- Control Chart
- Check Sheet
The six sigma strategic methodology utilizes the Acronym DMAIC which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. These five Phases help in Launching a project in an efficient manner.
Define:- Define the problems that need solving
Measure:- Assess the extent of the use and quantify it with data.
Analyze:- Use a data-driven approach.
Improve:- Put changes into practice that eliminates the root cause.
Control:- Maintain the profit that you have made with the changes.
Benefits Of Six Sigma
Reduced costs, reduced project time, improved results and improved data integrity are some of the benefits of six sigma. In addition to that, the techniques used to optimize the process performance.
Six Sigma provides us with a solution to achieve sensible improvements, providing a learning process for managers in order to take a wide view of the systems and effectively change the business.
Six sigma could enhance product development cycles and process design, shorting product lead times by reducing the cycle time of the overall manufacturing process.
Six Sigma can be used to find and eliminate the root cause of the problem! so reducing the variability in the process in order to overcome defects
It also helps the workers to understand how to carry out the job and acquaint them to solve grave concerns
The adoption of six sigma improved both, whether the efficiency of time or production capability, including minimizing waste such as the reduced need for inspection, removed useless components! and excessive movements and decreased time for repair.
DIFFERING OPINIONS ON THE DEFINITION OF SIX SIGMA
The differing definitions below have been proposed for Six Sigma, but they all share some common threads:
- The use of teams that are assigned well-defined projects that have a direct impact on the organization’s bottom line.
- Training in “statistical thinking” at all levels and providing key people with extensive training in advanced statistics and project management. These key people are designated “Black Belts.” Review the different Six Sigma belts, levels, and roles.
- Emphasis on the DMAIC approach to problem-solving: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control.
- A management environment that supports these initiatives as a business strategy.
Philosophy: The philosophical perspective of Six Sigma views all work as processes that can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled. Processes require inputs (x) and produce outputs (y). If you control the inputs, you will control the outputs. This is generally expressed as y = f(x).
Set of tools: The Six Sigma expert uses qualitative and quantitative techniques or tools to drive process improvement. Such tools include statistical process control (SPC), control charts, failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), and process mapping. Six Sigma professionals do not totally agree as to exactly which tools constitute the set.
Methodology: This view of Six Sigma recognizes the underlying and rigorous DMAIC approach. DMAIC defines the steps a Six Sigma practitioner is expected to follow, starting with identifying the problem and ending with the implementation of long-lasting solutions. While DMAIC is not the only Six Sigma methodology in use, it is certainly the most widely adopted and recognized.
Metrics: In simple terms, Six Sigma quality performance means 3.4 defects per million opportunities (accounting for a 1.5-sigma shift in the mean).
WHAT IS LEAN SIX SIGMA?
Six Sigma focuses on reducing process variation and enhancing process control, whereas lean drives out waste (non-value added processes and procedures) and promotes work standardization and flow. The distinction between Six Sigma and lean has blurred, with the term “lean Six Sigma” being used more and more often because process improvement requires aspects of both approaches to attain positive results.
Lean Six Sigma is a fact-based, data-driven philosophy of improvement that values defect prevention over defect detection. It drives customer satisfaction and bottom-line results by reducing variation, waste, and cycle time, while promoting the use of work standardization and flow, thereby creating a competitive advantage. It applies anywhere variation and waste exist, and every employee should be involved.
INTEGRATING LEAN AND SIX SIGMA
Lean and Six Sigma both provide customers with the best possible quality, cost, delivery, and a newer attribute, nimbleness. There is a great deal of overlap between the two disciplines; however, they both approach their common purpose from slightly different angles:
• Lean focuses on waste reduction, whereas Six Sigma emphasizes variation reduction.
• Lean achieves its goals by using less technical tools such as kaizen, workplace organization, and visual controls, whereas Six Sigma tends to use statistical data analysis, design of experiments, and hypothesis testing.
Often successful implementations begin with the lean approach, making the workplace as efficient and effective as possible, reducing waste, and using value stream maps to improve understanding and throughput. If process problems remain, more technical Six Sigma statistical tools may then be applied.
IMPLEMENTING SIX SIGMA
Six Sigma implementation strategies can vary significantly between organizations, depending on their distinct culture and strategic business goals. After deciding to implement Six Sigma, an organization has two basic options:
- Implement a Six Sigma program or initiative
- Create a Six Sigma infrastructure
Option 1: Implement a Six Sigma Program or Initiative
With this approach, certain employees (practitioners) are taught the statistical tools from time to time and asked to apply a tool on the job when needed. The practitioners might then consult a statistician if they need help. Successes within an organization might occur; however, these successes do not build upon each other to encourage additional and better use of the tools and overall methodology.
When organizations implement Six Sigma as a program or initiative, it often appears that they only have added, in an unstructured fashion, a few new tools to their toolbox through training classes. One extension of this approach is to apply the tools as needed to assigned projects. It’s important to note, however, that the selection, management, and execution of projects are not typically an integral part of the organization.
Implementing a Six Sigma program or initiative can present unique challenges. Because these projects are often created at a low level within the organization, they may not have buy-in from upper management, which may lead to resistance from other groups affected by the initiative. In addition, there typically is no one assigned to champion projects across organizational boundaries and facilitate change.
Its program or initiative does not usually create an infrastructure that leads to bottom-line benefits through projects tied to the strategic goals of the organization. Therefore, it may not capture the buy-in necessary to reap a large return on the investment in training.
For true success, executive-level support and management buy-in is necessary. This can help lead to the application of statistical tools and Its other methodologies across organizational boundaries.
Option 2: Create a Six Sigma Infrastructure
Instead of focusing on the individual tools, it is best when Six Sigma training provides a process-oriented approach that teaches practitioners a methodology to select the right tool, at the right time, for a predefined project. Its training for practitioners (Black Belts) using this approach typically consists of four weeks of instruction over four months, where students work on their projects during the three weeks between sessions.
It as a business strategy through projects instead of tools is the more effective way to benefit from the time and money invested in Its training.
Consider the following Six Sigma deployment benefits via projects that have executive management support:
- Offers bigger impact through projects tied to bottom-line results
- Utilizes the tools in a more focused and productive way
- Provides a process/strategy for project management that can be studied and improved
- Increases communications between management and practitioners via project presentations
- Facilitates a detailed understanding of critical business processes
- Gives employees and management views of how statistical tools can be of significant value to organizations
- Allows Black Belts to receive feedback on their project approach during training
- Deploys Six Sigma with a closed-loop approach, creating time for auditing and incorporating lessons learned into an overall business strategy
A project-based approach relies heavily on a sound project selection process. Projects should be selected that meet the goals of an organization’s business strategy. It can then be utilized as a road map to effectively meet those goals.
Initially, companies might have projects that are too large or perhaps are not chosen because of their strategic impact to the bottom line. Frustration with the first set of projects can be vital experience that motivates improvement in the second phase.
It is a long-term commitment. Treating deployment as a process allows objective analysis of all aspects of the process, including project selection and scoping. Utilizing lessons learned and incorporating them into subsequent waves of an implementation plan creates a closed feedback loop and real dramatic bottom-line benefits if the organization invests the time and executive energy necessary to implement Six Sigma as a business strategy!
What do you mean by Six Sigma?
It is a statistical- and data-driven process that works by reviewing limited mistakes or defects. It emphasizes cycle-time improvements while reducing manufacturing defects to no more than 3.4 occurrences per million units or events.
Why it is called 6 Sigma?
The etymology is based on the Greek symbol “σ,” a statistical term for measuring process deviation from the process mean or target. It comes from the bell curve used in statistics, where one sigma symbolizes a single standard deviation from the mean.
What are the 6 Sigma principles?
- Always focus on the customer.
- Understand how work really happens.
- Make your processes flow smoothly.
- Reduce waste and concentrate on value.
- Stop defects by removing variation.
- Get buy-in from the team through collaboration.
- Make your efforts systematic and scientific.
What does the 6 in Six Sigma stand for?
It stands for 6 standard deviations (6σ) between average and acceptable limits. LSL and USL stand for “Lower Specification Limit” and “Upper Specification Limit” respectively. Specification Limits are derived from the customer requirements, and they specify the minimum and maximum acceptable limits of a process.
what is six sigma certification?
The Lean Six Sigma certification helps in validating professionals who are skilled in identifying risks, errors, or defects in a business process and removing them. Getting Its Certification usually requires individuals to have a certain level of experience and testify to their proficiency.
What does it mean to be Six Sigma certified?
Its certification is a verification of an individual’s command of a well-regarded method of professional skills development. Certifications for Its training are awarded in levels using a belt classification system similar to the one used in karate training.
What is Six Sigma ‘? Mcq?
Explanation: DPMO stands for defects per million opportunities. The objective of that is to approach zero defects and allows only 3.4 defects per million opportunities.
Six Sigma examples
Example Lean Six Sigma Projects
- Cycle time to manufacture solar cells in a research lab.
- Defects in the manufacturing of natural gas dehydrators.
- A number of weld repairs in pipeline construction projects.
- IT system downtime for an accounting firm.
- Medicare billing rejections for a home healthcare organization.
Six Sigma Belts
Six Sigma methodology
It refers to a methodology that is driven by data and statistics. It is used by businesses to eliminate defects and improve any of their processes in order to boost their profits.