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How much time to expect for a transition to six sigma

The amount of time a six sigma transition takes will vary greatly depending on many factors of the organization.First of all, what is six sigma?Six sigma is a quality control approach meant to help organizations achieve near perfect processes within the specifications of the organization, specifically six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit, hence the name.It is designed to eliminate process defects within the organization and it is determined by the processes already in place or designed.

Six sigma process is driven by five main steps (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) for systems seeking improvement on existing processes and five similar steps (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) for a new process.It is implemented in four phases, how much time it takes depends on the success of each phase, moving into the next until each separate process within the organization is measuring improvement and successful quality control and is part of the natural culture of each department, in other words business as usual.

Each phase of the six sigma transition varies with the organization implementing it.In phase I the organization's leadership team goes through training and determines which processes need improvement, it is best to choose processes in all key areas of business to experience success across the board rather than only in certain areas.

In phase II it is critical to gain acceptance of the six sigma transition by all internal parts of the organization to ensure the organization succeeds as a whole, and this is where the team leadership will check back on the processes involved in the six sigma transition.It is important to keep checking back so they don't fall on the back burner so to speak.Seeing the improvements and benefits of the program within the organization will also help the skeptical employees accept the new quality control measures put in place and prepare the organization for the next phase.The time each phase takes depends greatly on the participation of each internal part and employee.

Phase III is where actual measurements are taken to see the difference between quality control and the success of individual areas before and after implementing six sigma.Many organizations share the measurements they have taken with other employees and possibly customers which justifies the cost and earns more trust overall.

Reward, recognition and bonus systems also seem to help encourage total customer satisfaction and success of implementing the program.These are positive reinforcement tools in any organization with or without six sigma!

At this point, phase IV transforms the transition from the leadership team's hands to the individual departments, where they will determine internally which processes would benefit from this system and these new quality control measures will become business as usual.In the event the organization decides additional resources are needed, SixSigma offers specialists called Black Belt and Green Belt to help manage the rest of the transition.

It should be evident by this point what the cost savings to the organization might be in each department, and it becomes a matter of maintaining these processes from day to day.This new system would be passed on to new employees and customers as part of the way things in that organization are done.

Due to the different natures of various organizations and personnel on staff, it is obvious that the time it takes to transition from the old way to the new ultimate quality control will depend on each individual involved in the four phase implementation process.

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