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How variation defines the sigma level in six sigma

You're a business owner.You manufacture things.Or maybe you're the manager of a business.Or maybe you're just an employee at a business. Either way, you're probably being encouraged on a daily basis to improve your company in every way you can.Your boss (or you as the boss) tries to help you to work as quickly, efficiently and as cost effective as possible.You're always striving to find new ways to make these improvements.And in case you're unaware, applying the principles of six sigma is an excellent way to improve your business.This article will discuss six sigma and how variation defines the sigma level in six sigma.And hopefully after reading this article you will have a better idea of how to improve your company.

Since you may or may not be familiar with six sigma, let us begin with an explanation of exactly what it is.Six sigma is a system of practices that were created by the company Motorola.The purpose is to eliminate defects in a company.By defects we mean anything outside of customer specifications.In other words, the parts of a product or service that are not part of the intended population.An example of a defect might be something like this: you do market surveys to see if people would buy chocolate scented perfume, and eventually decide that they would.So you create some chocolate scented perfume and put it on the market.After a few weeks you realize that no one is buying your product.You look back at your market surveys and realize that what the customers really wanted was vanilla scented perfume.This would be considered a defect because you were unable to realize what the customers desired.

Back to our discussion of six sigma.To many companies six sigma symbolizes perfection.It is a disciplined, data driven approach to monitor your business.It is able to effectively describe how a process is performing.Now let us move on to the particular aspects of six sigma.There are six (surprise!) key concepts that when followed will greatly help your company avoid defects:

1. Be critical to quality: these are the characteristics that are the most important to a customer-the things they're looking for when deciding to buy your brand or another.Your product or service should be of the highest quality possible.Always be looking for ways to improve it.
2. Beware of defects: which is failing to deliver what the customer wants.It is your job to discover what exactly the customer wants and how to get it to them.
3. Improve process capability: this is what your process can deliver to the customer, in a timely, affordable manner.
4. Constant variation: what the customer sees and feels may change very rapidly.You must be ready for sudden, and possible radical changes in the market and in your company.
5. Continue with stable operations: you want your company to produce consistent, predictable processes to improve upon what the customer wants
6. The overall design for six sigma: scheming to meet customer needs and process capability

Look back at sigma #3: Variation.It is important to focus especially on this point because what the customer sees and feels will dictate how and what you should do with your product or service.If the customers seem to be fond of chocolate perfume, but then suddenly stop buying the product, it is imperative that you discover what they prefer instead (maybe vanilla perfume).You must build a company that can adjust to the whims of the unpredictable consumer.The idea of variation in six sigma allows you to more easily follow the other 5 points.If you are aware of variation, you will be more able to prevent defect.If you are able to cope with variation, you will be able to improve process capability, stable operations, and be critical to quality.

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