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Key elements of six sigma methodology

Six Sigma is a quality control and management methodology and approach. As a business owner or manager if you are considering implementing some kind of quality management tools you are going to run across Six Sigma in your research, but rather than just dismiss Six Sigma as another complicated method you should take the time to seriously consider implementing it for your business. To determine if it is the right approach for your business you are going to want to learn everything that you can about the Six Sigma method.

Six Sigma was developed in the 1980's by Motorola, and what makes Six Sigma stand out from other quality management tools is how it defines quality. With Six Sigma, quality is defined based on the customer's definition of quality. It is also based on how the customer views the value of the products and processes. The main goal of Six Sigma is to improve customer satisfaction for your company. Six Sigma does this by improving your company's processes, products, and services. Six Sigma improves these things by finding, analyzing, reducing, and eliminating all of the defects and variations in your company's processes. In the end, Six Sigma improves your profitability because it increases your customer satisfaction and decreases the number of defects.

Six Sigma is based on an approach called statistical thinking, which is an approach that views businesses statistically. This approach follows three simple rules:

  1. Everything is a process

  2. All processes will have variability because it is unavoidable

  3. If you want to understand variability, you have to gather data. You will also need to analyze and understand the data that is being gathered because it this data is the main consideration when you are deciding which processes need to be improved and how you are going to improve them.

These three rules are considered the foundation of Six Sigma. On top of this foundation a framework is built, which is the methodology that is used by Six Sigma. The framework that is used by Six Sigma to improve your business's process is called DMAIC, which stands for:

  • D = Define the process

  • M = Measure the process and data

  • A = Analyze data that is gathered from the different departments, the different parts of the process. You also need to analyze any data that can affect or concern this process.

  • I = Improve the process by analyzing the data and discovering a solution that is aimed at reducing the defects and variability that is concerned with that process

  • C = Control the process. To do this you will need to constantly reevaluate the process to determine if it is continuing to perform at the level you want to see or if the performance has dropped from your expected levels

It is the first step in this method that allows Six Sigma to stand out from other quality management approaches. The reason for this is that when you are going through the define process you are going to take the actual process and break it down into subgroups and subprocesses, which is going to allow you to take a closer look at your processes compared to the other approaches. Once you have broken the processes down into the various subgroups you are going to need to define the goals that are going to be met by each subprocess. After accomplishing that, you are going to need to establish an infrastructure that will enable you to reach those goals. The first step in this method is the most complicated and involved step, once you have completed that the next steps are brought in so that the processes denied, and their defects, can be handled in a way that will allow you to reach the goals that you have set for your business.

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