manufacturing articles business management businesses Marketing sales Technology Business finance Lean Manufacturing small business Investing articles employee health

The different types of Six Sigma


The official definition of six sigma is described by Motorola as a program that "emphasizes setting extremely high objectives, collecting data, and analyzing results to a fine degree as a way to reduce defects in products and services."

Companies that implement six sigma are seeking to get as close to perfection as possible. Perfection is defined as producing less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Companies look for numerous defects within the manufacturing process and seek ways to reduce or eliminate them entirely.

The are several different types of six sigma methodologies, the most popular include the DMAIC and DMADV methods.

What is the DMAIC method?

The DMAIC methodology is about solving a problem with an unknown solution. It breaks down into the following:

  • D = Define. Define the project goals and customer deliverables

  • M = Measure. Measure the process to determine current performance

  • A = Analyze. Analyze and determine the root cause of the defects

  • I = Improve. Improve the process by eliminating defects

  • C = Control. Control future process performance

What is the DMADV method?

The DMADV methodology is geared towards creating new products and business practices. It breaks down into the following:

  • D = Define. Define the project goals and customer deliverables.

  • M = Measure. Measure and determine customer needs and specifications.

  • A = Analyze. Analyze the process options to meet the customer needs.

  • D = Design. Design (detailed) the process to meet the customer needs.

  • V = Verify. Verify the design performance and ability to meet customer needs.

What is the difference?

Both methods are pretty close to the same, the main difference is in the define step. This step provides information about customer satisfaction and basically puts the customer before all the other processes. The entire program is focused on keeping customer satisfaction at its highest possible level while reducing the number of defects made at the company. The Define step also calls for the benchmarking process to be improved.

Both methods base their information on statistical data and they are implemented by trained six sigma employees. Normally your employees will undergo different training programs and come out six sigma certified. They will be broken down into Black Belts, Green Belts, and Yellow Belts. Each person has a different role in the six sigma process and they are critical to the success of the program.

How do I know which program to choose?

DMAIC should be used when a product or process is already in existence, but not meeting customer expectations. DMADV should be used when a product or process is not in existence and needs to be developed or an existing product is developed and has been optimized with DMAIC and is still not meeting requirements.

Does it work?

Six Sigma methodologies have been implemented with several different organizations such as; health care, call centers, industrial, software firms, manufacturing companies and many other fields. Many organizations adopt the one of the two popular processes and structure them to fit their needs.

Companies that have successfully implemented six sigma have reported a 50 percent reduction in cost. They also see an improvement in cycle time and waste less raw materials.

Customer satisfaction has increased for most companies and they also report that they are able to produce more reliable products and services.

Thousands of manufacturing companies are using six sigma and have saved over $2.8 million a year. Six sigma is a process so it will take years before you are able to reach perfection and start seeing such high returns on your investment. Since it is a process, your employees will need to attend regular trainings and pass certification tests.

FREE: Get More Leads!
How To Get More LeadsSubscribe to our free newsletter and get our "How To Get More Leads" course free via email. Just enter your first name and email address below to subscribe.
First Name *
Email *

Get More Business Info
Sponsored Links
Recent Articles


Copyright 2003-2020 by - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy, Terms of Use