Updated May 5, 2023
Introduction to Six Sigma Process
Six Sigma is a highly efficient method or process through which organizations can improve their products and services to perfection. It is a developmental approach to delivering highly efficient and improved processes. The word Sigma means measuring how much deviation a process has been showing from perfection. It is a continuous process to keep in check the highest customer satisfaction and optimize the profit turnover in an organization. It emphasizes effectiveness and excellence in the efficiency of the product. This article will clearly state how Six Sigma is utilized in real-life scenarios and how organizations benefit from it.
Some of the features of the Six Sigma process are –
- Six Sigma aims to eliminate redundancy (or waste) and ineffectiveness. This helps to increase customer satisfaction as it pertains to exactly what the customer is expecting and fulfilling his needs.
- The best feature of Six Sigma is that it has a standard structure that has a well-defined role for its participants.
- It is a data-driven methodology, which needs very accurate data collection methods for the entire process to be analyzed.
- One of the most essential features of Six Sigma is that it puts up results on financial statements.
- It is a business-oriented, multi-dimensional approach for bettering processes, reducing defects, decreasing process variability, lowering costs, hiking customer satisfaction, and retaining large profits.
The central theme integral to Six Sigma is that one can systematically determine how to eliminate defects by measuring the number of defects in a process. It is also possible to achieve ‘zero defects,’ equivalent to 99.9997% perfection.
- Crucial to quality is the most significant attribute of customer satisfaction.
- The defect is not meeting customer standards.
- The capability of the process is what the procedure can deliver.
- Variation is how the customer perceives through sight and feel.
- Stable operations are continuous improvement processes to improve the customer experience.
- The design would be on par with customer needs and channel process efficiency.
Key Elements for the Improvement of the Six Sigma Process
- Customers: They are the ones who set standards. We define the quality of a product or service based on how well it meets the established standards or requirements. Customers are crucial for they measure performance, assurance and reliability, competitive pricing, timely delivery, efficient transaction process, and much more. To gain customer delight, it is essential to meet customer needs.
- Processes: The central theme behind Six Sigma is to develop strategies and establish metrics for measuring process efficiency. In business, viewing all qualities from the customer’s perspective is essential. Therefore, a more extensive perspective must be considered from the outside in.
- Employees: All the employees in a company must enroll in the six sigma program. Companies should reward their employees for caring for customer needs and satisfaction and serving them with their utmost abilities. It is equally important that every team member has a well-defined role in enacting measurable goals.
Points stating the Six Sigma benefits are as follows –
- Delivers long-term success is sustained as the six sigma benefit.
- Everyone must meet performance goals.
- Adds customer value and ensures customer satisfaction thereby.
- It speeds up the improvement rate overall.
- Encourages learning and cross-functional communication.
- Executes changes that are strategy-oriented.
Approaches to Project Selection in the Six Sigma Process
1. Top-down: This is the first approach that ties business strategy and aligns them with a customer’s needs. The major con of this method is that it becomes very complicated given its broad scope, and therefore completing it on time becomes a significant issue.
2. Bottom-up Approach: Projects are chosen by the Black Belts, which are by team capabilities. One drawback to this approach is that the management may not address the strategic concerns, so that the team may get low support and minimal recognition.
How do we start with the Six Sigma Process?
- Prior Route Planning: There could be multiple paths to planning a route, but the best one is the one that best fits the organization’s goals and customer satisfaction.
- Objective to be Defined: One needs to know the objectives to be met, the goals to achieve, and how accordingly the priorities should be set.
- Feasibility Test: One must determine whether the process is viable and feasible. It should match with the availability of resources, scope, and other factors that are majorly at stake.
- Enhancing Leaders: They are the ones who would be initiating the Six Sigma launch and direct the collaborative efforts of the team members to shape the process.
- Creating an Organization Adhering to Six Sigma: This step is to assign roles to individuals and to chalk out their responsibilities, including preparing Black Belts.
- Creating a Culture in the Organization: The organization should impart Six Sigma training to every employee, eventually contributing to increased process efficiency. Having black belts alone is not sufficient.
- Pilot testing Six Sigma Effort: This can be attained in multiple ways. For example, organizations can measure the solutions derived from process improvements and design projects accordingly.
Methodologies of Six Sigma
Six Sigma has two primary methodologies:
1. DMAIC: Every letter here stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. This approach is associated with a data-driven quality strategy to enhance existing business processes. Organizations mostly use this method for processes that are already in place. Ultimately, this method constantly improves the process by fixing solutions and diminishing potential future problems.
2. DMADV: Every letter here stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify. This is associated with data that have driven quality strategy for designing products and processes. This method has been used to create new designs for products and process designs so that the results are more predictable, realistic, mature, and free of defects and performance hampering. This method always emphasizes the process that would meet customer needs, and the customer will verify the design performance too.
This has been a guide to the Six Sigma Process. Here we discuss the Features, Key concepts, Key Elements, Benefits, and Methodologies of Six Sigma. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –