Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process, by constantly striving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit, applicable from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service. The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a process is performing
To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not have more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications.
ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems – Guidelines for performance improvements. This follows the format and structure of ISO 9001 Quality management Systems – Requirements.
Six Sigma is a business strategy that focuses on product and service excellence, to create a culture that demands perfection. The DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) methodology is the roadmap to achieving this target. It helps organisations achieve optimum business results with minimum resources.
The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV.
The Six Sigma DMAIC process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement and also used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement.
Both Six Sigma processes are executed by Consultants who are Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and are overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts.
General Electric, one of the most successful companies implementing Six Sigma, has estimated benefits on the order of $10 billion during the first five years of implementation. GE first began Six Sigma in 1995 after Motorola and Allied Signal blazed the Six Sigma trail. Since then, thousands of companies around the world have discovered the far reaching benefits of Six Sigma.