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Six Sigma

  History of Six Sigma

History of Six Sigma        

• Motorola developed the Six Sigma methodology in the mid-1980’s as a result of recognizing that products with high first- pass yield rarely failed in use
• Statistical term dates back to the 1800’s (Carl Frederick Gauss)
The roots of Six Sigma as a measurement standard can be traced back to Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1855) who introduced the concept of the normal curve. Six Sigma as a measurement standard in product variation can be traced back to the 1920's when  Walter Shewhart showed that three sigma from the mean is the point where a process requires correction. Credit for coining the term "Six Sigma" goes to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith. (Incidentally, "Six Sigma" is a federally registered trademark of Motorola).

Six Sigma Certification         
In the early and mid-1980s with Chairman
Bob Galvin at the helm, Motorola engineers
(Bill Smith & Mikel J. Harry) decided that the traditional quality levels -- measuring defects in thousands of opportunities -- didn't provide enough granularity. Instead, they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma helped Motorola realize powerful bottom-line results in their organization - in fact, they documented more than $16 Billion in savings as a result of our Six Sigma efforts.

Six Sigma has evolved over time. It's a way of doing business. Six Sigma can be seen as: a vision; a philosophy; a symbol; a metric; a goal; a methodology.

Six Sigma online training

1. View of Waste : Variation is waste.
2. Application for existing processes (DMAIC)

             1. Define
             2. Measure
             3. Analyze
             4. Improve
             5. Control

3. Tools : Math-Statistics.
4. Focus : Problem focused.


Application for Non-existing processess DFSS or DMADV  (New product or process / New project / Market share improvements)
1. Define
2. Measure
3. Analyze
4. Design
5. Validate
Introduction to Six Sigma

Six Sigma stands for Six Standard Deviations (Sigma is the Greek letter used to represent standard deviation in statistics) from mean. Six Sigma methodology provides the techniques and tools to improve the capability and reduce the defects in any process.

Six Sigma is a methodology that provides businesses with the tools to improve the capability of their business processes. This increase in performance and decrease in process variation leads to defect reduction and vast improvement in profits, employee morale and quality of product.

The goal of Six Sigma is to eliminate variability, defects and waste that undermine customer loyalty.

Six Sigma simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process -- 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 produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications. A Six Sigma opportunity is then the total quantity of chances for a defect.

Six Sigma for existing processes (DMAIC):

The Six Sigma methodology of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) is a structured methodology used for “Problem Solving” in five phases.  This is a process of identification and elimination of variation from the process. This methodology is used for existing processes.

The functions of the 5 phases are:

Define the problem
Measure the process
Analyze the inputs
Improve the solutions
Control the improvements made

The six sigma processes are robust and with target of zero defects (3.4 defects per million opportunities)

Six Sigma for non-existing processes (DFSS):

Six sigma for non-existing process the methodology adopted is Design for Six Sigma (DFSS).

The five phases involved in this methodology are DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Validate)

Normally DFSS is used for

  1. New product launch (Product, Process of manufacturing or business and Service)
  2. New projects
  3. Market share improvements

FSS is the framework of many statistical tools and techniques appropriate for new project launch or product development.

Six Sigma vs Lean Thinking

Six Sigma is problem focused with a view that process variation is waste. Lean Thinking, on the other hand, is focused on process flow and views any activity that does not add value as waste. Six sigma uses statistics to understand variation. Lean uses visuals: process mapping, flowcharting, and value stream mapping, to understand the process flow.

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