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Friday, November 28, 2008

Six Sigma

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(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

What is Sigma?
  • Sigma is a Greek letter.
  • It is a measure of variance (variation) or spread of data about the mean or average of a process.
  • Sigma statistically measures capability of a process.
  • Sigma indicates how often defects are likely to occur.
  • Higher the sigma, less likely the defects will occur.
  • The higher the sigma that can be fitted between process specification/tolerance, better the process.
  • Sigma is a measure of world class quality.

What is Six Sigma?

Sigma Magnitude

  • 2 sigma process capability means 308,538 DMPO (defects per million opportunities)
  • 3 sigma process capability means 66,807 DMPO (defects per million opportunities)
  • 4 sigma process capability means 6,210 DMPO (defects per million business opportunities)
  • 5 sigma process capability means 233 DMPO (defects per million business opportunities)
  • 6 sigma process capability means 3.4 DMPO (defects per million business opportunities)

With 2 sigma, defect probability is 30.8538%, success probability is 69.1462% and cost of non-conformance (or non-quality) is in the range of 30% to 40%

With 6 sigma, defect probability is 0.0003%, success probability is 99.9997% and cost of non-conformance (non-quality) is less than 10%

It is obvious that most of the managements are aiming to achieve six sigma to improve the process capabilities, reduce probabilities of failures, improve the probabilities of success, minimize the cost of non-conformance and thus provide the best quality products and services at the least cost to their customers in the globally competitive business environment.

Why Six Sigma?

  • Meet and exceed customer expectations
  • Decrease waste and scrap
  • Increase growth
  • Reduce time to market
  • Improve utilization of assets

Six Sigma Pioneers

  • Motorola
  • Texas Instruments
  • GE

Six Sigma Leads to Zero Defects (Ultimate in Quality Management)

Zero defects means first time right. First time quality is not:

  • After rework
  • After inspection
  • After force fitting
  • After expediting

Six Sigma Initiative/Program

  • It is a business strategy
  • It is a corporate priority
  • Since it provides for statistical measurement, it can be easily reviewed, monitored, controlled and corrected.

Mindset Change Requirement

From fixing the products so that they are acceptable to optimizing processes so that they produce defect free products.

Six Sigma Methodology

  1. Recognize
  2. Define
  3. Measure
  4. Analyze
  5. Improve
  6. Control
  7. Standardize
  8. Integrate

Six Sigma Projects

  • Key to generating ROI (return on investment)
  • Six sigma projects are the ones that focus on CTQs (Critical to Quality), CTCs (Critical to Costs), CTDs (Critical to Delivery) giving maximum financial and customer satisfaction leverage
  • Project should address at least one element of organization's key business objective
  • Projects should be properly scoped, planned, have buy-in and commitments.

Implementation of Six Sigma

  1. Identify champions
  2. Train six sigma agents (through various champion, master black belt, black belt and green belt training programs)
  3. Select project
  4. Project team selection
  5. Follow six sigma methodology

It will be a good beneficial idea to involve a competent six sigma consultant from the very beginning.

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


Also refer:(Prodcons Group)
(Training Programs by Prodcons Group)
(Productivity Consultants)

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