Six Sigma – Not Just a Passing Fancy


Six Sigma has become a culture and a way of life for many industries big and small, manufacturing and service industries alike.

The aim of Six Sigma is to achieve sustained improvements, which is possible through the use of tools and techniques and controls systems.

Reasons Why Six Sigma Has Endured Over the Years

Six Sigma has endured over a period of time due to the underlying fact that it is a methodology that aims to achieve long term success based on a very sound decision making process.

Another important reason is the discipline in effective execution of the project using a large variety of tools and techniques.

A major factor for the success of any organization is the innovativeness of those involved to bring about higher productivity levels.

Other reasons for its sustainability are listed here:

o Association with Finance: For any company to have greater levels of productivity and profitability as well as higher levels of savings, it is necessary that the finance department be involved to validate any improvements.

In a Six Sigma project, the finance department is involved mainly to estimate, validate or control phases. For a quality initiative, when the statistical figures are converted into financial terms, top management also finds it easier to relate to them and get involved in the different phases as required.

A comparison process that is measurable can ensure better participation of team members and bring about better results.

o Based on quality metrics: Six Sigma is based upon quality metrics that will give team leaders the answers to how well a certain process has been accomplished.

However, sometimes Six Sigma projects also involve productivity metrics that answer the question ‘how many’. When quality metrics are defined, the Six Sigma project will surely succeed.

o Training for a select few: Six Sigma training is not conducted throughout the organization for all employees. A few employees with good technical and social skills are selected for Six Sigma trainings.

These members are seen as future leaders and are trained in facilitation, statistical tools and other methods. These members also learn about project management and can tackle different improvement initiatives.

o Statistical thinking: Six Sigma is based on statistical thinking and not on intuition. However, there are times when team members fail to understand the concept of variation and standard deviation.

This leads them to resort to intuition-based decision-making.

o Suits all types of organizations: The best thing about Six Sigma is that it does not have a one-size-fits for all settings.

It can be molded to suit the needs of organizations of all sizes and types.

o Applied training: The Six Sigma training methodology is given as a week of training and another 3 weeks of applying techniques learned to get hands-on experience.

This methodology helps to bridge knowledge and achieved skills.

o Process improvements: Six Sigma allows the organization and management to invest in eradicating chronic problems and to improve the infrastructure.

Trained teams work towards investigating and preventing root causes of problems and improve processes in numerous ways.

With such a sound approach to problems faced by organizations, Six Sigma has every reason to grow in the years ahead.

Source by Tony Jacowski

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