Six Sigma Tutorial

The organizations equipped with vast amounts of services and products might sometimes find defects or issues in their products or services. In order to overcome such defects before providing service to other agencies, there are some platforms like six sigma which helps in minimizing the defects to a great extent. In this blog post we are going to discuss the six sigma , why six sigma, history, six sigma methodologies and the tools used by the six sigma users. This six sigma tutorial mainly benefits the individual and working professionals to gain knowledge on the six sigma functionalities. Howwr before learning this tutorial basic knowledge of quality control and quality assurance will be very useful.

What is six sigma?

Six Sigma is a quality systematic methodology that advantages individuals or organizations from minimizing/eliminating defects in services and products. It's a set of methods and procedures that help you achieve your performance.The Six Sigma Methodology is based on statistical rather than pure speculation to increase efficiency with uncertainties.

Why six sigma?

The job market for the certified six sigma professional is very healthy and can earn a decent income. According to indeed every year there are multiple job openings for the six sigma certified professionals. Six Sigma helps in enhancing career growth, increases value to customers, sets performance targets for everyone, executes strategic change and accelerates improvement rates as well.

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History of six sigma

The history of six sigma is as follows:

  • In 1970, Motorola started experimenting with problem-solving utilizing statistical analysis.
  • In 1986, Bill Smith, a senior scientist at Motorola, established the notion of six sigma to optimize how abnormalities are tallied.
  • 1987 – Motorola finally opened its six sigma program.
  • 1991-Motorola has accredited its first six sigma black belt experts.
  • 2000 – Six Sigma was effective this year

Key challenges faced by six sigma:

The most vital challenge faced by the six sigma customers is the project selection.It comes with two ways to create the projects. They are top-down and bottom-up. 

  • In the top down process is usually linked to business strategy and is associated with the requirements of the consumers. The greatest flaw is that they are too broad to be completed on time.
  • In the bottom up process, black belts select projects which are well suited to team members' capabilities. A big downside to this strategy is that projects cannot be directly linked to the international reasons of planning, thus receiving little support and low recognition from the top.

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Features of Six sigma

The curated features of six sigma are:

  • Six Sigma aims to reduce costs and ineffectiveness, thereby expanding customer satisfaction by offering what the client requires.
  • Six Sigma provides a sequential methodology and defines positions for the respondents.
  • Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology and involves high - quality data for the mechanisms being evaluated.
  • Six Sigma is about achieving success to the Financial Statements.
  • It helps in improving processes, lowering defects, increasing profits, lowering costs and increasing the customer satisfaction.

Six sigma methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV:

The two six sigma methodologies are: DMAIC and DMADV.

DMAIC:It is based on data performance effort to increase processes. This technique is being used to enhance the delivery business requirements.

DMADV:It is based on data quality strategy for the architecture of technology and systems. This technique is being used to develop new products or process designs in such a way that they lead in more consistent, intelligent and fault-free productivity.

There is one more process i.e DFSS -Design for six sigma. It refers to the designing or redesigning of a particular product or service from the ground level.

DMAIC methodology:

The DMAIC methodology consists of five steps. They are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

  • In the define phase, project goals and objectives are addressed.
  • In the measure phase you need to measure the issue from which it was processed.
  • In the analyze phase you need to determine the root cause of the problems.
  • In the improvement phase you need good solutions and prevent upcoming issues.
  • In the control phase, you can come up with new and innovative solutions, control and implement them.

DMADV methodology:

In the DMADV methodology there are five steps. They are:define, measure, analyze, design and verify.

  • In the defined phase project goals are addressed clearly.
  • In the measure phase you will be responsible for measuring the customer needs and wants.
  • In the analyze phase you need to analyze the requirements of the clients.
  • In the design phase you will design the process that suits the customer needs.
  • In the verify phase you design the performance and the ability to meet the customers.

DFSS methodology:

DFSS is a different and evolving process associated with the Six Sigma quality process. This is a structured process using tools, mentoring and measurement techniques to encourage us to develop systems and services that meet customer needs and can be generated at the Six Sigma Quality level.

The DFSS methodology consists of the following phases. They are:define, identify, design, optimize and verify.

  • In the defined phase we need to design the customer wants.
  • In the identity phase, we need to identify the customer and the project.
  • In the design phase, we are asked to design a process that meets the customer expectations.
  • In the optimize phase we need to optimize the design and evaluate the process capability.
  • In the verify phase, we need to test, validate and verify the design.

To be clear,in designing the six sigma application involved 5 basic steps. The first one is the define phase.

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Six sigma -Define Phase

The six sigma define phase involves four important steps. They are: project team formation, documenting customer core business processes, preparing the project charter and creating the SIPOC process map, etc.

  • In the project team formation, you need to determine the right team members, the role assigned to them, assigning tasks to them.
  • In the next step you will document the customer core business requirements for the accomplishing of the project. Because here the customer is the main person for whom the project is delivered and he will be using it. So documenting his requirements is very good for the project success.A collection of business operations has been documented. These procedures will be carried out in order to fulfil the demands of the customer and to fix their Quality Critical issues.
  • In preparing the project charter involves the project name, briefing of the project, project scope, business case, project objectives, project milestones,roles and responsibilities of the team members, special requirements needed to complete the project, etc are documented.
  • In the development of the SIPOC process map, there are a set of tasks that need to be performed to get desired output. SIPOC refers to the suppliers, input, process, output and customers.SIPOC helps in identifying the processes and how they should be monitored using the DMAIC methodology.

In this define phase you will clearly have an idea of the customer needs, project scope, milestone, goals to be achieved, budget constraints, project deadlines, etc.

Six Sigma: Measure Phase:

In this phase the performance of the business processes is measured to a great extent. Here three important parts of the measure phase are:data collection, data evaluation and failure mode and effects analysis-FMEA.

In this phase a data collection plan is prepared to collect all the required information. The plan involves which type of data needs to be collected, and from which sources it is collected. The data collected comes with 3 primary sources i.e input, process and output.

In the data evaluation, collected data is evaluated and sigma is calculated to know the defects.defects are nothing but those that arise out of the customer requirements.

FEMA is the final step of the measure phase. This helps in preventing the defects before they occur, It comes with failure defects and failures in the following ways. They are able to detect a defect and severity of the defect.

Six sigma-Analyze Phase:

In the analyze phase you need to analyze the defects, in order to reduce them. It comes with five types of analysis, they are source, process, data, resource and communication analysis.

  • In the  source analysis you can know from where the defects have arrived.
  • In the process analysis, you can know how well the processes are performing.
  • In the data analysis, data collected is analyzed properly in order to eliminate the defects.
  • In the resource analysis, you need to examine the resources, assets of the projects, and also the skills of the team members.
  • In the communication analysis, you can come to know the misunderstanding or any gaps between the customer wants and the project goals.

Analysis can take many forms. Some Six Sigma methods appear to use a lot of graphs and worksheets, while others favor discussion and listing. There are many techniques which can be used to perform analysis such as Box Plot, Cause and Effect Diagram, Progressive Analysis, Ranking, Pareto Analysis, Prioritization Matrix, Value Analysis, etc. 

Six sigma: Improve Phase:

Next to the analysis phase comes the improved phase where the DMAIC process can be implemented easily.The intention of the Improve Phase is to identify advancement innovations, to help identify alternative approaches, to and choose the right route, to design the future outcome, to evaluate the latest Sigma level, to execute cost/benefit analysis, to layout dashboards and balanced scorecard, and to develop a tentative action plan.

Advancement can involve regular fixes as soon as we find the reasons for the abnormalities. In certain cases, even so, designers may also need to use extra capabilities. They involve −Alternative solutions ,Experiments with alternative solutions

Preparing for future developments.

Six sigma: Control Phase:

The last phase of DMAIC is control, which would guarantee that the processes work well by generating required output and attaining a level of quality.The fours key terms associated with this phase are quality control, standardization, control methods and reacting when defects are occurred.

In this control phase the quality of the product is assured to a great extent. Quality is at the core of the ideology of Six Sigma. The reduction of defects is all to do with the pursuit of perfection. As to if we achieve greatness or not, work describes our own mentality towards reliability.

Standardization allows procedures to proceed as cleanly as expected. The significance of standardization was already demonstrated over and over in the production environment.We have to develop a control systems functionality so that most of the work is handled in a standardized way.

The creation of a new process for any transformation to a current model necessitates the construction of business process internal controls.If it is not way to handle the process in the regular manner, we have to seek alternatives, short of forcing adherence with the systematic protocol.The the last step in the control process is to learn how to react once a fault has been discovered. The poor performers in the process, in which deficiencies would be most likely to happen, could and should be monitored closely so that abnormalities can be detected and corrected before the pattern begins.

The organization shall evaluate how and when to regulate the freshly improvement plan essentially and shall draw up a reaction framework to manage the new process, and shall also retain enhanced sigma efficiency.

Tools needed by six sigma users:

When the team members are using the DMAIC methodology there are some tools that are supported.The tools include critical to quality tee, histogram, the process map, the cause effect diagram, pareto chart, affinity and scatter diagram, run and control chart, etc. The people who want to use six sigma DMAIC methodologies should have the knowledge of the tools mentioned.

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In the above mentioned six sigma tutorial, all the concepts are covered in detail.Moreover six sigma stands as the quality improvement and mostly dedicated to customer success. Here team members can effectively take the advantage of the six sigma in order to meet the customer requirements to a great extent.

Related Articles: 

1. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

2. Six Sigma Tools

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Research Analyst
As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.