Six Sigma: The Definition and Principles

The process management industry is now witnessing the rise of popularity of Six Sigma methodology. However, many management professionals are confused with Six Sigma Definition. This is why this is exactly what we'll focus on in this article: Six Sigma definition.

Most process management professionals and college professors define Sig Sigma as a set of techniques developed and used to ensure process improvement and consistent output in manufacturing.

Originally developed by Motorola in 1986, this approach was first put into practice in General Electric in early 1990s. Over two decades later, Six Sigma is widely used in a variety of industries. The method is covered by 6 certifications which are highly popular with quality control professionals in manufacturing.

The goal of Six Sigma method is to ensure the highest quality of manufacturing process outputs by means of identifying the causes of deviations or defects and removing them. The approach is based on the goal of minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. To reach these results, Six Sigma methodology outlines special projects with defined sequences of steps and KPIs, which are mostly quantified targets. Six Sigma KPIs are usually the following: reduced process costs and/or time, reduced pollution, improved customer satisfaction and, ultimately, increased profit.

Besides Six Sigma definition, quality management professionals who consider building their career upon this methodology should remember that Sigma Six focuses on process output, whether it is manufacturing or other industries, such as financial services, insurance, healthcare etc. Six Sigma sets high targets in improving process output that require collecting data and analyzing data, and implementing changes to improve the processes to achieve visible and quantified results. These results are achieved by identifying and measuring defects in a process, and then systematically eliminating them, which needs to improved outputs, increased customer satisfaction, reduced costs and increased profits.

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