Six Sigma is a modern set of methodologies aiming to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of company’s processes. It was originally though by the Motorola Corporation in 1986 and highly focused on measuring, data collection and statistics.
It is not one method but a group of them, all with process improvement and optimization as a goal. It can be used in all kinds of businesses, although it was originally visualized to the manufacturing area. The principle is that, through the measuring of products/service’s process performance, it is possible to avoid mistakes, eliminate bottlenecks and establish solutions to the root problems of the process.
Six Sigma DMAIC
- Define the problem, improvement point, the goals, and customer (internal and external) requirements.
- Measure process performance.
- Analyze the process to determine root causes of bottlenecks, duplicate tasks, ineffective activities and poor performance (defects).
- Improve process performance by addressing and eliminating the root causes.
- Control the improved process and future process performance.
All these steps are crucial, and none of them can be skipped. It is also important that they are executed in this exact order since each one is directly connected to the other. The Six Sigma DMAIC is an improvement method, designed for existing processes (and not to create them) that are falling below standards and need a quality control.
Also see: why is process optimization important?
Six Sigma DMAIC principles
Six Sigma is a goal to be achieved by itself. Since it was firstly though for the manufacturing business, it says that, for a company to achieve Six Sigma, the number of defects in goods has to be less than 3.4 per 1 million units. Bringing this to the business area, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities to achieve Six Sigma. DMAIC helps with that goal.
Six Sigma DMAIC believes in:
- Continuous efforts to reach predictable and steady results
- Commitment from the entire organization (especially high management)
- Measuring everything, since manufacturing defects until business processes performance
Some of Six Sigma DMAIC goals are:
- Customer satisfaction: some say that it is important to meet client’s needs (even before the client realizes that they exist). Six Sigma goes beyond and works to exceed these needs and expectations. Outstanding client service is the way to bring and keep customers.
- Add value: everything that is done in the process, all the steps and activities, have to add value to the client. If not, there is no point in doing it, and the process is not optimized.
- Eliminate waste: with the level of measuring and control Six Sigma DMAIC brings, the wastage, bottlenecks and inefficient spots just stand out. Eliminate or at least reduce them.
- Quality control: as said, with the measuring comes improvement, and with that, the products/services go through an upgrade and stay great.
Wherever your product or service is, you can achieve next to zero defects using Six Sigma and DMAIC. Improve your manager’s skills, reduce costs and wastage and keep your client’s happier and more satisfied with this measuring technique that already brought incredible results to many companies around the globe! Now that you what Six Sigma and DMAIC are, also read about BPM and complement the methodologies to a better result.