Six sigma informs managers as to the stability and predictability of process results. T
As a methodology six sigma is based on the DMAIC principles.
- Define customer requirements (internal or external); that is their expectation of the process
- Measure the current performance; what is the frequency of defects?
- Analyse the data collected and map to determine cause and effect and opportunities for improvement; why, when and where the defects occur?
- Improve the target process by designing solutions to improve, fix or prevent problems
- Control the improvements to keep the process on the new course; how can we ensure that the process stays fixed?
DMAIC implementation is through an in-house team of six sigma certified employees, known as master black belts, black belts or green belts depending on their experience and levels of involvement.
In essence, the promise is that by reaching six sigma performance levels, customer dissatisfaction will decrease significantly and that, ultimately, superior and sustainable financial results will be achieved.
Six sigma are now also used in service organizations. It basically uses statistics to understand variations in performance levels. This then allows organisations to set much more precise quality targets, and understand:
- (a) what levels are acceptable, and
- (b) normal fluctuations in quality.
Tools such as statistical process control, six sigma, and other quality analytics are not just used to monitor an organisation’s own performance, but also to design and measure performance contracts with suppliers using, for example, service level agreements.