Marketing: What is the Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is not an ordinary business program. In fact it isn’t like any other program, for it’s a certain way of running and managing a business. Six Sigma is a certain and distinct way of doing activities at near or almost perfect levels. It focuses on taking away defects and deal with variations.
Basically, the aim of Six Sigma is to achieve satisfaction of customer which will lead to customer’s delight. If you are already running your own business or perhaps planning to start your own, you must remember that there are a lot of ways that you can try to improve your business. Developing certain process, making improvements on your current products and starting or creating new products are just among the many things you can try to bring delight to your customers.
The Six Sigma process was taken from standard deviation between the nearest specification limit and process mean. The sigma units are used by capabilities studies in measuring the number of standard deviations between the nearest specification limit and process mean. It was found out that if a certain process has six standard deviations, no product or output will fail to adhere the standards or specifications.
Six Sigma and Business Model
Six Sigma started as a collection of practices created to get rid of defects and improve the processes in manufacturing. However, the application of Six Sigma was later on extended to other kinds of business processes. In the concept of Six Sigma, the defect is considered as any output of the process that doesn’t go with the customer specification or a process that can result to having an output or products that do not pass the customer specifications.
The doctrine of Six Sigma states three things, namely:
– continuous efforts to attain stable and predictable process outcomes are greatly necessary to the success of the business;
– processes and manufacturing in business have attributes that are measurable, can be analyzed, can be improved and controllable; and
– to achieve sustained quality improvement, commitment from the whole organization, specifically the top-level of the management is needed.
Moreover, Six Sigma is different from other quality improvement techniques because of four things:
– it has a clear focus on getting quantifiable and measurable financial returns;
– it has strong emphasis on passionate and strong management support and leadership;
– it has special infrastructure of “Green Belts,” “Black Belts”, “Master Black Belts”, “Champions” to lead and apply the Six Sigma approach;
– it has a clear commitment to coming up with decisions based on verifiable data than guesses and assumptions.
Six Sigma is a phrase that comes from a statistic field called process capability studies. Initially, the phrase refers to the capability of the manufacturing processes to give high proportion of products that meet certain specifications. Processes that follow Six Sigma quality even for a short period are believed to produce products with low percentage of defects for a long time.
Methodologies of Six Sigma
There are two methodologies that Six Sigma projects follow, namely: DMAIC and DMADV. DMAIC is used for projects with goal at improving existing business processes and the DMADV method is for projects aiming to create process designs or new product. Both the two said methodologies have five phases.
DMAIC in DMAIC methodology is also an acronym of the five steps or processes comprising the entire of the methodology. The phases can be named as such:
D- efine. Define the problem, the requests or comments of the customer, and the goals of the project.
M-easure. Measure the key factors of the preset process and collect significant data.
A-nalyze. Analyze the collected data to validate the cause-and-effect relations. Find out what the relationships are and try to make sure that all factors have been put into consideration. Search for the main cause of the defect you are investigating.
I-mprove. Improve the present process based on the analysis of the data using strategies like poka yoke, standard work, design of experiments and mistake proofing to make new process. Set up leading runs, tests or trials to create process capability.
C-ontrol. Control the future process to make sure that deviations from the target are immediately corrected before they can even cause defects. Create control systems like production boards, visual workplaces and statistical process control to constantly monitor the process.
The DMAV process is also known as DFSS or Design For Six Sigma also have five phases, which involves the following steps:
D-efine. Define goals that are designed to meet the consistent customer demands as well as the strategy of the enterprise.
M-easure. Measure and know the features that are critical to quality, production process capacity, product capabilities and risks.
A-nalyze. Analyze in order to create and design alternatives, come up with high-level design and evaluate the capability of the design to get the best design.
D-esign. Design details, enhance the design and make a plan to validate and evaluate the design. This stage may need simulations.
V-erify. Verify the design, create pilot runs, execute the process of production and give it to the process owners.
Six Sigma, being a successful business strategy, applies different tools and methods for quality management. The 5 Whys, Cost-benefit analysis, Control chart, Histograms, Root cause analysis, Run charts, Quality Function Deployment and Failure mode and effects analysis are among the many quality management tools Six Sigma use.
Organization and Infrastructure of Six Sigma
The key development of Six Sigma strategy is the professionalization of the functions of quality management. The formal Six Sigma programs use ranking terms to define and determine hierarchy that takes all business functions. One of the terms is Executive leadership, which is used to refer to the CEO and other top management members. They are the ones in charge for creating a vision for the implementation of Six Sigma. The ones in charge for the Six Sigma implementation in the organization are calledChampions. They also act as mentors to the Black Belts. The Master Black Belts, determined by the champions, serve as in-house coaches on Six Sigma. They give their full time to Six sigma and they assist the champions and guide the black and green belts. Those that work under the supervision of master black belts to apply the methodology of Six Sigma on several projects are called, Black Belts. Employees who used Six Sigma with their other tasks are referred as Green Belts.
The bottom line is, Six Sigma primarily targets to enhance profitability and productivity. The system can be applied to any business, group or organization. The focus of the system is to decrease cycle time, lessen waste and having better time management with a more organized and systematic approach in solving problems. At the present, there are already lots frameworks that emerge to implement the Six Sigma. The consultants of the said methodology around the globe have designed proprietary methods to implement the methodologies of Six Sigma.