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What is six sigma?

Definition of six sigma

Six Sigma is a management technique developed by Motorola in 1986, it is a set of tools and techniques for process improvement which focuses on quality improvement and waste reduction which results in a better and faster cost effective products and services.

Why six sigma is implemented

As this technique was discovered by Motorola in 1986, that time Motorola was a big company it had a big market share, suddenly in 1980s its market share was dropped from 90% to 10%. Motorola was developing Quasi Television sets which were quite famous but within time there were lots of defects which were cropping up, picture quality become poor and sound quality was defective, so a Japanese firm took over the quasi television set production and with in a month’s time, they produced the quasi television sets which had 120th errors which were produced by Motorola and surprisingly they were using the same raw material, same machinery and work force so one thing was quite clear that the problem was with the Motorola’s management, after this exposure they adopted six sigma technique.

Important points of Six Sigma

  • Six sigma is purely a scientific method used for process improvement and this method is known as DMAIC.
  • Six sigma can’t be a suggestive for any process, you can’t use six sigma project if you are not sure about the end results.
  • It has to go through five phase improvement technique known as DMAIC , which is stands for Define, Measure, Analysis, Improve and Control.
  • Main focus of six sigma was on quality improvement, reduction of waste and defects, it targets to bring down the error rate to 3.4 PMO (Per Million Opportunity).

The Basics of Six Sigma

Six Sigma represents a management ideology which focuses on statistical improvements to a business process. It advocates for qualitative measurements of success over qualitative markers. Therefore, practitioners of Six Sigma are those business people who use statistics, financial analysis and project management to achieve improved business functionality.

Six Sigma evolved to define numerous ideas within the business sphere and is sometimes confusing. First, it’s a statistical benchmark. Any business process which produces less than 3.4 defects per 1 million chances is considered efficient. A defect is anything produced outside of consumer satisfaction. Second, it is a training and certification program which teaches the core principles of Six Sigma.


The five steps of six sigma

True believers and practitioners in the Six Sigma method follow an approach called DMAIC which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

  • A team of people, led by a Six Sigma champion, defines a faulty process on which to focus, decided through an analysis of company goals and requirements. This definition outlines the problem, goals and deliverables for the project.
  • The team measures the initial performance of the process. These statistical measures make up a list of potential inputs which may cause the problem and help the team understand the process’s benchmark performance.
  • Then the team analyzes the process by isolating each input, or potential reason for the failure, and testing it as the root of the problem. Through analysis, the team identifies the reason for process error.
  • From there, the team works to improve system performance.
  • Finally, the team adds controls to the process to ensure it does not regress and become ineffective once again.



Six sigma is the highest possible range of achieving good quality of product which gives approximately 99.99966 % yield, as it gives only 3.4 defects per million which is the lowest you can get in the product management.Thats why people adopted this method from the previous 4 decades.

Satish Gupta
Done bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in 2018. #LEARNER #BLOGGER

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