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Six Sigma is a data driven, customer focused, and result oriented methodology which uses statistical tools and techniques to systematically eliminate the defects and inefficiencies to improve processes. It is a systematic method to measure and analyze the business processes to identify critical factors affecting business results, thereby improving the processes and establishing controls around the improved processes.
Six sigma is a widely accepted quality concept in the corporate world today. Six Sigma started its journey in the 1980s as a data driven method to reduce variation in electronic manufacturing processes in Motorola Inc. in the USA. Six Sigma became famous when Jack Welch made it vital to his successful business strategy at General Electric in 1995. Today it is used as a business performance improvement methodology all over the world in diverse industry including general manufacturing, construction, banking and finance, healthcare, education, government, KPO/BPO, IT/ Software. At present IT/ ITES sector companies are dynamically implementing Six Sigma and it is no more confined into manufacturing sector.
Six sigma uses a set of quality management and statistical methods and creates a team of experts within the organisation having specific skill sets required to carry out the six sigma project. Each six sigma project carried out within an organisation follows a defined sequence of phases with quantifiable value targets e.g. reduction in process cycle time, reduce cost, increase in quality rating/ customer satisfaction index, reduction is defect rate.
There are mainly two methodologies of Six Sigma namely DMAIC and DMADV.
DMAIC is a data-driven Six Sigma methodology for improving existing products and processes. The DMAIC process should be used when an existing product or process can be improved to meet or exceed the customer’s requirements. DMAIC methodology consists of five phases: D – Define, M – Measure, A – Analyze, I – Improve, C – Control.
DMADV is a common DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) methodology used to develop a process or product which does not exist in the company. DFSS is an application of Six Sigma which focuses on the design or redesign of the different processes used in product manufacturing or service delivery by taking into account the customer needs and expectations. DMADV is used when the existing product or process does not meet the level of customer specification or Six Sigma level even after optimization with or without using DMAIC. DMAIC methodology consists of five phases: D – Define, M – Measure, A – Analyze, D – Design, V – Validate.
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