What is Six Sigma

There is a number of misconceptions about Six Sigma. To clarify them, Six Sigma can be defined as simply a method of efficiently solving a problem. Using Six Sigma reduces the amount of defective products manufactured or services provided, resulting in increased revenue and greater customer satisfaction. Originally developed for manufacturing industry, the methodology of Six Sigma is now popular with insurance companies, financial service providers, healthcare providers and other organizations to which customer satisfaction is a priority.

What Exactly Does "Six Sigma" Mean?

Six Sigma is named after a statistical concept, therefore one needs at least some background in statistics to fully appreciate it. To put it simply, imagine a situation where a process only produces 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). Six Sigma can therefore be also thought of as a goal, where processes not only encounter less defects, but do so consistently (low variability).

Six Sigma minimizes variation, so products or services can be delivered as expected reliably.

Who Can Benefit From Six Sigma?

Although Six Sigma was originally developed for large manufacturers, this methodology is now successfully applied by small and medium businesses (SMBs). In fact, Six Sigma processes and toolkit is easier to implement in a smaller organization, and since an SMB usually has shorter process time cycle, the effect of Six Sigma implementation can be seen earlier.

Organizations of all sizes can benefit from Six Sigma

No matter what size and industry an organization/business is, the benefits of implementing Six Sigma are infinite: Six Sigma increases revenue and reduces costs, while freeing up resources that can be applied toward other profit-boosting projects.

The Benefits of Six Sigma Can Result In:

  • Launch of a product
  • Additional optimization/improvement projects
  • Growing Salesforce
  • Improved morale (as staff feels more in control of the processes within their organization and feel like they can really make a difference and be part of something great).

By participating in successful Six Sigma projects, employees are able to build the confidence and develop the capability to become true assets to the company they work for.

Studies show that when employees feel that they have a positive affect on the organization, they perform better, are more accountable and live happier lives. And once your employees get comfortable with Lean Six Sigma skills, they can continue to find and remove problems and waste in your organization.