An Overview on Six Sigma Technique

Six Sigma is a technique of improving the output and performance of a process by identifying and eliminating causes of defects and ultimately finding the new methods to develop the process. The main hindrances to a quality process are the root causes behind all the defects which lead to wastage and low quality output. Six Sigma technique is mainly adopted in large organizations, however, its implementation can also be seen in small organizations. There are two methodologies of Six Sigma inspired by Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act-Cycle, viz. DMAIC and DMADV. Both of these methods are practiced by all developed organizations.

DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) is the methodology aimed at improving an existing business process. DMAIC is explained as follows:

Define the problem, project purpose and scope. Identify high level of processes for improvements. Determine what customers’ requirements are. Have clear map in mind of the process flow. This will speed up your improvement process.

Measure the current situation. Have baseline data on current processes. Develop data collection process and collect data. Pinpoint problem locations and occurrences. Determine the areas for improvement.

Analyze the project and determine the root cause behind the defect and verify it against the data captured. Collect the data necessary to improve the current process. During this phase various defects will be found in the current process and you are required to eliminate those faults.

Improve the process being used with the help of data analyzed and transform it into a new defect less process. Create models, do experiments, set goals, create problem and solution statement and finally implement improved process. All developed organization use improved and latest methods to do tasks like use of new software and latest techniques to perform a task.

Control the new process in action. Perform before and after analysis, monitor systems, document results and determine recommendations. Control helps in making the most of the new process, keeping track of benefits of the process and sustaining the improvement.

DMADV (Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify) is the second methodology aimed at creating new product or project designs. This is mostly used by industries concerned to develop the product design to capture customer attention as most the customers have assessment that outer appearance means inner quality. Hence, its application is increasing rapidly with the passage of time. DMADV is explained as follows:

Define which types of designs are mostly liked by customers and determine at what price products are demanded the most.

Measure the current customer demand about the product; determine the current design, productions methods being utilized and the budget in hand.

Analyze the current design. Determine what defects there are in this current design, what alternative can be observed in this design and cost evaluation of the new model of the design. Have the clear view of new design, the required to have that design and customer demand for this.

Design details, make improvements in the current design, create a fabulous design and finally select the best from alternative dummy design models.

Verify the design against the one demanded or will be demanded the most. Once such design has been acquired, implement the production process and let the process owner handle it.