What is Six Sigma
Six Sigma is a management philosophy developed by Motorola that emphasizes setting extremely high objectives, collecting data, and analyzing results to a fine degree as a way to reduce defects in products and services. The Greek letter sigma is sometimes used to denote variation from a standard. The philosophy behind Six Sigma is that if you measure how many defects are in a process, you can figure out how to systematically eliminate them and get as close to perfection as possible. In order for a company to achieve Six Sigma, it cannot produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities, where an opportunity is defined as a chance for non conformance.
Six Sigma Benefits
Those organisations that implement Six Sigma correctly achieve significant benefits that contribute to competitive advantage and to changing the culture in an organisation from reactive problem solving to proactive problem prevention. Specifically the proven benefits include:
- Bottom line cost savings (5%-20% of turnover per annum)
- Improved quality of product or service as perceived by the customer (internal and external customers)
- Reduction in process cycle times
- Development of staff skills
- Common language throughout the organisation
- World class standard
- Improved knowledge and skills
- Ability to use a wide range of tools and techniques
- A status that is recognised world wide
Six Sigma Program
How Six Sigma Works
There are three basic elements to Six Sigma:
● Process improvement
● Process design/re-design
● Process management
The purpose of process improvement is to eliminate the root causes of performance deficiencies in processes that already exist in the organisation. These performance deficiencies may be causing real problems for the organisation, or may be preventing it from working as efficiently and effectively as it could.
To eliminate these deficiencies a five-step approach is used.
DEFINE – a serious problem is identified and a project team is formed and given the responsibility and resources for solving the problem.
MEASURE – data that describes accurately how the process is working currently is gathered and analysed in order to produce some preliminary ideas about what might be causing the problem.
ANALYSE – based upon these preliminary ideas, theories are generated as to what might be causing the problem and, by testing these theories, root causes are identified.
IMPROVE – root causes are removed by means of designing and implementing changes to the offending process.
CONTROL – new controls are designed and implemented to prevent the original problem from returning and to hold the gains made by the improvement.
Sometimes simply improving existing processes is not enough, and, therefore, new processes will need to be designed, or existing processes will need to be re-designed. There are several reasons why this could be necessary:
● An organisation may choose to replace, rather than repair, one or more of its core processes.
● An organisation discovers, during an improvement project, that simply improving an existing process will never deliver the level of quality it customers are demanding.
● An organisation identifies an opportunity to offer an entirely new product or service. As with process improvement, a five-step approach is used to design/re-design a process
DEFINE – identify the goals for the new process, taking into account the customer requirements.
MATCH – develop a set of performance requirements for the new process that match these goals.
ANALYSE – carry out an analysis of these performance requirements for the new process, and based upon this produce an outline design for the new process.
DESIGN & IMPLEMENT – work this outline design up into a detailed design for the new process, and then implement it.
VERIFY – make sure the new process performs as required and introduce controls to ensure it keeps performing that way.
Because it requires fundamental change in the way an organisation is structured and managed, process management is often the most challenging and time-consuming part of Six Sigma.
In general, process management consists of:
● Defining processes, key customer requirements, and process “owners”.
● Measuring performance against customer requirements and key performance indicators.
● Analysing data to enhance measures and refine the process management mechanisms.
● Controlling process performance by monitoring process inputs, process operation, and process outputs, and responding quickly to problems and process variations.
The Adhik Solutions Advantage for Six Sigma
Adhik Solutions offers personalized, customized service for Six Sigma programs. With many years of experience delivering Six Sigma consulting services and over 30 Six Sigma implementations, Adhik can deliver on the promise of improvements from Six Sigma. Whether the goal is productivity improvements, conformance to customer standards or enhancement of workforce skills,Adhik Solutions is your expert provider of Six Sigma training and Six Sigma implementation services. Adhik Solutions uses a blend of Six Sigma methodology to rapidly produce results for your organization.
Selecting your Six Sigma Trainer & Consultant
There are many people out there offering training and consultancy, however the standards vary considerably. Where possible don’t just rely on the sales talk of the trainer go and look at what they have done in the past. If they have conducted Six Sigma training in another company and the clients were happy then they should be happy to allow you to come see their success.
References and going to see truly are the best way to get an idea as to how good your potential Six Sigma trainer or Six Sigma Consultant is going to perform for you and your business. Make sure that you see the results of the actual Six Sigma consultant that will be working with you, not the companies start performer and salesman! Far too often you will find one person coming to sell you service from some of the big consultancies whilst you get someone completely different to actually perform the training.