What is Six Sigma?

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Virtual Practice Lab
Practice Test
What is Six Sigma?

This lesson covers the history of Six-Sigma. Sigma is the statistical measure for the standard deviation; standard deviation is a measure of variability and the specific value Six Sigma is a standard for process quality. Six Sigma’s goal is to reduce the variability down to a very small amount. This course focuses on how Six-Sigma is applied in the process driven, IT environment. The key concepts of Six-Sigma are:

  1. Variability: what the customer experiences
  2. Defects: Failing to deliver
  3. Process Capability: What a process can deliver?
  4. Critical to Quality (CTQ): What the customer wants
  5. Need versus requirement

A challenge in Six Sigma is managing needs while creating reasonable requirements. Benefits of Six-Sigma include:

  1. Enhances value to the customer
  2. Sets performance goals
  3. Increases the rate of improvement (measured)
  4. Helps with Strategic change

As a process, Six Sigma improves service and product design efforts as well as Quality Control (QC) and Quality Improvement and offers strategic planning to improve quality and increase profits. A business utilizing Six-Sigma also enjoys a predictable process which produces predictable results. Variability is reduced, but never eliminated and provides optimum results.

In Six-Sigma, there are three key players:

  1. Customers: set expectation and define what quality really means
  2. Processes: defines measures of success qualitative and quantitative
  3. Employees: must be an integral part of process, product and service improvement

Six Sigma consists of the following seven roles:

  1. Leadership: governing body
  2. Sponsor: owns the process and system
  3. Implementation Leader: supervises the team
  4. Coach: on staff consultant
  5. Team Leader: interface with sponsor and team members
  6. Team Members: worker bees
  7. Process owner: owns the process after the team has completed its work

In Six Sigma, leadership is crucial. Strong leadership defines purpose and connects relationship to customer satisfaction. Six Sigma leadership develops oversight mechanisms, sets work schedule and deadlines and provides support.

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