Six Sigma: Martial Arts For Business

Six Sigma is a process-improvement set of practices that would benefit your company.

Taking a look at the Six Sigma business concept, first introduced by the Motorola company way back in 1965, it would appear that you are looking at some kind of martial arts program.

However, Six Sigma is much more than that. It represents a methodology that when applied according to the principles on which it is founded, will provide businesses with the necessary tools to improve the capability of their business processes.

This increased capability of performance coupled with a defined decrease in process variation has been consistently proven to lead to a definite and significant reduction in defective products bringing with it significant profit increases as well as improved work ethic and morale amongst the workforce.

This will, in turn, reflect itself in improved product quality.

The methodology of Six Sigma, as applied by its guru Bill Smith of Motorola who developed the set of practices in 1966, is both rigorous and systematic. Utilizing a mixture of factual information and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company’s operational performance, Six Sigma identifies and prevents the possibility of possible defects in both manufacturing and service-related processes.

General Electric, one of the most successful companies implementing Six Sigma, has estimated that the benefits they have gained by implementing the Six Sigma concept in their business have run into tens of billions of dollars in less than twenty years.

Six Sigma stands for a level of quality that approaches near perfection. Both disciplined and data-driven Six Sigma stands for a methodology for eliminating defects within any industrial or management process — from manufacturing to commerce and from product to service.

To achieve Six Sigma status, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities, with a defect being defined as anything that remains within the standards specified by the customer.

One of the most important logic that lies behind the Six Sigma initiative is that the standards expected can never be achieved by a single individual, as it is very much a team concept.

A team leader, which can be either a business manager or someone who owns a business, must be capable of communicating sufficiently to instill the Six Sigma initiative to the members of the team as well as all employees of the company or organization who will be adopting the Six Sigma concept.

Each and every member of the staff will be required to be fully aware of their individual roles and responsibilities within the system.


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