Six Sigma – What is

I heard about this tool two years ago when I read the book «Winning», by Jack Welch.

Six Sigma is a set of practices to maximize the efficiency of processes within the company, eliminating the faults and the unconformities according to the rules of the company.

This tool was developed around 1987, by Bill Smith, of the Motorola Company.

Afterwards, Jack Welch, in General Electric.

How it works?

Sigma is a measurement used to indicate how much the results are according to the necessities of the clients. The bigger this Sigma, the better the quality.

Two methodologies are used in Six Sigma.

DEMADV: to create new products, services or processes.

  • Define Goals: consistency with the client needs
  • Measure and Identify: the critic points to achieve better quality
  • Analyze: analyze and evaluate the company qualities to choose the best project
  • Design Details: to think about details and optimize the project
  • Verify the Design: to test the project again and implement the idea

DMAIC: used to improve the quality of the products, services or processes.

  • Define the Problem: to define the problem according to the consumer and the goals of the project
  • Measure Key Aspects: to measure the key points of the project
  • Analyze the Data: to analyze and relate data to investigate the cause-effect
  • Improve the Process: improve the quality and optimize data. To test the processes and establish limits
  • Control: to plan the tunning and the monitoring


Just to summarize, there are some benefits of using Six Sigma:

  • to reduce costs
  • to improve the quality of products, projects, and processes
  • to improve customer retention
  • to improve the commitment inside the work team

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Estée Janssens on Unsplash

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