Although Six Sigma may be one of the simplest of all management concepts to understand (Just do it right the first time! ), achieving this goal is the ultimate test of organizational leadership. Six Sigma is a concept that concentrates on the customer rather than the product. Its supporters claim that it leads to a corporate cultural change, a paradigm shift toward an expectation of the highest quality, which then drives a passion for continuous improvement by all players involved.

The basic premise is to improve customer satisfaction by reducing defects and it strives to deliver virtually defect-free processes and products. Description: The Six Sigma concept matured between 1985 and 1986, growing out of various quality initiatives at Motorola. The company’s Land Mobile Products Sector established a single matrix for quality, total defects per unit, dramatically changing the way management could measure and compare the quality improvement rates of all divisions. For the first time, everyone spoke the same language.

Because all operations were using the same measurement, the goal for defect reduction was uniformly applied to all activities. Sigma is a statistical expression that indicates how much variation there is in a product. A performance level of Six Sigma equates to 3. 4 defects per one million opportunities–not perfect, but pretty close. A defect was defined as anything that caused customer dissatisfaction. A unit was any unit of work–for example, an hour of labor, a circuit board, or a keystroke. According to Robert W.

Galvin, chairman of the executive committee of the Motorola Management Board, Six Sigma signifies “near perfection. ” The essence of Six Sigma lies in understanding that it is not a program but a cultural mandate. Step changes become the norm, immediately rendering obsolete many of the premises of continuous or incremental improvement. Reaching Six Sigma is not about the process of daily improvement. It is the process of disciplined, daily excellence. Six Sigma challenges some of the most fundamental management tenets but none more than the often-professed belief that we learn best from our mistakes.

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Six Sigma is a proactive approach to zero defects, which begins with an acknowledgement that there really is one right way to run a process. Creativity and individualism take a back seat to ensuring that each process step is in control and capable. The discussion to follow is aimed at providing rationale and real-life proof of how accepting the Six Sigma challenge is the first step towards continuous improvement and sustained quality improvements eventually leading to lower costs, higher customer satisfaction and profitability (Douglas ; Erwin, 2000). Methodologies:

Six Sigma employs two primary methodologies, known as Six Sigma has two key methodologies. They are known as DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify), which are both inspired by the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle or the Deming Cycle (attributed to Dr. W. Edwards Deming often called the father of modern quality control). The former is used when an already existing business process has to be improved and the latter to create a new product or process design from scratch to ensure defect-free performance.


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