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Your Six Sigma Refresher Guide

Feb 29, 2008
Quality - or lack thereof - on any level often comes at an extremely high cost. Conversely, business organizations running Six Sigma will usually spend only five percent or less of their earnings on resolving problems.

So what is Six Sigma? It is a detailed systematic statistical operation which will help an organization to discover, decrease, and ultimately remove all defects or errors from any product, system, or business action.


This process is a well renowned methodology used by many organizations worldwide as a business improvement system. In fact it is more than a "quality assurance" program; it is an ever changing and progressively continual revenue enhancement operation and process initiative that helps your organization uncover problems and find solutions.

At its essence, the Six Sigma system states that process speed is directly related to process elasticity. The Law of Velocity says that the velocity of any process is inversely proportional to the amount of work in progress. The 5 Sigma shift is intended to compensate for average deviation; thus the ratios are much lower and the defect rates are much more reasonable.

The heart of the 6 Sigma idea is that the work being done in a process or operation should be driven entirely by customer demand rather than any other factors.


DMAIC is an acronym for five interconnected phases: Define Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control; this is one of the two widely used Six Sigma designs. The other system DMADV stands for: Define Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify. The overall results are shown through use of these systems are applicable to the core business process.

Additionally, it has been determined that the financial increases and the cultural change in management skills of smaller firms happen at a swift pace. By applying these strategies in the small business environment will help achieve the necessary results almost immediately because the timeframe between employing the system and actually noticing the visible results are almost simultaneous. The milestones for impressive results are financial up trends, better employee satisfaction, and finally the satisfied customer.

In fact, tangible results can be measured right away through the noticed reduction in the number of defective products, small amounts of customer returns and reduced amounts of worthless inventory.

By starting the initial implementation with a test program, you will get the visible results required without destroying your cash flow as with a company-wide roll-out. The results garnered with the test program can then be duplicated throughout your company's business operation at an extremely rapid pace.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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