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Six Sigma Myths

Aug 17, 2007
Six Sigma uses statistical analysis and data to formulate a disciplined method to improve the company's operations. This is done after identifying and eliminating errors in the manufacturing and service related processes. Some of the common myths regarding 6 Sigma are:

Six Sigma Is A Quality Management Initiative

The idea that 6 Sigma is a quality management initiative is believed to have originated in South Africa.

Total Quality Management, or TQM, and Six Sigma are different. 6 Sigma project teams follow a predefined plan of action that is evidently linked to the STRAP or Annual operating plan. There is a high level of involvement seen within the organization, since all the employees focus primarily on the results.

Many individuals, especially the Master Black Belts, are affected by the methodology and its impact on the organization. These individuals are relocated from their current job-profiles and are assigned full-time mentoring and training of the staff. Only driven and highly motivated individuals can be a part of the project teams, and this poses a problem to the Human Resources Department.

Green Belts Are Individuals With Basic Training In Six Sigma Principles

Six Sigma Black Belts are the result of advanced training. Their targets are lofty, up to $1 million, improvement at the bottom line, within two years. They hold fulltime positions and are responsible for the training and certification. On the other hand, Master Black Belts are individuals who benefit from extended training.

Six Sigma Can Replace The Current Systems

Six Sigma is an independent initiative and not a replacement to any existent quality system. It is expected to include the understanding and application of LEAN principles. Many employers focus only on extracting maximum work from their employees. Due to this, a very small percentage of the profit is spent on value contributing activities. Companies with a lack of vision or strategy tend to enjoy short-term benefits only. Their employees and set objectives are designed to produce limited and short-term goals.

Six Sigma Practitioners Are Expected To Become Statisticians

Statistics is important but only to some of the projects, like the Green Belt. The teams implement tools like cause-effect, quality function deployment and process mapping. They also apply statistical concepts like control charts. Designated Master Black Belts or Black Belts administer the complex statistical analysis, to quantify the impact of the given inputs.

6 Sigma methodologies deliver the targeted benefits in companies of all sizes. They are applicable to different industries and governmental and non-profit organizations. The number of projects a company completes affects their involvement in more meaningful and bigger projects. The ability to produce the desired results within a pre-set time frame is a confirmation of the company's commitment to dedicated service. 6 Sigma tends to grow and change the business needs, simultaneously.
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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