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Six Sigma As A Useful Continuity Aid

Dec 7, 2007
Naturally, Six Sigma is considered for business continuity management, since it deals so actively with process analysis and improvement. But, before connecting Six Sigma with the management continuity processes, let us first go through the details and benefits of the concept of 6 Sigma in a business process.

Definition Of Six Sigma

Six Sigma can be defined as an ideal measurement of quality that is 3.4 defects per million occurrences. Mathematically, a sigma gives a measure of variation. For instance, evaluating the measure of variance in the average value of a process. In other words, a sigma value indicates the performance level of a process - and the higher the value, the fewer the defects per million occurrences.

In a more practical language, we can define Six Sigma as a conventional, yet powerful statistical problem-solving tool that indicates wasteful costs, as well as the specific steps that can be taken to eliminate them. Thus, 6 Sigma can be said to be a quality process that triggers virtual elimination of defects from every process and product.

Due to these qualities, 6 Sigma is a very effective strategy to adopt for business continuity, security and emergency management. When these three processes are not properly known, how many defects can be eliminated remains a big question. But when 6 Sigma is implemented properly, internal processes run at optimum efficiency.

Some of the other reasons for businesses deploying Six Sigma in their units include increased profits and earnings, a better-educated and productive staff, improved customer satisfaction, enhanced workforce problem solving skills and reduced capital spending.

Financial Requirements Of Six Sigma

Successful implementation of Six Sigma requires a company-wide cultural change, as well as significant investment. To implement 6 Sigma in a company, the company has to train and ensure a good organizational infrastructure and cultural evolution. Usually, Six Sigma is associated with big business units, but with proper planning and follow-through, it can be adapted for small and medium-sized firms as well. Even the time needed to achieve the desired results may vary from one company to another.

Working Methodologies Of 6 Sigma

The methodology used by 6 Sigma for solving problems includes DMAIC or Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control system and its popular alternative, DFSS - or Design For Six Sigma.

DMAIC involves defining the target customers and the project goal's requirements.

It measures the process to ascertain current performances and analyzes and determines the root causes for the defects. Further, it improves the process by eliminating defect root causes and controls future process performance.

DFSS on the other hand, is not a methodology but an approach and is typically used to design or re-design a product or service.

Modulating 6 Sigma To Business Continuity, Security And Emergency Management

To use a Six Sigma methodology for improving business continuity begin by identifying that:

- Business continuity is a process.

- It is customer-oriented.

- Check with the customers what they really want and accordingly split up the process into sub-processes.

- Next, ask the project team to measure the activity as per the process performance.

Consultancies And Certifications In Six Sigma

Due to its immense popularity almost all 6 Sigma consultancies also provide certification courses as a value-added service.

Six Sigma is a critical tool for 21st century businesses. Therefore, more should be read and discovered about it, so that business continuity, security and emergency management professionals within organizations worldwide can benefit from it.
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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