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The Evolution Of Six Sigma Quality

Dec 24, 2007
The concept of Six Sigma quality is not something new in the world of business. No matter what trade or industry your company belongs to, you surely must have heard of Six Sigma at one time or another. This is because Six Sigma has worked wonders for many companies worldwide. In addition, it worked wonders for the very company that developed it, which is Motorola.

The basic premise behind Six Sigma is to have a system that eliminates defects in the products created and developed by the company. The person who formulated the concept for Motorola is actually Bill Smith, back in 1986. However, Smith was not the first to have thought of the concepts that ultimately make up Six Sigma. This is because Six Sigma is actually inspired by so many quality improvement methodologies that have existed over the past years. These methodologies include Quality Control, Total Quality Management or TQM, and Zero Defects. Six Sigma and its predecessors have the following in common:

First, they assert the importance of continuous efforts, with the aim of reducing variation in the output of production. This means that it is very important for any business to keep a certain standard for their products, in order for them to hit success.

These methodologies also hold as true the fact that manufacturing procedures can indeed be measured and analyzed. Because of this, it also follows that they can be controlled and improved. With the proper exertion of control here, improvement is a small step away for any business.

Lastly, these methodologies assert that sustaining quality improvement would definitely require the utmost effort and commitment from the organization as a whole. The top of the management staff is not excused here. Thus, if everyone exerts the expected effort at their respective jobs, then improvement would definitely be sustained.

Six Sigma actually has two key concepts: DMAIC and DMADV. DMAIC is used for businesses to improve on a certain process that they are currently using, while DMADV is used in the creation of new products or processes that are free from defects. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. DMADV, on the other hand, stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify.

Over the years, these models have been modified according to the purpose and needs of other companies that recognize the effectiveness of Six Sigma. One such model was proposed by Geoff Tennant, which is DCCDI. DCCDI stands for Define, Customer Concept, Design, and Implement. General Electric also proposed a revision of the DMADV model. Their own version is DMADOV, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Optimize, and Verify. Another model, which was proposed by Uniworld, is DCDOV. This model stands for Define, Concept, Design, Optimize, and Verify.

Whatever model a certain company would employ, the fact remains that Six Sigma is indeed one of the significant methodologies business worldwide hold up high. And because Six Sigma quality had brought Motorola so much success since 1986, more and more companies are implementing it for their own use, even to this very day. These include Caterpillar, 3M, Honeywell International, the Bank of America, and Merrill Lynch.
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