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Thinking Six Sigma

Aug 17, 2007
The sole purpose behind thinking Six Sigma is the uncovering of the mystery of process variations. Six Sigma professionals, starting from top down, must combine their goals so that they all think in unison about 2 things: maximizing customer satisfaction and minimizing wastage, both of which are the essence of Six Sigma thinking.

Six Sigma Mindset

The Six Sigma mindset is a special state of mind which looks at things in a rather critical way, analyzing rationally about the need for each elemental process and why and how they are what they are.

Defining Six Sigma metrics and processes with customer specifications as a target of achievement brings out what can be called the skillful uncovering of the process specifics that destabilize the end results. The irrepressible urge to question things to tie up all loose ends exposes the value of each of the process steps.

The guiding force behind defining and analyzing process steps is clearly the path to problem solving. Naturally, a Black Belt or a Master Black Belt is inclined to interact with all persons involved in Six Sigma implementation. Interpersonal skills take center stage as the mindset is focused on brainstorming to produce accurate data. A Six Sigma "belt" is never hesitant to make use of statistical tools.

The Art Of Six Sigma Thinking And Creating The Mindset

The fundamental quality of thinking Six Sigma is dependent on the ingenuity of all the professionals involved. Furthermore, it is through clear direction during Six Sigma training that such qualities are honed for better. Here are several steps to help you develop the Six Sigma mindset:

1. Identifying A Problem: Realize that problems fall into different categories. If one problem originates from customer, others are caused by internal organization reasons. Solving them requires developing a 'problem focus,' involving data collection, measurement systems and analyzing discrepancies.

2. Finding The Problems To Attack: Segregate the problems making use of available tools such as 'Pareto Diagram'.

3. Formulating Measures: Analyzing why each problem could have occurred opens the doors on the steps required to work them out.

4. Perfecting Countermeasures: Before short-listing countermeasures for implementation, identify the discrepancies in them by trial and error. At this stage, you must be open to possibly scrapping a measure that fails and to start from scratch all over again.

5. Keeping The Wheel In Motion: When implementing the now 'refined' procedure is complete, a Six Sigma "Belt" cannot relax. Using feedback from the line staff and upper management, interpreting the feedback may expose further gaps in the process for improvements.
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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