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Gaining Profits From Six Sigma Training

Jan 18, 2008
Six Sigma training is an approach that is used by several companies to improve their overall performance. Giant companies like Motorola, General Electric, Merril Lynch, 3M and Bank of America credit this discipline for their success.

In the implementation of Six Sigma in a business organization, it is important that its content and framework should be predefined. The corporate culture might also have to be changed so as to experience the full benefits of this approach. Like the concepts of quality control, Zero Defects and Total Quality Management, Six Sigma is based on three principles. The first of these principles asserts that continuous improvement of process outputs is crucial for business success. The second principle contends that business and manufacturing processes are measurable and controllable. The last principle asserts that sustained quality improvement can only be achieved through commitment from the organization from top-level management down to the common staff or assembly workers. According to this discipline, business processes are improved through the elimination of defects. The methodology of Six Sigma was formulated and popularized by Bill Smith of Motorola. As of 2006, this company declared over $17 billion savings with the implementation of this approach. Currently, Six Sigma is a registered trademark and service mark of Motorola.

The two methodologies under this approach are represented by the acronyms, DMAIC and DMADV. The former is mainly designed for improving existing business processes while the latter is designed for creating new process and product designs. There are five steps involved in the DMAIC methodology. These steps are represented by each letter of this acronym. These are Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. What need to be defined are improvement goals that should be associated with corporate strategy and consumer demands. Relevant data of current processes are the aspects that need to be measured. Consequently, the cause and effect relationship of certain factors and processes need to be analyzed. Once this is done, business processes are optimized or improved depending on the analysis made. Lastly, variances or possible causes of defects need to be controlled to improve the efficiency of business processes.

Like the other Six Sigma methodology, the acronym DMADV also stands for the five steps involved in it namely: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify. The first three steps are similar to the ones involved in the DMAIC methodology. The last two steps focus on designing the details of a process and verifying the same design through pilot runs, implementation process and handover. Several other methodologies are inspired from these two key methodologies.

A Six Sigma training may be designed for the senior management or "C-level" managers like CEOs, CIOs, and CFOs. These individuals formulate organizational objectives so background on this discipline will enable them to incorporate the implicit goal of this discipline which is improve all business processes into their corporate culture. This training may also be designed for process and functional managers who report directly to senior managers. Project leaders and quality managers may also undergo the same training so that they would be able to achieve efficiency in their special areas.
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