Six Sigma Key Elements

Published: 2019-09-19 09:00:00
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Six Sigma is an approach that is engineered to be a data-driven, project oriented, statistically based solution to help mainly in the elimination of data errors, waste from waste products, processes, and transactions and also maintain data integrity (Desai, 2010). This helps enterprise, corporation or an organization to minimize costs, increase profits, service quality and also improve on customer service thus helping them to have a competitive edge over their competitors by creating non-breakable market dominance.

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Creation of the Six Sigma

The Six Sigma was created in 1986 by Bill Smith who was a Motorola engineer. His main motive of creating the six sigma model was to help increase the quality of the products and also reduce defects of products. Bob Galvin who was the CEO was highly impressed by the model and he approved on the implementation of the program to help improve their products, transactions and also processes. The Motorola Corporation implemented the model both as a focal point and also the main objective of increasing their product and service quality. The six sigma implementation was a great success to the company and it helped them to reduce their product defects by 94 percent between the year 1984 to 1993. As a result, the six sigma model was embraced by other corporations and organizations to help increase their quality of products and also reduce defects in their products.

Six Sigma philosophy

The Six Sigma philosophy focuses on reducing the variability in the quality of the main products that are based on the required values at the levels or areas where the products have a low chance of errors. The main concept of the six sigma philosophy is aimed at reducing variability to help attain a specification limit of six standard deviations. The six sigma was also based on an assumption that when the process attains the six sigma quality level, the process was still prone to failure and errors and this would cause a shift of 1.5 standard target from the product process and transactions (George, 2002). The six sigma philosophy also states the six sigma is only capable of producing a maximum of 3.4 parts per million (ppm). The performance of the process is also never predictable until the behavior of the process is stable.

Objectives and concept

One of the main objectives of the six sigma model is to help companies and organizations to improve the satisfaction of their customers. The Six Sigma helps companies to eliminate errors when manufacturing and also processing their products which eventually help to reduce customers complaints in cases where there was a product malfunction. The second objective of the six sigma model is to help companies improve their business standards and also increase on their development. Through the six sigma, corporate leaders can apply the DMAIC method which helps the product manufacturers to define measure, analyze, improve and also manage their product results (Desai, 2010). This helps the companies to re-design new products with improved quality and high standards through the DMAIC process. The third objective of the Six Sigma is to help companies to increase the coordination of their product metrics with suppliers and also consumers.

The major concept of the Six Sigma is the DMAIC concept. This is a concept that helps a company to define measure, analyze, improve and also control their products, services and also processes. This helps the companies to improve the quality of products, services, and processes by eliminating defects and also maintaining product and process integrity. The DMAIC concept is mainly implemented in projects because it helps to apply critical thinking to the project participants.

Calculation of the Sigma

There are mainly five steps that are involved in the calculation of the Sigma. The first step is based on the identifying of opportunities. This process is based on the fact that a huge percentage of the products are prone to defects. An example is a circuit board manufacturer would design defective integrated circuits without realizing and this would mean that for every circuit board the company processes has a defective integrated circuit. This would lead to an opportunity where the customer to notice the problem.

The second process of calculating the sigma would be based on defining the defects. A company is able to determine its defects through doing a research on their customers. This would help the company to exactly know what their product defects are. The third process of calculating the sigma is through measuring the opportunities and also defects of the company. a company should design or use a proper data collection technique so as to attain the correct measure of opportunities and defects (George, 2002). Based on our previous example of the circuit board company, it would come with a data of the number of opportunities and defects collected on the integrated circuit boards such as;

Opportunities (year 2015): 300,000 ICs

Defects (year 2015): 100,000 ICs

The fourth step in calculating the stigma is calculating the yield. This is mainly done by subtracting the total number of defects from the total number of opportunities, dividing by the total number of opportunities then multiplying the result by 100. In this case, it would be ((300,000-100,000)/300,000)*100 = 66.67 %.

The sigma mindset, culture and key practices

Some of the companies have a negative mindset towards the Six Sigma and have not implemented it in their companies. Most corporations have criticized it stating that its an old method to implement in the processing of products and services. They also say that is the sigma method in inconsistent and it can only make product and service predictions when the process and service production is stable and also contributes to an increase in upset occurrence and also defects. However, a huge number of companies have found the sigma to be effective in helping to reduce their product defects and improve the quality of products and customer service (Taghizadegan, 2006). With key practices like fully dedicated resources, perfect employee incentive, business aptitude and also training the six sigma remains the best model to implement in a company.


Desai, D. K. (2010). Six sigma. Mumbai [India: Himalaya Pub. House.

George, M. L. (2002). Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma quality with lean speed. NewYork:McGraw-Hill.

Taghizadegan, S. (2006). Essentials of lean six sigma. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

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