Frequently Asked Questions On Six Sigma Methodology

Six Sigma (6σ) is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. This data-driven and disciplined methodology can be used in any processes from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service. It was first introduced by Bill Smith while he was working in Motorola in 1986 and over the years it has gained popularity in different industries and sectors for business improvement.

Understanding of six sigma methodology

There are a lot of advantages in using Six Sigma and its positive effects have been the driving force in the effective functioning of many businesses. This is the reason why Six Sigma professionals are still in great demand in various industries.

Often times, Six Sigma terminology can be extremely difficult for people who are newly introduced to the concept to comprehend. Some of the most common terms used in the strategy are a champion, black belt, green belt, change agent, and Big Y. These terms may sound foreign to individuals who have not completed training utilizing the strategy, however, as an individual completes their training for this strategic method, the terms used in the course will become more clear.

A person who is referred to as a champion, is the individual in charge of a specific project, most likely the senior manager. Their job is to ensure that whatever the task is, that it is completed properly. This individual is in charge of leading a team of employees.

Following are the frequently asked questions on Six Sigma Methodology:

Where can Six Sigma be applied?

Six Sigma can be applied in any industry, such as manufacturing, service, healthcare etc.

Are there specific methodologies in Six Sigma?

Yes, there are. Six Sigma projects follow two project methodologies called DMAIC and DMADV.

DMAIC is used for projects aimed at improving an existing business process.

  • Define: Define the problem statement and project goal
  • Measure: Measure the current performance (baseline)
  • Analyse: Identify and analyse the root causes of the defects
  • Improve: Improve the process by eliminating defects
  • Control: Control and sustain the performance

DMADV is used for projects aimed at creating new product or process designs.

  • Define: Define the project goals that are consistent with customer needs
  • Measure: Measure and determine the customer needs
  • Analyse: Identify and analyse the root causes of the defects
  • Design: Design the process by developing it in detail in line with customer needs
  • Validate or Verify: Validate the performance and ability of the process to meet customer needs

What are the benefits of Six Sigma?

Those organisations that implement Six Sigma correctly achieve significant benefits that contribute to competitive advantage and to changing the culture in an organisation from reactive problem solving to proactive problem prevention. These benefits include:

  • Improved knowledge and skills
  • Ability to use a wide range of tools and techniques
  • A widely recognised title 
  • For your organisation
  • Bottom line cost savings (5%-20% of turnover per annum)
  • Improved quality of product or service as perceived by the customer (internal and external customers)
  • Reduction in process cycle times
  • Development of staff skills
  • Common language throughout the organisation
  • World class standard

What’s the difference between Green Belt and Black Belt?

The Six Sigma Green Belt course covers most of the common tools and techniques used in Six Sigma. While the Black Belt course provides competence in advanced statistical tools and techniques that are used in major and complex projects.

What are the prerequisites for the Six Sigma certification?

There are no prerequisites for taking the Yellow and Green Belt certifications. However, in order to get the Black Belt certification, you must have your Green Belt.

Conclusion:

Understanding Six Sigma terminology will allow you to grasp the concept of what it is and how to employ it more easily. With many businesses adopting this practice, it is important that every business-minded individual who wishes to work in a level of management understands the basic components of the strategy and how to apply it. These are just a few of the terms that are intrinsic to the understanding of this methodology. 

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