The definition of quality boils down to how well we serve the needs of our customers. Six Sigma is both a quality management philosophy and a methodology focuses on reducing variation, measuring defects and improving the quality of products, processes and services. The purpose of Lean is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.

Using Lean and Six Sigma tools, empowers us to:

  1. eliminate the waste and excess cost
  2. reduce variation and defects
  3. improve our processes and customer experience.

The Six Sigma methodology is grounded in a process known as DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control). We need to be customer driven, and search for ways to prevent issues and dissatisfaction. Six Sigma aims us toward the goal of 99.99966% defect free.

TQ stands for total quality, which focuses on culture change, empowers workers and teams. Much of the improvement take place in departments or functions.TQ generally use simple tools for process improvement.

Unlike TQ, Six Sigma is owned at the business leader champion level of the organization, and focus on high level cross-functional processes. Six Sigma uses a five step model called DMAIC. TQ and Six Sigma work quite well together.

Foundations of Six Sigma

Crosby’s Four Absolutes

“Do it right the first time”.

  1. The definition of quality is conformance to requirements.
  2. The system of quality is prevention.
  3. The performance standard is zero defects (close to Six Sigma).
  4. The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance.

Deming’s 14 Points

  1. Creating constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service. Innovate, allocate resource to long-term planning. Put resources into research and education.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. Do not tolerant commonly accepted levels of errors or defects.
  3. Cease dependency on mass inspection to achieve quality. Inspection does not improve quality. Quality is built into a product and can not be inspected into it.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.
  5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service. Continually, improve test methods and identify problems, from the very first planning stages right up to distribution to customers.
  6. Institute training on-the-job.
  7. Adopt and institute leadership. The job of management is not supervision, but leadership.
  8. Drive fear out. No one can perform, unless one feels secure.
  9. Break down barriers between staff areas. Create teams of members coming from all areas and sectors of the business to prevent and solve problems.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce. Posters and slogans have never helped anyone to do a better job.
  11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce, and numerical goals for the management.
  12. Remove barriers that rob people of the pride of workmanship. Eliminate the annual rating of merit system.
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.
  14. Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

Feigenbaum’s Total Quality Control

Total Quality Control is an effective system for integrating the quality-development, quality-maintenance, and quality improvement efforts of various groups in an organization so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels which allow full customer satisfaction.

Juran’s Trilogy

Quality planning, quality control, quality improvement.

Purpose of Six Sigma

Six Sigma projects should always focus on things that are of high importance to the organization. It requires support from the highest level of management. It is based on quantifiable measures that can be traced back to how well the business serves its customers. It emphasizes planning the project and quantifying the results. Metrics are essential in tracking the impact of the project and help the process you are measuring.

Six Sigma and Lean serve as a mechanism to drive change in business. Several success factor must be realized:

  1. The value of using the methodology must be embrace by all levels of the organization.
  2. The organization must have a strong customer focus and welcome change.
  3. Teamwork and training are essential.
  4. Strong systems, procedures and infrastructure to facilitate effective communication and collaboration.
  5. Subject matter experts.

Methodology: DMAIC

DMAIC consists of 5 phases: define, measure, analyze, improve and control. Under each phase, there are a series of essential steps required, and also a series of common and effective tools.

DefineProject goals are set, boundaries are established to align with aims of the organization.
MeasureEstablish baseline capability, localize the source of the problem.
AnalyzeConjectures are formulated of root causes, confirm these theories through the collection of data.
ImproveDevelop, implement and evaluate solutions targeted at your verified cause.
ControlEnsure long term effective change on a larger scale, ensure the problem stay fixed.

Roles and Responsibilities of Team Members

Strong teams foster collaberation, synergies and ability to quickly adapt to change. Teams have the potential to unlock the access all levels and disciplines in the organization. However the roles and responsibilities of individuals are also essential to the success of the team.

Yellow Beltshave a fundamental understanding of Six Sigma principles.
targeted towards supervisors, manager, directors, executives.
Green Beltscomprehensive elements of Six Sigma with less emphasis on statistical aspects.
work on less complex challenges and problems than Black Belt.
Black Beltsmost active and valuable.
well-rounded in terms of project management, statistical analysis, financial analysis, meeting facilitation, prioritization, etc.
Master Black Beltsmost seasoned, educated, capable of all Six Sigma experts.
Championsstrategic oversight
determine the strategic direction
define requirements for success
Sponsorsset direction for the project
define and draft the charter
key communicative role at highest levels of the organization
Process Ownerssubject matter experts of a process

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