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Six Sigma Procedure

Six Sigma procedure is currently adopted by many organizations throughout the world who are reaping the benefits offered by this process. Six Sigma changes the way organizations look at their processes. It aims at standardizing them so as to minimize the occurrence of defects. As a result, organizations worldwide have been able to save millions of dollars by improving their processes and reducing rework which results in a loss of project time and cost as well as resources.

5 Steps of Six Sigma Procedures

Do you know what are the key steps of the Six Sigma procedure?

Well, Six Sigma procedure typically follows the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) methodology. The basic steps of Six Sigma projects are listed below:

  1. Identify a project: This step involves selecting a problem area for which a Six Sigma project is required to provide a solution. The problem statement and project business case are defined in this step.
  2. Form a team: This step involves identifying a team and team leader as part of the Six Sigma team charter. The team leader can either be a certified Black Belt or a Green Belt.
  3. Train the team: Once the team has been formed, it is important to train the team members on the Six Sigma methodology with specific emphasis on DMAIC and the tools used in each stage of DMAIC.
  4. Perform the DMAIC steps and implement the solution: Once the team has been formed, the next step is to perform all the steps in Six Sigma methodology. These steps are detailed a little later in this article. After identifying the solution, the next step involves implementing the solution within the organization.
  5. Handing-off the project: The final step involves handing over the project to the stakeholders and top management in a formal session.
The steps to be followed while performing the DMAIC methodology in Six Sigma procedures are listed below:

1.0 Define

This phase involves define Six Sigma ie defining the problem. This phase lays the foundation for the entire project.

The key deliverables of the Define phase are:

  • Team charter
  • Identification of customers
  • Voice of the customer or the key requirements for the project
  • SIPOC or the high-level diagram that the team will work on

2.0 Measure

This phase involves gathering data to quantify the problem. This phase also involves analyzing the preliminary root causes of the problem. Performance is typically measured at the input, process, and output level. The Sigma level of the current performance is also ascertained during this phase.

3.0 Analyze

This phase involves using the data gathered in the Measure phase and applying various tools to establish the root causes of the problem.

4.0 Improve

This phase involves suggesting possible solutions to the problem being faced. A cost-benefit analysis for each solution is done and the best possible solution is selected after a great deal of analysis and brain-storming.

Once a solution has been selected after this thorough analysis, the focus of the Analyze phase shifts on implementing this solution within the organization. A pilot project is executed to implement the solution and study the outcome. Once this is successful, the solution is implemented on a larger scale.

5.0 Control

This phase involves drafting steps to sustain the solution. This is one of the most important phases of the DMAIC methodology. If efforts are not made to sustain the improved process, in all likelihood, the process will go back to its original form and the very purpose of executing the Six Sigma project will be defeated. It is also important to formulate a response plan to deal with risks or issues that might arise with the new process. A formal hand-over is also scheduled at the end of the Control phase.

Six Sigma Procedure - Tip

You should always ensure that you use the right tools in each phase of the Six Sigma procedure. In the Analyze phase, you might be able to pin-point the root cause of a problem by using fairly simple tools.

However, at times, you might find that the causes are pretty deep and the relationship with other factors is quite complex. In such cases, it is always beneficial to use advanced statistical techniques for narrowing down to the root cause of the problem.

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