Six Sigma – Summary of Basic Concepts

Six Sigma is a powerful tool applied as a measure of organizations’ processes and overall performance. It is a data-driven and disciplined approach as well as a methodology for eliminating functional shortcomings. The objective of this methodology process is implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on variation reduction and processes improvement. Although Six Sigma as a measurement tool dates back to the 1800s, it is still an innovative technique for modern companies. It was first introduced in the 1980s by a Motorola engineer. Motorola developed a four-point plan to implement and secure their global market leadership through continuous quality improvement. This process comprises two methodology approaches: DMAIV, which aims at improving processes that fall below the specifications; and DMADV, which improves systems in order to develop new products and processes.

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Six Sigma has defined numerous and varying corps of experts including Black Belts, Green Belts, and Master Black Belts.  In full time jobs, Green Belts employees lead a team that requires process and performance improvement. They share feelings and thoughts with Black Belts and Master Black Belts. The training Black Belts receive provides them with necessary skills in order to sustain, lead and implement a focused Six Sigma initiative in a business unit or area. Black Belts apply a culture of statistics, tools and strategies to implement and identify projects that reduce resources and wastes in order to increase cost reduction. Master Black Belts hold the highest rank in the Six Sigma quality management methodology. Employees in this group are equipped with abilities and skills required to lead large teams in a company. They are crucial in facilitating process implementation and generation of profits.

Criticizers argue that the Six Sigma strategy applies non-original theories and ideas. They term it as a rigid program that is difficult to fit into corporations’ value propositions and mission. In addition, Six Sigma does not offer breakthrough improvements necessary to facilitate quality development in order to add value to the critical corporations’ customers. 

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