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What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is an information‐driven methodology and procedure to abolish defects in any process that is from product to service management, in the organization. In numerous organizations, Six Sigma implies a measure of quality that makes progress towards precision. This is a methodological practice for improving customer satisfaction and improving business processes. The quality levels are achieved by setting up an administrative framework that deliberately recognizes errors and gives methods to eradicate the errors or defects. 

The beginning of Six Sigma:

The origin of Six Sigma as a measurement standard is associated with Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777‐1855) who familiarized the concept of the normal curve. In 1920’s Walter Shewhart showed three sigmas from the mean is the point where a process requires correction. Many measurement standards (Cpk, Zero Defects, etc.) later came on the scene but glory for devising the term “Six Sigma” goes to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith. (Incidentally, “Six Sigma” is a federally registered trademark of Motorola).

In the early and mid‐1980s with Chairman Bob Galvin at the helm, Motorola engineers decided that the traditional quality levels — measuring defects in thousands of opportunities – didn’t provide enough granularity. Instead, they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities. Motorola developed this new standard and created the methodology and needed cultural change associated with it.

Six Sigma helped Motorola realize powerful bottom-line results in their organization – in fact, they documented more than 16 Billion in savings as a result of our Six Sigma efforts. Since then, hundreds of companies everywhere around the globe have accepted Six Sigma as a technique of doing business.

Major Aspects of Six Sigma:

Six Sigma represents the process quality statistically. The process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Then only the process achieves six sigma. Six sigma evaluates each step of the process to improve the quality of the process and to increase the bottom‐line result.

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