Six Sigma - what is it?

Marie-Clare Pedersen

Six Sigma is a methodology developed to power outstanding business performance through improving processes in order to reduce to defects.

In this short blog, Senior Consultant Marie-Clare Pedersen explains what Six Sigma is, what it involves and its benefits.

What does the term ‘Six Sigma’ mean?

The term refers to a statistical standard of excellence for processes – no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.┬áMost processes produce 6,000 or more. For businesses striving to excel in an increasingly competitive world, that’s simply not good enough.

The methodology operates within a defined organisational deployment structure.  Personnel at various levels operate and lead the Six Sigma implementation programme.

A typical Lean Six Sigma Programme

Here is what a typical Lean Six Sigma programme involves:

  • Development of a strategic context, rationale and drivers
  • Executive development
  • Project champion development
  • Training of specialist Lean Six Sigma practitioners (Black Belts and Master Black Belts) to lead projects
  • Training of local Six Sigma facilitators and operators (Green Belts and Yellow Belts)
  • Systematic project selection, management and review, usually focused on cost-measurable projects

What are the benefits?

  • Dramatically reduced defect rate, cycle time and cost
  • Reduced reliance on inspection for quality
  • Greatly improved customer satisfaction
  • Elimination of non-value-adding work
  • Reduced costs from rework.