6 Best Six Sigma Definitions

One of the best practices for improving customer experience and business processes, Six Sigma methodology allows organizations to increase profit, enhanced shareholder value, reduce costs, smoother operation, and etc.

On this page, we collected the 6 best six sigma definitions to help you gain a more deep understanding of its concept and principals.

1. Definition From iSixSigma:

Six Sigma at many organizations simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving toward six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process – from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.

The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a process is performing. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications. A Six Sigma opportunity is then the total quantity of chances for a defect.

Source: https://www.isixsigma.com

2. Definition From SixSigma Institute:

Six Sigma is:

  • A Business Strategy: Using Six Sigma Methodology, a business can strategize its plan of action and drive revenue increase, cost reduction and process improvements in all parts of the organization.
  • A Vision: Six Sigma Methodology helps the Senior Management create a vision to provide defect free, positive environment to the organization.
  • A Benchmark: Six Sigma Methodology helps in improving process metrics. Once the improved process metrics achieve stability; we can use Six Sigma methodology again to improve the newly stabilized process metrics. For example: The Cycle Time of Pizza Delivery is improved from 60 minutes to 45 minutes in a Pizza Delivery process by using Six Sigma methodology. Once the Pizza Delivery process stabilizes at 45 minutes, we could carry out another Six Sigma project to improve its cycle time from 45 minutes to 30 minutes. Thus, it is a benchmark.
  • A Goal: Using Six Sigma methodology, organizations can keep a stringent goal for themselves and work towards achieving them during the course of the year. Right use of the methodology often leads these organizations to achieve these goals.
  • A Statistical Measure: Six Sigma is a data driven methodology. Statistical Analysis is used to identify root-causes of the problem. Additionally, Six Sigma methodology calculates the process performance using its own unit known as Sigma unit.
  • A Robust Methodology: Six Sigma is the only methodology available in the market today which is a documented methodology for problem solving. If used in the right manner, Six Sigma improvements are bullet-proof and they give high yielding returns.

Source: http://www.sixsigma-institute.org/

3. Definition From Six Sigma Daily – Allen Graves:

Six Sigma originates from a 19th Century mathematical theory, but found its way into today’s mainstream business world through the efforts of an engineer at Motorola in the 1980s. Now heralded as one of the foremost methodological practices for improving customer satisfaction and improving business processes, Six Sigma has been refined and perfected over the years into what we see today.

No matter the setting, the goal remains the same: Six Sigma seeks to improve business processes by removing the causes of errors that lead to defects in a product or service. It accomplishes this by setting up a management system that systematically identifies errors and provides methods for eliminating them.

Source: http://www.sixsigmadaily.com/

4. Definition of Six Sigma From General Electric:

What is Six Sigma?

First, what it is not. It is not a secret society, a slogan or a cliche. Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that helps us focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services.

Why “Sigma”? The word is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. The central idea behind Six Sigma is that if you can measure how many “defects” you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to “zero defects” as possible. To achieve Six Sigma Quality, a process must produce no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An “opportunity” is defined as a chance for nonconformance, or not meeting the required specifications. This means we need to be nearly flawless in executing our key processes.

Key Concepts of Six Sigma

At its core, Six Sigma revolves around a few key concepts.

Critical to Quality: Attributes most important to the customer
Defect: Failing to deliver what the customer wants
Process
Capability:
What your process can deliver
Variation: What the customer sees and feels
Stable
Operations:
Ensuring consistent, predictable processes to improve what the customer sees and feels
Design for Six
Sigma:
Designing to meet customer needs and process capability

Source: http://www.ge.com/

5. Six Sigma For Dummies:

Generally, Six Sigma is a problem-solving methodology that helps enhance business and organizational operations. It can also be defined in a number of other ways:

  • A quality level of 3.4 defects per million opportunities

  • A rate of improvement of 70 percent or better

  • A data-driven, problem-solving methodology of Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control

  • An initiative taken on by organizations to create bottom-line breakthrough change

Source: http://www.dummies.com/

6. Definition From Six Sigma Material:

Six Sigma is a scientific methodology that strives to achieve perfect quality in the eyes (a.k.a. Voice) of the Customer.

It’s a structured performance improvement process that has nothing to do with martial arts other than the names were taken to dictate the levels of expertise. The terms White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt are terms given to individuals that practice the Six Sigma methodology.

The methodology is a combination of traditional tools with recent breakthroughs in conjunction with statistics organized in a disciplined structure. Lean Manufacturing focuses on waste reduction while Six Sigma strives to reduce waste and:

  • understand and reduce product or process variation
  • improve performance (improve the mean)
  • improve customer satisfaction

Source: http://www.six-sigma-material.com/

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