To start, by definition, Six Sigma is a quality control program. Its goal is to make statistical improvements to business processes. Think along the lines of project management, financial analysis, improving business production and customer retention. Not to mention better customer service.
“In 1986, Motorola was so confident that they could make these changes to their production and customer satisfaction that they designed an initiative to reduce their product defects down to 3.4 defects per million products. This initiative was so successful that Motorola expanded it to their other business processes and branded it as Six Sigma.”
The main value of Six Sigma advocates the idea that all business processes can be optimized through measurement.
Six Sigma is actually a five-step process that goes by DMAIC. The ‘D’ stands for define, ‘M’ stands for measure, (measure initial performance) ’A’ stands for analyze, (analyze the root of the problem) ‘I’ stands for improve,(improve the system performance) and finally, ‘C’ stands for controls.(create controls into the process to make sure the problem/defect never happens again.)
One of the most surprising benefits of Six Sigma has been increased employee satisfaction. This is a benefit on top of the increased profits and customer satisfaction. When you apply Six Sigma to your employee’s questions about the company, you not only save time, you remove errors and therefore boost morale.
Companies have to want to make Six Sigma work for them by sticking to the new rules and controls to make sure they don’t backslide into problems again. The company really will only be as good as the controls and processes that they have in place.