Six Sigma
Key Concepts
Sigma Level
Process Management
Defects and Sigma Level

Six Sigma performances are measured basically in terms of reducing the sigma (i.e. standard deviation) of a process or narrowing the range of variation so as to fit all the output within customer specifications.

First step towards fundamental of six sigma is to clearly define what the customer wants as requirement. These requirements are known as "Critical to quality" characteristics (CTQ).

Next step is to count the number of defects that occur. Defects can be defined as any instance or event in which process or product fails to meet a customer requirement.

Once defects are counted, Yield can be calculated. i.e. percentage of items without defects. Finally, "Sigma level" are determined. Sigma level of performance is expressed as "Defects per Million Opportunities" or DPMO. According to Six Sigma philosophy, DPMO is 3.4 to have yield of 99.9997%.

Sigma measure benefits

Company adopting Six Sigma system have found that the "Sigma scale" approach to evaluate process performance offer significant advantages.

From customer's point of view

Sigma measures demand a clear definition of what the customer's requirements are. That clarity helps in thinking both the customer and the organization what really important.

Provide a consistent matric

With their focus on defects and defect opportunities, Six Sigma measures can be used to measure and compare very different processes throughout the organization. Once requirement is clearly defined, defect can be defined and can measure almost any type of business activity or process.

Link to ambitious goal

Having an entire organization objective to attain 99.99997 percent perfection. It can create significant momentum for improvement.

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