Six Sigma: GD/WAT Topic

Technology GD Topics


INTRODUCTION – Bill Smith while working for Motorola in 1986 pioneered Six Sigma, which is a collection of tools, techniques, disciplined, data-driven approach, statistical-based & continuous improvement methodology for abolishing the defects, drawbacks in a product, process or service which is based on quality management fundamentals.

what is six sigma

Tons of companies around the globe have adopted Six Sigma as a way of doing business for putting results on financial statements. The word “Sigma” is a statistical term involved in the measurement of how far a given process deviates from perfection.


 “Quality cannot be copied; there is no step-by-step cookbook that applies equally to all company situations and cultures” – Ernst & Young 


“With Lean Six Sigma, the tools are the easy part, changing organizational culture is the hard part “–John Novak


“Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them” – Albert Einstein

STATISTICS – What Numbers have to Say?

Sigma level Defects per million Yield
6 3.4 99.99966%
5 230 99.977%
4 6,210 99.38%
3 66,800 93.32%
2 308,000 69.15%
1 690,000 30.85%


  • It can be thought of as a measure of process performance, keeping in mind the Six Sigma goal.


  • Once a current performance of the process is measured, the goal is to continually improve the process ahead by reaching to a topmost sigma level.


  • Lower the defects per million, higher the sigma level, higher the yield, greater is customer satisfaction!

DESCRIPTION – Let’s take a Deep Dive

As the name suggests Six Sigma is backed by Six major concepts let’s understand each of them in detail:-

1) Design for 6 sigma:-We need to design a model that is customer-centric i.e. catering the needs of a customer


2) Variation: – Whatever the customer sees and feels that a product must be integrated in that way, we need to implement that


3) Process Capability: – Meeting the end goal deliverables are of paramount significance for a product maker


4) Defect: – Defect is the percentage of an error wherein the product fails to match its performance from the one which is projected earlier.


5) Critical to Quality: – Quality is the most prominent factor that a customer looks at, for which proper timely inspection of the quality of a product must be ensured


6) Stable operations:- This factor determines how pertinent & stringent the processes are for a product to be streamlined which fits completely in a customer demanded framework

Benefits of Six Sigma


  • It plays a great role in accelerating the rate of improvement for a product, as the objective of 6 sigma itself is to lower down the error rate/defect percentage in a product.


  • Implementing the six sigma strategy meets all the deliverables for a company which enhances a rich customer experience which is better for both the employee & the client.


  • It also acts a proactive methodology that identifies & provides recommendations for potential threats lined up for a company which may incur a huge amount of losses for capital & etc.


Disadvantages of Six Sigma


  • Cost of the six-sigma implementation is highly expensive which cannot be incurred by small business.


  • Since six sigma inspects business scenarios minute by minute, a tremendous amount of data is generated leading to time-consuming & complicated procedures.


  • For small start-ups, they have to find six-sigma certified trainers in order to conduct some in-house workshops without any formal certification which at times again becomes infeasible for the cost aspect for them to afford.


Aggregating, we can say that six sigma is all about creating a culture that demands perfection & delivers its product makers a complete fully equipped tool to enable them in overcoming the performance gaps by implementing a data-driven problem-solving approach.


It also aims at reducing the variability which is a primary sign of defects, which fulfills the objective of six sigma reducing variation & delivering a product’s result as close as possible to the desire of a customer. After all, there’s only one thing that matters, customer satisfaction!

lean six sigma
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Author – Aman Gupta

Scrutiny – Riya Chandra

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