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Introduction to

Six Sigma
Basics of Six Sigma

 Highly disciplined continuous improvement process that focuses on developing and

delivering near-perfect products and services, consistently
What is a Process?
Man Feedback
Material Products
Machine Cause Input (x) Process f(x) Output (y) Effect Services
and so on
 A process is a series of steps designed to produce a product and/or service as required
by the customer

 The common feature of any such process as shown above, is emphasis on input and
• Input is something put into a process or expended in its operation, to achieve an
output or a result
• Output is the final product or service delivered to an internal / external customer
• Output(s) of one process can be input(s) to another process 2
Basics of Six Sigma

 Literally speaking, the 18th letter in the Greek alphabet, Sigma(σ) , is the symbol for
Standard Deviation

 6 SIGMA is a structured, data driven, statistical methodology that can be used to

measure the quality of your service and performance and improve it to the highest

 The 6 SIGMA measure of quality is 3.4 Defects Per Million Opportunities (DPMO).
The concept of DPMO will be discussed in the DEFINE phase in greater details.
What is Six Sigma
 Six Sigma is a management methodology of which the GOAL is to improve the
performance and the quality of your processes, services & products dramatically.

 A business improvement process focused on the customer

 A process driven by teamwork, consensus & logical reasoning

 A Structured, logical methodology using D M A I C, D M A D V, D F S S

 Y=F(Xs) i.e. Y is the function of single / multiple Xs

 Focuses on making the process robust & reducing variability

Applies to Any Process

Six Sigma Approach

All processes have Inputs (X), and delivers Output (Y)

Controlling Inputs will control Output

This is y=f(x) thinking

Six Sigma As A Measure

99% Good (3.8 Sigma) 99.9997% Good (6 Sigma)

20,000 lost articles of mail per hour Seven articles lost per hour
Unsafe drinking water for almost 15 minutes One unsafe minute every seven months
each day

5,000 incorrect surgical operations per week 1.7 incorrect operations per week

Two short or long landings at most major One short or long landing every five years
airports each day

200,000 wrong drug prescriptions each year 68 wrong prescriptions per year

No electricity for almost seven hours each One hour without electricity every 34 years
Why Six Sigma?

 Decisions are based on facts and data rather than opinion

 Attacks the high-hanging fruit (The Hard Stuff)
 Eliminates chronic problems (Common Cause Variation)
 Improves customer satisfaction
 Provides a disciplined approach to problem solving
 Changes the company culture
 Creates a competitive advantage
 Focuses on Continual and Continuous Improvement

History of Six Sigma

 Motorola: In the 1980s, Motorola CEO Bob Galvin was struggling to compete with
foreign manufacturers, when Senior Sales Vice President Art Sundry admitted that
"our quality stinks,". Quality Engineer Bill Smith coined the expression “Six Sigma” to
indicate improvement measures. Motorola increased the measurement scale of
defects to parts per million, which prompted the use of the 'six sigma' terminology.
Dr. Mikel J. Harry played a vital role in formulating the DMAIC approach. Motorola
branded Six Sigma. Allied Signal
Johnson & Johnson,
Ford, Nissan,
General Electric Honeywell

1985 1987 1992 1995 2002

Dr Mikel J Harry wrote a

Paper relating early failures to

History of Six Sigma (Continued…)

 1986: Motorola Starts Six Sigma Initiative (By Mr. Bob Galvin, Chairman)
 2001: Motorola Saves $16 Billion cumulatively
 1995: Jack Welch Initiates Six Sigma at GE
 1998: Allied Signal Saves $0.5 Billion
 2000: GE Saves $2 Billion Annually

 Motorola initiated Six Sigma for process improvement, thereby reducing defects to negligible levels
 Motorola wins Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award
 GE uses Six Sigma methodology to improve the entire Business System
 Mikel Harry is acknowledged as the Father of Six Sigma; however, he confers the title on Bill Smith for devising
this methodology

History of Continuous Improvement

Walter A. Shewhart
• Developed and used control chart
• Known as father of statistical process control

W. Edward Deming
• Emphasized the need for change
• Developed P-D-C-A cycle

Joseph M. Juran
• Developed three managerial processes
• Helped businesses understand continuous process improvement

Philip B. Crosby
• Originated the zero defects concept
• Established 14 steps to quality improvement

Armand V. Feigenbaum
• Originated concept of total quality control
• He served as ASQ president for two consecutive terms

Kaoru Ishikawa
• Developed the cause and effect diagram
• Part of JUSE

Genichi Taguchi
• Developed Law for Loss to Society
• Developed robustness concept for quality

History of Continuous Improvement

circles Reengineering Benchmarking
Six Sigma
(1979- (1996-1997) (1988 -1996)

Lean Six
ISO 9000
Award Criteria Sigma
Control (Mid-
(1990s –
present) (2002-

It has now been adopted in many different environments including the services industry


Store retail

Airlines Insurance Law Firms

Upstream E&P Railroads


Chemicals Naval operations and

Shipbuilding Pulp
Pharma and paper Services
Aerospace Food production
High Tech
Consumer products
Medical devices Process industries

Industrial products
High fashion
Value and Foundations of Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a fact –based , data driven philosophy of improvement that values defect
prevention over defect detection.

It drives customer satisfaction and bottom-line results

It applies wherever variation and waste exists

Six Sigma definitions comprise the following groups

• Philosophy –
• Set of tools
• Methodology
• Metrics

 Six Sigma is about creating a culture that demands perfection and that gives
employees the tools to enable them to pinpoint performance gaps and make the
necessary improvements.

 Six Sigma does make use of the full range of statistical tools that are available for
analyzing and solving problems.

 The primary objective of Six Sigma is to reduce Variability. Variability is the ally of
defects. Hence, as the variation reduces, the number of defects also comes down.