Six Sigma has been a successful management approach, and a philosophy for many leading global enterprises. Let’s understand Six Sigma Process – in other words – Six Sigma Deployment Approach.
While the deployment of Six Sigma depends on several factors; the following approach explains Six Sigma process in its simplest form.
Six Sigma as a management discipline puts customer’s interest ahead of others. The process of gathering customer requirements is called as Voice of Customer (VOC). A good deployment program starts with VOC. Customer requirements directly translate into business performance standards. In Six Sigma and many quality management approaches, these performance standards are called as Customer Specification Limits.
Operational metrics and performance measures like KPIs are created based on customer requirements. Such operational measures or KPIs are called as Critical To Quality (CTQ) metrics in Six Sigma.
Output of existing processes is measured against customer requirements. This becomes a benchmark of performance. In Six Sigma, this step is called as Assessment of Current Process Capability.
In case an end-to-end process is not capable of consistently meeting customer requirements, and produces high volume of defects; it is taken up for improvement.
Process improvement approach used in Six Sigma is called as DMAIC. It is the acronym of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control: a 5 step improvement approach.
In this manner, Six Sigma aims to link Customers, Business Processes, CTQs and process improvement all together.
The real power of a Six Sigma Process is in consistently and iteratively following the above activities.
Thus, an organization following a Six Sigma Process:
- Systematically and regularly gathers VOC
- Measures its process capability
- Identifies improvement opportunities
- Uses DMAIC to improve its processes