Basic Six Sigma: An Overview

Six Sigma has found its application in various business domains across the world. From large scale industries to start-ups, from manufacturing units to the IT sector, it has proven the success of its methodologies. But for someone who is just entering the world of Six Sigma, it can seem daunting at first. It may take some time for people who are just learning about it to grasp the basic overview of Six Sigma. Let us give you a quick overview of the basics of Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is a methodology that has a unique view on how to handle processes and people. It has a varied toolkit of problem-solving tools and a set of terminology used to describe concepts and strategies. It improves the overall quality of the end product by reducing the defects. Let us look at some of the terms used in Six Sigma to familiarize yourself with them and thus develop a better understanding of the fundamentals.


The input of a process controls the output of a process and thereby determine the quality of the output.


It is a continued and unending process for improving the business.


There are two main categories of methods employed in Six Sigma. They are:
i. DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control)
ii. DMADV(define, measure, analyze, design, verify)

Measure of success:The ultimate aim to Six Sigma is to reach a target of reduced defects to the scale of 3.4 per 1 million opportunities.

Motivation:Commonly referred to as a drive, it refers to the people who aim for constant improvement.

Now you may have heard about the different belts or the different levels of training that Six Sigma offers. Six Sigma relies on analyzing data and measuring statistics, the one that brings the concepts to fruition are the people who practice it. To implement a structured training program that may suit the needs of various companies and individual aspirations, Six Sigma has the belt system. It is a ranking system that is similar to the ones used in martial art forms. There is a hierarchy of belts and after the training program and examination, each individual may be given the particular belt that is apt for their responsibilities and qualifications. This helps employees to work with their peers more effectively. It helps them coordinate their work by defining clearly the role that they will play in the team.

Let us take a look at what these belts signify.

Green Belt:This is the first step to begin your Six Sigma practices. It is generally given to employees who practice Six Sigma on a part-time basis. They gather data, analyze it and pass on the knowledge to the team.
Black belt:This is for employees who practice it full time and play a role in mentoring and training team members. They help select projects and communicate the progress to the executive leadership.
Master Black Belt: Most MBBs have more training and experience than the other. These candidates often guide and advice the Black Belts and upper management.
Equipped with this basic knowledge you are now ready to embark on your own Six Sigma journey. With the right concepts and methodologies, your business can be transformed forever.