Reporting accuracy: Primary goal Six Sigma

Six Sigma is one of the most influential business methodologies that focuses on quality and accuracy. Though Six Sigma originated in the manufacturing industry, it has been deployed in various businesses such as banking, healthcare and software development. With the addition of Lean to its management principles, it has evolved into Lean Six Sigma. It has been shown to greatly improve accuracy by reducing variation and waste and also focusing on the needs of a customer.

What makes Lean Six Sigma unique?

Lean Six Sigma identifies customer needs and problems in production. It, therefore, is highly accurate and reduces waste. It, therefore, delivers quality and profit. It eliminates variation by studying the data available to us thereby creating processes which should be repeatable regardless of the people involved.
Six Sigma is totally different from the Total Quality Management (TQM) which provides a cause of your problems and gives solutions to them. Instead, Six Sigma focuses on methods and numbers. Therefore it is a systematic way to measure the accuracy or effectiveness of a solution. Then the customer can indicate whether the changes were successful or not by checking if his requirements are met.

Benefits of Six Sigma:

Having said that Six Sigma greatly improves accuracy and eliminates variation, both in the manufacturing sector as well as other service-based companies around the world, Let us now look at what benefits these companies were able to reap by implementing Lean Six Sigma.

From the Company perspective:

While looking at the benefits, you can consider two perspectives, one for the company or enterprise as a whole and the other for the individuals. First, let us look at the benefits of Lean Sigma for Companies:

• The improvement or lack of improvement can be shown or visualized clearly as Lean Six Sigma is a large data-driven approach.
• Individual processes are studies and improved to produce desirable quality and results.
• It improves the capacity throughout the company.
• It drastically improves revenue and cost savings.
• The overall costs are greatly reduced as these processes produce fewer defects.
• By reducing defects, it saves materials, time and money.
• It focuses on continuous improvement.

Now let us look at the benefits that Lean Six Sigma proves for individuals.

Benefits of Lean Six Sigma for Individuals:

• It proves a new way of approaching problems without any ambiguity.
• There will be significant career advancement for Lean Six Sigma Belt holders. For people in managerial positions, it helps to study the data and contribute effectively by making good suggestions and decisions.
• People who are Lean Six Sigma Belt holders are often offered higher pay.
• It gives the individuals a sense of responsibility and ownership with respect to the quality and deliverables.
• The quality of work is improved greatly. The work environment also improves and creates a sustainable path towards continuous quality improvement.

Do you need the necessary training for Six Sigma Blackbelt?

In order to become a Six Sigma Black Belt, it is advisable to attend and complete appropriate training before sitting for the exam. These trainings are generally open to all candidates with or without the Greenbelt status. Though doing this is possible, following the standard progression, by attaining the Green Belt training and certification will make the Black Belt certification process much easier. It also helps if you have relevant experience in Business Process Management.

The Black Belt training will revise some of the knowledge areas of the Green Belt courses but also requires a higher level of understanding and mastery. It also covers more complex concepts and calculations required for quality metrics and process management. This training will help you to apply the principles of Six Sigma to any business situation and develop goals which can be achieved by putting together an effective action plan.

Also, undergoing these training greatly improves your employability. Most companies in all sectors from large-scale software companies, to manufacturers, are looking for well trained Six Sigma Black Belts. All leading job-search websites show you that most leading companies are actively recruiting people who have undergone Six Sigma Black Belt training and Certification. These people are appointed to effective and interesting roles such as Consultants, Quality improvement Managers, Improvement Advisor, Plant Managers, Process Improvement Specialist, and many more.

If you have decided to Pursue a Six Sigma Belt Certification, the first task is to identify a good training program for the same. If you have a full-time job, it is possible to find part-time or online courses to undergo the training. It is very difficult to find a program that fits into your busy schedule. This is why online training is a great option to look for. There are so many different options for training available to choose from which will prepare you for the Six Sigma Black Belt certification. These online courses are convenient and also provide industry-recognized certificates.

Many such courses ask you to produce a Green Belt certification or equivalent experience as Pre-requisites to be enrolled in the program. If not, you can first participate in the Green Belt training program and then follow it up with the Black Belt training and certification. This training will then provide you with the necessary background knowledge and skills to become a Six Sigma Black Belt. Over a course of 16 to 20 weeks, you will be well prepared to take the Certification Examination.

Advantages of attending the training program:

• Develop valuable insights related to Six Sigma processes and methodology
• Gain knowledge about the principles and application of Six Sigma
• View Lectures online anywhere and anytime.
• Communicate with peers through Live Chat rooms, Email, etc.
• Participate in interactive sessions.

These trainings not only equip you to successfully implement Six Sigma, it also helps you to strengthen your communication skills and add an attractive qualification to your profile. Thus this training is an integral part of Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.

Implementation of Six Sigma: Quality management role

Six Sigma is basically a disciplined approach that is based on the analysis of available data to improve the quality of the process as well as the product. Qulaity management is one of the key roles played by Six Sigma in an enterprise. Let us look at an overview of Six Sigma and it’s role to improve quality in all the processes right from order to delivery.

What is Six Sigma?

The quality of a process is basically the ability to deliver products or services consistently within the specification limit. It is possible for a company to just deliver products without paying attention to the efficiency of it’s processes. This however will result in increase in the costs. This kind od processes also cause a high number of defects and variations that will make it very difficult to predict the performance. Implementing Six Sigma drastically reduces the number of defects and ensures high quality outcome by studying the processes and modifying them to best possible efficiency. Let us now look at the methodology used by Six Sigma to achieve such high levels of quality.


The methodology used by Six Sigma to ensure quality outcome can be best described using the acronym DMAIC. It stands for five different phases that are interconnected and work together as a whole. These phases are:
• Define
• Measure
• Analyze
• Inprove
• Control.

Lets us now look at each of these phases and how they affect the the quality management process.

1. Define:
Here a Six Sigma team develops a clear definition of the expectations, issues and scope of a project. They map the process flow and also define project boundaries to be maintained.

2. Measure:
The Six Sigma team capture the main issues associated with each of the processes. Here they are required to use their audit management capabilities to better understand the issues and this is a key role played by their Qulaity Managemenent System. They use this as a metric or a measure which is used for process performance improvement. This allows the team to quantify the improvements made.

3. Analyze:
The data collected by the team is analyzed. This helps the team identify the root cause of the issues. It also helps them identify opportunities for improvement. They are required to identify the gaps between their current quality metrics and their goals. They use the technology available to them to prioritize opportunities and implement corrective actions.

4. Improve:
The improvement identified earlier are implemented in this phase. The Quality Management system closely monitors the actions to ensure successful implementation. The changes are also documented for further reference. Real time data analysis is used to further monitor the effectiveness of the actions taken.

5. Control:
The team ensures that controls have been put in place to keep the improvement process on track. This essentially prevents the process from going back to it’s previous state or lagging.
Thus using DMAIC and its wide range of performance improvement tools and tactics, Six Sigma plays an effective role in the Quality Management System of the Enterprise.

Qualities of a Black Belt: Why you would want to attain a Black Belt?

You may have read a lot about the benefits of Six Sigma and its potentials. The real reason Six Sigma becomes a success is because of the individuals trained in the field of Six Sigma and the activities performed by them which revolutionizes the company. So let us look at what role a Six Sigma black Belt plays in a company.

The Role of the Six Sigma Black Belt:

The Six Sigma Black belts are known as Change Agents and occupy leadership roles in a company. They are responsible for implementing the improvements made to processes and facilitate quality management. They play a major role in the satisfaction level of the customers and in business productivity. This article describes the main qualities that a Six Sigma Black Belt is expected to possess.

Six Sigma Black Belt Qualities:

All Six Sigma Black Belts must posses the passion to persevere through challenges and remain motivated at all times. They should take initiative and have a positive personality even while facing challenges.

•Customer advocacy:
Black Belts should communicate effectively with customers and understand their needs. This is the key to process improvement. They should be able to deliver the quality of the service or product that satisfies the customer’s needs.

Black Belts are change agents. They are also trainers, mentors and coaches to other employees. Therefore they should be able to communicate their ideas aand concerns effectively. They should be able to converse coherently to all audiences and be able to convince them.

•Business Decisions:
Black Belts are business leader and hences they should have a sound knowledge of the Business. They need to make good decisions competitively and well as financially. They should be the link between projects processes and desired results.

•Team Player:
Black Belts must be able to lead as well as work in a team with others. They must be able to get along well with people, and friendly to all. They should also be able to influence and motivate the team.

•Project management:
They should be able to manage projects and deliver quality results. The should consider scope, resources, requirements and timeline while managing the projects.

•Technical Knowledge:
They need to be a technical expert but they should have a working knowledge of modern technology. This is a great advantage as it can help improve the process of collecting and analyzing data as well as improving strategy.

•Work Experience:
With sufficient experience in diverse working areas, a Six Sigma expert will be able to improve more than one aspect of the process improvement. They would be able to appreciate projects more holistically.

•Result Oriented:
The Six Sigma Black Belts are expected to produce real and tangible results at the end of business processes. They have to be able to demonstrate their success methodologies and meet targets on time.

5 success stories of Lean Sigma Implementation

Lean Sigma has been proving itself over the past decades in various fields. Many companies have seen great success in their business by implementing Lean Six Sigma ideologies in their work processes. Let us look at some of the interesting success stories of companies and their experience with Six Sigma.

1. Bosch

Bosch is a world-leading multinational engineering and electronics company headquartered in Germany. They have implemented the Bosch’s Lean production system within Indian corporate through a partnership with BMGI. Having conducted programs on Lean transformation, the participants of the organization received it really well. These participants were given a simulation which gave them the opportunity to use real machines and also make new plant layouts using Lean Six Sigma Principles. The participants applied these concepts at their workplace and produced great results. Though this is just a beginning, they look forward to the benefits of Implementing these methodologies in their business processes.

2. Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Detroit. They had a vision that Ford would become a consumer products company and gain the coveted increase in customer satisfaction. In order to realize this vision, Ford adopted Six Sigma methodologies. In the year 2000, their Six Sigma plan contributed over $52 million profit to the company. Further, Ford estimates that an additional $300 million dollars may be contributed in terms of completed projects and customer satisfaction.

3. Canadian Medical Laboratories

Not only the manufacturing companies take advantage of Six Sigma. Medical and Health Care companies have also begun to realize and appreciate Six Sigma. Many Medical laboratories in Canada struggle to find funding as the number of patients keeps increasing. Also, the reduction in government budgets has also taken a toll on their available resources. At this stage, Six Sigma is what helped them stabilize the situation. The medical labs slowly started responding to Lean Six Sigma and implementing process improvement methods.

4. UE Compression

UEC is a big player in the oil and gas industry. They used Six Sigma to strategize their business. They thus improved their quality and reduced cycle time. By using tools like 5S, UEC could better understand their customer’s needs. They also strengthened their knowledge base and or on a path of continuous improvement which is the main aim of Six Sigma.

5. Arrow Electronics

In the electronics Industry also, Six Sigma has been introduced. Arrow Electronics, an American Fortune 500 company headquartered in Colorado, has adopted Lean Six Sigma strategies. Their results were amazing over just a small period of time. In 2015, they generated about $1 million in cost savings. They also won an “Innovation of the Year” Award at the Lean and Six Sigma World conference where experts from all over the world come together to collaborate on topics such as process improvement and efficiency.

What does yellow belt certify as a skill?

We may have already heard a lot about the Six Sigma training and how it equips you to bring great success to your business. As we know Six Sigma is a methodology that equips individuals to reduce defects in the business processes. This training is given to them at various levels or steps with the first step being the yellow be;t certification. Let us look at what this belt signifies and what are the main skills acquired by undergoing this training.

The yellow belt certification gives you a basic understanding of the various tools and techniques used in Six Sigma. We shall now look at a list of skills that a yellow belt certified professional is sure to possess.

1.Key Concepts:This is basically an understanding of where Lean Sigma came from. It also includes how it applies to the industry.

2.Project scoping:This is a very necessary skill where an individual identifies a problem and creates a good problem statement.

3.SIPOC:This is a critical tool that helps an individual to understand the scope.

4.Voice of the Customer:Developing an understanding from a customer perspective and help them with their requirements.

5.Wastes:Recognizing wastes and getting rid of these in the processes.

6.Process Mapping:Helps visualize a process and use the same basic methods to do the same.

7.Key Metrics:This is a vast topic and yellow belts are only given an introduction to what makes a good measure.

8.Basic Charts & Analysis:Knowledge required to make Pie Charts, Histograms, etc. for visualization.

9.Flow:Understanding the basic principles as well as the pros and cons of flow models.

10.Value Adding Analyses:Yellow belts are trained to identify activities that do not add value to the processes. Then they are required to modify these activities.

11.Root Cause Analysis:They are trained to make cause-effect diagrams using some basin graphical tools. This helps to convert the hunches into facts and yielding solid results.

12.Error Proofing:First they identify possible errors and then make sure they do not occur. They are given real life examples to relate to.

13.5S:Understand the 5 terms associated with this tool along with their meanings and how to implement effectively in the workplace.

14.Visual Management:They are taught various techniques like display boards, signal alerts etc. to make work visible.

These 14 skills are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more skills that an individual can learn by undergoing the Six Sigma Certification. With these valuable skills, a Yellow Belt Certified Six Sigma professional can add a lot to the team and the project he is working on. In addition, he can further pursue development in the field of Six Sigma and be able to take the project to new levels of success.

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.

Manager or Leader? Six Sigma black belt

In the past, management would point the finger and tell staff members what to do and they would do it. Management was not hands-on and communication was almost non-existent. It has been proven by companies failing over and over, that this is not the way to manage a staff. Six Sigma black belt is the best choice for training if you want your management to take on new techniques for leading their staff.

Six Sigma Black belt focuses on leading and coaching, not managing. You must be a good leader and people must look up to you for you to be in any type of management position. A leader of a business needs to be someone who has the skills necessary to bring a group of people together, help them work together cohesively, and have the ability to work a project from beginning to end effectively and efficiently. A leader takes a hands on approach and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. They have the ability to coach the team and provide useful help when anyone on the team needs help with a task. Six Sigma Black Belt training will show you that a leader is a mentor to other team members and someone the others want to learn from because they look up to them.

One of the most important parts of Six Sigma Black Belt training and the projects undertaken is that they develop an approach of thinking in terms of cause and effect relationships. They apply this knowledge not just to the critical areas, but in day-to- day operations. This helps in sorting out any problems with great care and deep thought about their causes. Decision-making based on such a data analysis is bound to be sound and based on a solid foundation. Being data-based and supported by specific decisions that are not just gut feelings, the probability of recurrence of the problem is minimal.

One major responsibility of the Six Sigma Black Belt is to bring about the changes in the organizational processes – and most importantly, to facilitate such changes. They have to be good change agents with good soft skills to influence people to accept changes that are beneficial for everyone. They have to overcome resistance to change by planning project implementation well in advance, which involves regular communication with internal as well as external customers.

The business’ leadership should select such members for Black Belt training who are visibly potential leaders. They should ensure that the person being selected has the fire to see such initiatives to a successful end. Black Belts should be well aware of the business goals and objectives and have abilities to undertake responsibilities without much support of the top management. The business’ leadership has to ensure that they select Six Sigma Black Belts who will make good leaders in the future.

Six Sigma Black belt training is very effective training for any type of organization. If you have employees with potential to lead and coach the staff, this is the best option. A Six Sigma trained and certified manager is not only a manager, but a leader and a mentor.




Lean Six Sigma on distribution system

Lean manufacturing has been beneficial in providing value to the products being provided to customers. There are times though, when you will find that for some reason, the Lean manufactured product does not have the expected impact or customer satisfaction levels.

This is because in spite of the Lean manufacturing process, products may not reach the customer on time, or as per the order placed; there may also be some issues or problems that come up, which may not have been sorted out in spite of repeated requests. In such a scenario, manufacturing is not the problem area – but the distribution of the products is.

No clear ownership and handoffs: When we are talking about distribution, it involves everything from packaging to handing it over to the customers on a promised day.

The problem of dissatisfaction arises when the manufactured product is not packed properly, a defective product is packed, the warranty support is not sufficient or not provided entirely or the product is not delivered on the promised date.

In such a case, it is clear that the distribution system faces the problem of absence of clear ownership of the processes at various levels. There are also times when the customer may have given the feedback to their contact point, which may be a dealer or distributor.

But, if that has not been communicated to the manufacturing department, then the improvements would not be brought in – which in turn means further customer dissatisfaction.

Lean Six Sigma in the Distribution System

Relationships Between Manufacturers and Dealers

Lean Six Sigma aims in enhancing the relationship that exists between manufacturer and dealer, which becomes important to provide value services to the customer.

The trust and the cooperation between them lead to smoother deployments and the use of the different channels for distribution to the maximum, to provide the customer with products according to their requirements.

Understand Value

Lean aligns the activities of the different distribution channels as well as the manufacturing processes, so that they become efficient and effective and provide value services to the customer.

The value is as seen by the customer and Lean Six Sigma initiatives aim at coordinating the activities from manufacturing to distribution with an aim to achieve value as specified by customers.

Mapping Value Streams Across Boundaries

Value creation and delivery according to customer requirements require the coordination and collaboration of all parties involved in the process of providing value products to the customers.

Through the active participation of all the members of the distribution chain, the Lean system can be developed, which can prove to be beneficial for all. The voice of the customers can reach the destined place if all the channels are Lean and ensuring that their aim is to provide value services and products to customers.

Using Metrics

The Lean distribution system will help in bringing about such changes in the system, which will provide a competitive edge to the value provision of the organization.

The proper metrics for measuring the progress and implementation of Lean processes in the distribution channel will help in providing the planned value to the customer – and any variations and drawbacks will be corrected.

Lean Six Sigma cannot be restricted to just the shop floor. Manufacturers should recognize and bring in a Lean system, which will include the distribution systems as well and provide value to customers.



The DMAIC for business process improvement

These days, the struggle to survive is becoming increasingly intense for businesses of all sizes. Special strategies need to be adopted in order to improve the functioning of a company in order to allow it to keep up with the intensity of today’s marketplace. For this reason, many businesses have chosen to seek the advice of experts who can better the overall functioning of their organizations to ensure that they are reaching their highest potentials.

Among all the strategies which has been successfully implemented is the DMAIC Model, which stands for Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control. Experts, including Six Sigma Black Belts, swear by this model for overall business success though quality control, problem management, and common sense. It works as follows:

Define: This refers to defining the goals of any given improvement effort. Top level improvement goals may include strategic efforts such as increasing the ROI or market share. Closer to the operations level, an organization’s goal may involve bettering the output of a given department. On the projects level, the goals may involve decreasing defects and increasing production. Data mining methods are applied here for identifying prospective opportunities for enhancement.

Measure: This phase refers to the analysis of the existing system with various measurement techniques for the defects and levels of perfection that exist. In this step, accurate metrics have to be used to define a baseline for further improvements. This helps Six Sigma team leaders understand if progress has been achieved when process improvements are implemented.

Analyse: this refers to the analysis of the system in order to recognize the disparity between the current system performance and the goal. Statistical tools are applied here for guiding the analysis. The understanding of the relationship between cause and effect is necessary to bring about any improvements, if needed.

Improve: Improvements in existing systems are necessary to bring the organization towards achievement of the organization goals. Creative development of processes and tools brings about a new lease on life for the organization’s processes and takes them nearer to organizational objectives. Various project management and planning tools can be used to implement these new techniques and processes. Appropriate usage of statistical tools is important to measure the data, which is necessary to understand improvements done and any shortcomings that may exist.

Control: The last phase of DMAIC is the Control phase. It helps ensure that variations in the processes are rectified before they have a negative effect. Controls can be used to ensure sustained improvements in new processes and operating procedures. The new project components should become a part and parcel of existing processes. Once all the factors are performing to satisfaction, transfer of ownership should be done to process owners and process teams.

DMAIC is a Six Sigma method used to improve existing business processes. A companion methodology, DMADV, is used when new processes are being designed or implemented. DMAIC is a method or tool put in place with an objective of continuous improvement in mind, working towards a goal of business process excellence.