The term Six Sigma was invented by an employee at Motorola back in the early 80s. The business models adopted by Motorola by following the Six Sigma method became such a rousing success that soon several other companies followed in the similar fashion and made a good profit and improved their financial stability and their market value.
Across various sectors and across the board the implementation of the Six Sigma strategy has benefited and succeeded in raising the bar for quality standards. The banking sector, finance, healthcare, consumer goods and even fields like telecommunications have improved leaps and bounds due to the Six Sigma methods of business improvement.
The strategic role of Six Sigma
The prime objective of Six Sigma is to step up the performance and standards of a product and to eliminate any deviation from that standard. The six denotes the benchmark for the number of faults that define a poor quality product. It is an effective tool in the management of quality and a metric known as DPMO has been established which stands for Defects per million opportunities. With the Six Sigma method, this has been effectively cut down to only around 3-4 DPMO. This speaks of the effectiveness and efficiency of this implementation.
For instance, if a company wants to improve customer satisfaction by 25 per cent, then Six Sigma projects that are related to the voice of the customer can take priority and become an important part of the organizational strategy of achieving the customer-related objective. To become a part of strategy execution, in this case, Six Sigma professionals could develop customer surveys, test questionnaires, gather customer data, analyse data and establish focus groups to name a few activities. Also, some old projects can be given new life through corporate objectives.
Different methods exist for improving the customer demand and satisfaction in quality and the Six Sigma approach has a basic two-pronged one. One is the improvement or enhancement of existent properties of products to elevate their level. Another is to innovate and create and conceptualize new strategies for the development of new products and processes or services. Six Sigma aims at tackling three targets effectively in one smooth motion. This is improving the production, removing defects in the products and overall increasing the consumer satisfaction levels.
To improve the process of Six Sigma project selection for the Master Black Belts, Six Sigma professionals can align the needs established by organizational objectives with Pareto’s Principle, or the 80-20 rule. Through incorporating, factors such as savings, the probability of success, cost and time of completion, Six Sigma professionals can find the essential 20 per cent of projects that can generate 80 per cent of the results that are necessary for achieving objectives. While objectives can guide Six Sigma professionals to the right type of projects, logic-based premises such as Pareto’s Principle can assist in the identification of the specific projects that are necessary for success.
In order for the Six Sigma strategy to be effectively put into action, it is necessary to involve the workforce in a company. If there is some dissent or criticism it is unlikely the best benefits will come out of it. The ideas of team building are very relevant at this stage and without it, the corporate companies cannot survive or establish a good working practice.