Six Sigma
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Six Sigma
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The term “Six Sigma” has two definitions. Firstly, it has a statistical definition. Sigma (the lower-case Greek letter σ) is used to represent the standard deviation (a measure of variation) of a statistical population. The term “Six Sigma” comes from the notion that if one has six standard deviations between the mean of a process and the nearest specification limit, there will be practically no items that fail to meet the specification. Secondly, the term refers to a toolkit of quality tools that are applied within a structured, five-stage improvement methodology known as DMAIC (standing for Define - Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control), designed to drive process improvement towards a Six Sigma level of capability.


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The Stage

It is widely recognised that survival in today’s globalised market requires continuous improvement and innovation of products and services, as well as core and support processes. This includes the reduction of costs associated with variation and waste within the processes. The Six Sigma toolkit enables an organisation to continuously reduce variation and waste using a project-by-project approach, yielding “quick, measurable improvement in operating costs”. Six Sigma projects are selected by the executive team on the basis of various criteria, including the following: alignment with corporate goals, estimated cost savings, available resources to undertake the project, and expected duration. [1]

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