Six Sigma (6s) is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. A six sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of all opportunities to produce some feature of a part are statistically expected to be free of defects.
Six Sigma strategies seek to improve the quality of the output of a process by identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. It uses a set of quality management methods, mainly empirical, statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization who are experts in these methods. Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has specific value targets, for example: reduce process cycle time, reduce pollution, reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and increase profits
Projects aimed at improving an existing business process.
Define the system, the voice of the customer and their requirements, and the project goals, specifically.
Measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data; calculate the ‘as-is’ Process Capability.
Analyze the data to investigate and verify cause-and-effect relationships. Determine what the relationships are, and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered. Seek out root cause of the defect under investigation.
Improve or optimize the current process based upon data analysis using techniques such as design of experiments, poka yoke or mistake proofing, and standard work to create a new, future state process. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability.
Control the future state process to ensure that any deviations from the target are corrected before they result in defects. Implement control systems such as statistical process control, production boards, visual workplaces, and continuously monitor the process. This process is repeated until the desired quality level is obtained.
Projects aimed at creating new product or process designs.
Also named DFSS
Define design goals that are consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy.
Measure and identify CTQs (characteristics that are Critical To Quality), measure product capabilities, production process capability, and measure risks.
Analyze to develop and design alternatives
Design an improved alternative, best suited per analysis in the previous step
Verify the design, set up pilot runs, implement the production process and hand it over to the process owner(s).