Six Sigma for Quality and Productivity

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- Six Sigma : An Overview
- What is Six Sigma?
- Why Six Sigma?
- Six SigmaPhases : Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control
- Tools and Key Roles for Six Sigma
- Six Sigma Experiences and Leadership
- The vision of Six Sigma
- What is the main criticism of Six Sigma
- References


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What is Sigma ?
- A term used in statistics to represent standard deviation, an indicator of the degree of variation in a set of a process
- A statistical concept that measures a process in terms of defects - at the six sigma level, there 3.4 defects per million opportunities
- A philosophy and a goal : as perfect as practically possible
- A methodology and a symbol of quality
Sigma Level 
(Process Capability) Defects per Million Opportunities
2 308,537
3 66,807
4 6,210
5 233
6 3.4
(Warren Brussee - "Statistics for Six Sigma")
- Every hour the postal service would lose 20,000 pieces of mail
- Every day our drinking water would be unsafe for almost 15 minutes
- Every week there would be 5,000 surgical operations that go wrong in some way
- Every month we would be without electricity for almost seven hours 
Six Sigma provides a scientific and statistical basis for quali- ty assessment for all processes through measurement of quality levels. The Six Sigma method allows us to draw comparisons among all processes, and tells how good a process is. Through this information, top-level management learns what path to fol- low to achieve process innovation and customer satisfaction.
Second, Six Sigma provides efficient manpower cultivation and utilization. It employs a"belt system" in which the levels of mastery are classified as green belt, black belt, master black belt and champion. As a person in a company obtains certain training, he acquires a belt. Usually, a black belt is the leader of a project team and several green belts work together for the project team. 
Third, there are many success stories of Six Sigma appli- cation in well known world-class companies. As mentioned earlier, Six Sigma was pioneered by Motorola and launched as a strategic initiative in 1987. Since then, and particular- ly from 1995, an exponentially growing number of presti- gious global firms have launched a Six Sigma program. It has been noted that many globally leading companies run Six Sigma programs (see Figure 3), and it has been well known that Motorola, GE, Allied Signal, IBM, DEC, Texas Instruments, Sony, Kodak, Nokia, and Philips Electronics among others have been quite successful in Six Sigma. In Korea, the Samsung, LG, Hyundai groups and Korea Heavy Industries & Construction Company have been quite suc- cessful with Six Sigma. 
The pace of change during the last decade has been unprece- dented, and the speed of change in this new millennium is per- haps faster than ever before. Most notably, the power has shift- ed from producer to customer. The producer-oriented industri- al society is over, and the customer-oriented information soci- ety has arrived. The customer has all the rights to order, select and buy goods and services. Especially, in e-business, the cus- tomer has all-mighty power. Competition in quality and pro- ductivity has been ever-increasing. Second-rate quality goods cannot survive anymore in the market. Six Sigma with its 4S (systematic, scientific, statistical and smarter) approaches pro- vides flexibility in managing a business unit.


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