The Power of Six Sigma
In this era of science and technology, everyone wants to pace with developmental advances. It has become a need of the hour to devise methods and techniques that help you to walk with the speed of advancement in the 21st century. For planning such strategic approaches, we need specific tools. Six Sigma is one of the necessary sets of tools that make this job much more easy to manage.
It has become mandatory to use such modern yet useful tools to meet the requirements of your business. If you continue using your previous conventional business techniques, you will be left behind other competitors and feel as out of this race. These modern techniques not only help you in surviving the competitive marketplace but also help you to make your business profitable and self-sustaining.
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a collection of tools and methods that are used for the improvement of industrial processes. This universal set of techniques was invented by a senior engineer and scientist Bill Smith while he was working at Motorola. He was the legend who first used these techniques and played a pivotal role in improving the processes that help in quality improvement in industrial engineering and business.
A Six Sigma executed process is a method that is supposed to be 99.99% defect-free. In the manufacturing industry and business, Six Sigma strategies play a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency of the process and increasing the quality of output produced by removing potential defects associated with the process. This technique uses quality control methods like statistical and empirical methods to devise infrastructure that is efficient free of defects.
Six Sigma Techniques
Six Sigma is a strategic process management toolkit. It functions according to some predefined techniques, thus ensuring an efficient flawless operating environment. The basic techniques of this method are the axial point around which this whole set of tools revolves.
The first and foremost step in any problem-solving mechanism is realizing that problem and devising methods to overcome that problem. It starts with brainstorming about the reasons for the defects and their possible solutions. This technique is used during the “I or Improve” step of the DMAIC technique. Brainstorming includes actively thinking about the core procedure and analyzing it step by step through a systemic procedural analysis and removing possible defects. It also has a detailed discussion among participants from different levels of expertise.
Root cause Analysis
The necessary process of problem-solving starts with root cause analysis. You have to dig deep into the leading cause of the problem. Without identifying the root cause, defects in any manufacturing process or business administration can not be rectified. In this technique, we approach the root cause by asking questions starting with “Why” again and again till we reach the root cause. This technique is used during the “Analyze A” phase of the DMAIC cycle.
Voice of the Customer
As I mentioned earlier, it is a data-driven methodology, and for that purpose, feedback of the customers plays a significant role in improving the overall quality of work. Customers give feedback about whether they like or dislike the products. If the feedback is positive, the same quality standards are maintained. If the feedback is negative, then different techniques are used to improve the quality of products. This technique is used during the “Define D” phase of the DMAIC” cycle.
The 5S System
This technique aims at devising principles that help in the removal of waste and useless, inefficient types of equipment and tools. It is a technique with Japanese origin and includes Japanese terminologies. It consists of the following five steps:
- Sort (Seiri)
- Set In Order (Seiton)
- Shine (Seiso)
- Standardize (Seiketsu)
- Sustain (Shitsuke)
Working on these principles, developmental processes can be devised that will increase the efficiency of a method.
Kaizen (Continuous Improvement )
Kaizen technique is essential for the sustainability of a business or industry. In order to meet the dynamic requirements of the advancing industry, continuous improvement has become an inevitable phenomenon. Every business or industry must closely identify and evaluate any potential defect in any operational procedure and must rectify that defect. This basic yet important technique can help a lot in overall improvements in the business methodology and can increase the efficiency of any industry.
Benchmarking technique can also be referred to as comparative analysis. It includes the comparison of procedures within your own setup and among other competitors. This comparative analysis provides the business with opportunities for identifying and rectifying their potential deficiencies.
This technique originated from Japanese methodologies, and that is evident from its name. This phrase means “ to avoid errors” It enables the workers to avoid any possible chances of mistakes. This technique emphasizes on closely identifying, evaluating, and devising strategies to remove inefficient methodology.
The technique of stream mapping is concerned with the adequate flow of information to devise methodologies that are of errors and are efficient enough to ensure the self-sustainability of a system.
Six Sigma Project Methodologies
Six Sigma projects two sets of methodologies, namely DMAIC and DMADV. Details of each method are given below:
It includes 5 phases
Brief detail of every phase is as follows:
- Define the System, including customer feedback and other factors contributing to the evaluation of future goals.
- Measure the defining aspects and procedural methods to collect data that is helpful in the analysis of the processes.
- Analyze the data collected through the measure phase. Perform comparative analyses to identify the root cause.
- Improve the available methodologies to optimize the processes by removing human errors through poka-yoke techniques.
- Control the production and statistical processes to obtain the desired results.
This methodology also features 5 phases as:
A short discussion of all these phases is as follows:
- Define goals that are in accordance with the demands of the customers and are strategically feasible.
- Measure the Critical To Quality CTQ features and risk associated.
- Analyze the processes to design specific alternatives.
- Design some optimized alternatives according to the data obtained through the step of the analysis.
- Verify the new and optimi\ed design, double-check its efficiency and rectify any defects.
Six Sigma Certification Levels
When Motorola and General Electric started the implementation of Six Sigma, they also devised criteria for the proper certification of the employees. This certification method helps in defining criteria to evaluate and prioritize employees on the basis of their command over Six Sigma techniques. This certification method has levels similar to the levels of martial arts. Employees are assigned various designation titles depending upon their level of expertise. These titles include:
- White Belt
- Yellow Belt
- Green Belt
- Black Belt
- Master Black Belt
- This is the introductory level of Six Sigma; any beginner can enter the program at this stage.
- Fundamental problems are solved with a group discussion
This level allows the following privileges:
- A participant can take part in projects as an active team member.
- Participants can help in improving the processes.
- Participants can have sufficient comprehension of DMAIC and other techniques.
To reach this level of expertise, the participants must have the following characteristics:
- A thorough comprehension of Six Sigma methodologies.
- Three years of experience.
- Leadership qualities.
- Experience of projects that are of business transformation level.
We have got more tips for acquiring Six Sigma Green Certification here.
This level requires:
- 3+ years of full-time experience.
- Work experience of core knowledge.
- At least 2 Six Sigma project completion proof.
- Ability to lead various teams and the capability to train them.
Master Black Belt
To achieve this level of expertise, a candidate should have the following qualities:
- Minimum 5 years of experience
- At least 10 Six Sigma projects completion proof
- A verified portfolio as per the guidelines.
- Experience of coaching Green Belts and Black Belts
- Experience of working as a Six Sigma technologist.
For a detailed analysis of Six Sigma Certifications and Tips on how to prepare for them visit this link.
Top 6 Six Sigma Learning Resources
Six Sigma techniques help in every field of business and industry. You can quickly boost your salary and ensure your career by attaining Six Sigma technique expertise and certification. We will share a list of Top 6 books that will help you in securing your Six Sigma Certification.
1. Six Sigma For Dummies by Craig Gygi
This book claims to reveal the secrets of Six Sigma techniques in a simple but efficient way, thus making it a lot easier for the beginners to understand the complex concepts. No matter whether you are a beginner or a pro, this book will be your go-to place for Six Sigma techniques.
This book features:
- Updated knowledge and guidelines
- Real-time examples
- Basic working mechanisms of Six Sigma
- Simple illustrations that make the understanding of complex concepts convenient and easy
- Different skill levels and their tutorials
- Helps in predicting future performance and rectifying any defect
- Guides about monitoring and conducting useful experiments
- Explains common mistakes and methods of avoiding those mistakes
This book can be your simple guide to master Six Sigma techniques. Check it out at Amazon.com.
2. Six Sigma: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide: A Complete Training & Reference Guide for White Belts, Yellow Belts, Green Belts, and Black Belts by The Council for Six Sigma Certification
This book is considered the most authentic book on Six Sigma techniques as it is written and used by The Council for Six Sigma Certification. It is equally helpful for beginner level readers as well as advanced business people and industrialists. It starts from very basic and in a step by step order takes you towards more complex concepts.
This book covers all the necessary information to master the skills of Six Sigma Techniques.
Authors of the book are affiliated with The Council for Six Sigma Certification, a certification authority that is well-known for its credibility, and their certifications do not require renewals.
- It is a well-balanced book, neither too much unnecessary data nor too concise to miss required knowledge.
- Everything is written according to the table of specifications
- Book is
divided into four parts:
- Unit 1-2 designed to provide basic level knowledge about Six Sigma techniques and certifications for Yellow Belts
- Unit 3-5 is about advanced levels of Six Sigma methodology for Green Belts
- Unit 6-8 cover more advanced concepts for Black Belts
- The remaining portion of the book covers knowledge about different industries having Six Sigma applications.
Check out at Amazon.com
3. The Six Sigma Handbook, 5E 5th Edition by Thomas Pyzdek
If you are looking for an authentic, concise, and updated reference book for Six Sigma techniques, then this masterpiece written by Thomas Pyzdek is a perfect pick. This book focuses on standard industry-level techniques and helps in devising methods that can improve efficiency and play a vital role in the sustainability of any business or any industry.
This book includes:
- All the latest data including references to recently released Minitab 18
- Different phases of Six Sigma techniques according to DMAIC and DMADV methodologies
- Management plans that are solely data-driven
- Concepts to maximize the resources
- Different charts and figures giving effective illustrations
Check at Amazon.com
4. The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook, Second Edition by Roderick A. (2015-03-03) by Roderick A.; Ph.D. Munro
This book serves as a certified guide book for Six Sigma methodologies. It provides you with all the necessary information in such a simple but effective way that many students find it as their go-to place for Sigma Six certification exams.
All the necessary information is given in a concise way, using elementary language. The content of this book is arranged in a sequential pattern making the study process hassle-free. Explanations are given to grasp the topic with great skill. Check this book at Amazon.com to clear your certification tests.
5. Lean Six Sigma: A Handbook and Solutions Manual for Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt Process Improvement Projects 2-book Bundle by Forrest W. Breyfogle III
Forrest Breyfogle is an award-winning author. He revealed his secret of success in this set of 2 books. This bundle has two books having more than 1100 pages, making it a detailed book about the Six Sigma techniques. It elaborates on DMAIC and other methodologies and understanding of using the right approach at the right time.
100+ examples and 250+ exercises make this book a perfect pick to gain core knowledge and practice at the same time. The unique study guide of this book, along with practice drills, makes it a complete package. This book also provides Key Performance Indicators KPIs to polish your skills and enhance the profitability of any business or industry.
It provides both statistical as well as non-statistical tools, thus giving an integrated approach to solving the problems. It has solution manuals to man common issues. It is a highly recommended book. Check it out at Amazon.com and get your Six Sigma Certification in the first attempt.
6. The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook, Third Edition by T. M. Kubiak, Donald W. Benbow
This book is undoubtedly the best certified Six Sigma handbook. This book covers the most recent Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge (BOK). Its unique approach makes it an all in one book with charts, graphs, figures, and tables. It focuses on the effective application of DMAIC and other methodologies.
This book provides advanced-level information and practical application of Six Sigma techniques. Thus it is written to help those who are preparing for their Black Belt certification. Professional industrialists and business people can also use this book as a reference guide
This bundle comes with a CD that contains 170+ real-time problems and different approaches to solving these problems. It also has 150+ practice questions and their possible solutions, thus making it a reference book as well as a practice book. Check it out at Amazon.com
Six Sigma is a set of tools that are used to increase the efficiency and profitability of any business or industry. It focuses on different data analysis phases and helps in devising processes that effective and free of errors. These techniques are implemented in almost every industry, thus increasing their efficiency and sustainability. You can boost your earnings through the implementation of these techniques. Six Sigma expertise levels are associated with different certification levels. You can secure your certification by learning through the guidelines and top learning resources mentioned previously.
Do you want to get the highest-paying Industrial engineering jobs? Here is a guide on how to get that.
Are you still keen to dig more on Lean Manufacturing tools and techniques? This article will help you with that.