For many organizations, Six Sigma simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a set of practices originally developed by Motorola in 1986 to systematically improve processes by eliminating defects.
The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a process is performing. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications. A Six Sigma opportunity is then the total quantity of chances for a defect.
The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects.
In other words, let say the term Six Sigma is a reference to a particular goal of reducing defects to near ZERO. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies:
- DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control): the Six Sigma DMAIC process is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement;
- DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify): the Six Sigma DMADV process is an improvement system used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement.
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