The Six Sigma program was created to help companies continuously improve the quality of their products and services while keeping costs down and customer satisfaction up.
The program is called Six Sigma because it applies six core steps to every business problem.
- Define—Know which problem needs to be solved and set a clear goal.
- Measure—Collect data on the problem.
- Analyze—Propose possible solutions to the problem based on the data gathered.
- Approve—Make sure everyone involved understands and accepts the solution.
- Implement—Put the solution into place.
- Control—Make sure the results of the solution can be measured accurately.
To carry out these steps, Six Sigma uses a range of tools from different fields of expertise including metrology (the science of measurement), statistics and engineering. Six Sigma also involves building a network of Six Sigma experts within a company to ensure any improvements are sustained and that improvement overall is a continuous pursuit.
More about Six Sigma
Six Sigma originally referred to the quality-control goal of keeping defective production to fewer than 3.5 units per million. Today, Six Sigma focuses on all business processes, including management and sales.