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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Understanding Six Sigma And Its Benefits

Many companies have adopted the Six Sigma approach, wherein the manager can minimize the chances of any errors in the production by following the set techniques under the methodology. 

It is an effective approach to implement in your organization as more than half of the fortune 500 companies have implemented 6 Sigma to their operations at some point. 

Over the past two decades, the implementation has helped these companies save over 400 billion dollars in operational costs. Besides reducing your overall cost, the objective is to improve customer satisfaction by increasing the quality of your products and services

The methodology has a simple five-step process to achieve the goals; DMAIC. DMAIC is an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.

The DMAIC  process helps implement the 6 Sigma approach. DMAIC serves as the roadmap for organizations to solve their problems and improve their operations. 

  • Define

The first and foremost step of solving any problem is to define what the problem is and how the crisis has affected the organization’s operations. Once you have clearly defined the problem and its effects, you can utilize the tools available to chart out a plan. 

During this process, the team can utilize helpful tools such as a project charter, high-level map, or a workflow diagram before moving on to the next phase. 

Then, the team needs to refine their focus and ensure their priorities are aligned with organizational goals before moving on to the next step.

If the problems are not clearly defined, it might lead to inefficacy as the managers would be solving different issues, whereas the leadership would be seeking solutions for other problems. 

  • Measure

What is the current state of this process? What is the extent of the issue? 

Measurement is essential throughout the project’s life cycle since it offers essential indications of process quality and hints to where process problems occur. 

As the team gathers data, they concentrate on the process’s lead time. The team then determines the current performance or baseline of the process before going to the Analyze Phase.

  • Analyze

Here, the team tries to understand the root cause of the problem before gathering the resources to find a solution. 

If they do not analyze the issue thoroughly, the solution might not effectively resolve the issue at hand, leading to wastage of time, resources, and increasing variations. This could also lead to new problems in the process. 

Ideally, the managers should focus on analyses of the issues through various charts, process walks, and other methods. For proper analyses, they should develop theories based on their observations about the root cause of the problem. 

Before implementing any particular solution, the team must thoroughly establish the hypothesis of different root causes and potential solutions.

  • Improve

This step involves the team fixing the root cause of the problem. The team streamlines its countermeasure ideas, evaluates process modifications, implements solutions, and gathers data to confirm measurable improvement during the improvement phase of the process. 

  • Control

The control process involves sustaining the improvement you have made in the process. With improvements implemented and the process fixed, the organization must work towards maintaining the balance. 

Often, many teams develop a monitoring system to track the progress of the updated process. Moreover, a response plan is crafted if the implemented solutions lead to a dip in the performance. 

Benefits of DMAIC

Many businesses have implemented Six Sigma and reaped the benefits of massive transformation in revenue and increased customer satisfaction. Here are some key advantages of implementing the 6 Sigma approach.

  • Higher Revenue

When companies can organize and streamline their operational process with the help of DMAIC, they will achieve a higher level of productivity. As the company increases its production capacity with fewer defects, it improves its revenue. 

  • Decreased Cost

Companies often do not realize the extent to which they waste resources. DMAIC helps companies streamline their affairs and enhance efficiency by eliminating the wastage of precious resources. 

  • Increased Productivity

The main objective of implementing DMAIC is to eliminate wastage of resources. Once the wastage has been eliminated or minimized, it leads to more productivity while using fewer resources. 

DMAIC under the Six Sigma approach has helped many companies achieve efficiency and deliver effective results. However, it is not a sure-shot solution; the effectiveness of DMAIC depends on how effectively it is implemented and maintained. Over sixty percent of the companies that adopt this methodology do not get the results they were aiming for due to various reasons. 

These reasons may be the improper or inefficient implementation of the principles by unqualified personnel, or the absence of control over the process, resulting in the process improvements not being followed consistently. 

Make sure to avoid these pitfalls if you wish to implement Six Sigma in your organization.

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Daniyel Carlson
Daniyel Carlson is a Young Researcher in the field of Data Science & Analytics having research experience of more than 8 years. He has a Masters in Computer Engineering and currently serves as an Editorial Assistant in IGI Global, United States of America. Daniyel also holds honorary positions in the Associate Member of Institute of Research Engineers and Doctors, International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology, International Association of Engineers, Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications.

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