What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process -- from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service. The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a process is performing. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications. 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.
Why is Six Sigma so attractive to so many businesses right now?
Being successful and staying successful in business in more challenging today than ever before. Companies like GE, Sun Microsystems and many others are flexing the Six Sigma system to create new products and improve existing processes etc. Leaders of these Six sigma companies know that this methodology encompasses a wide variety of simple and advanced tools to solve problems ,reduce variation to near zero by a target date, delight customers anddemonstrate financial benefits by target date and speed up the process of improvement. Sounds like an efficient process? The Six Sigma methodology works on the six key ingredients needed to achieve Six Sigma capability within the organization.
- The genuine focus on customers
- Data and fact-driven management
- Process focus and improvement to increase customer satisfaction
- Proactive management
- Boundary less collaboration
- Drive for perfection with appreciable increase in staff Productivity.
- Decrease in Operational costs
- Increases revenue due to enhanced productivity
Benefits of Six Sigma
There are numerous benefits of six sigma as a way to address issues and problems. Among the benefits of six sigma is the decrease in defects that are allowed to reach the customer. You can get some sense of the benefits of six sigma by reviewing some six sigma projects.
Origin of Six Sigma & Ranks
Originally invented by Motorola, the Six Sigma system contains belt rankings that represent a person’s achievements utilizing Six Sigma methodologies and associated roles and responsibilities. These rankings are modeled after the martial arts system, as detailed below.
In 1991 Motorola certified its first 'Black Belt' Six Sigma experts, which indicates the beginnings of the formalisation of the accredited training of Six Sigma methods. In 1991 also, Allied Signal, (a large avionics company which merged with Honeywell in 1999), adopted the Six Sigma methods, and claimed significant improvements and cost savings within six months. It seems that Allied Signal's new CEO Lawrence Bossidy learned of Motorola's work with Six Sigma and so approached Motorola's CEO Bob Galvin to learn how it could be used in Allied Signal.
Yellow Belts (YB)
Yellow belt is the first level in the Six Sigma program. To get yellow belt status one must go through a training course in Six Sigma and pass an online certification. Yellow belt team members do not lead projects on their own, but they are usually a core team member with special knowledge on a project. Yellow belts are responsible for:
- The development of process maps to support Six Sigma projects.
- Running smaller process improvement projects using the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) method
- Being a subject matter expert on the Six Sigma project
- Experience level 0-2 Work Experience
- Exam is scheduled twice in a year- June & December
Yellow Belt Projects
- Usually limited to identifying small projects they could benefit from improvement
Training Fees-80,000 Naira
Exam Fees-60,000 Naira