Six Sigma Basics

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The Six Sigma basics are built on the idea that by eliminating standard deviation in a process, optimal results can be achieved with less time, money, and human resources. In other words, Six Sigma ideas can truly optimize business efficiency and internal processes. By using data-driven decision making tactics and the Six Sigma basics to develop an operation plan, practitioners can increase a business' earnings, reduce wasted capital, and improve customer satisfaction.

The basics of Six Sigma can be broken down into a five-letter description: DMAIC. The letters of DMAIC stand for the most generalized version of Six Sigma basics available--Define, Measure, Analyze, improve, and Control. By following these general procedures, Black Belts and other Six Sigma experts can transform a lackluster operational practice into something capable of generating truly breakthrough results.

The Five Six Sigma Basics

Define, the first stage, calls for the troubleshooting team to identify every single factor that could possibly affect the output of a process. By visualizing an operation according to the equation y=f (x), where y is the output (and is not directly controllable), and x is the many inputs, teams can begin to see just how many factors may cause defective performance or poor output. By Measuring exactly how changing each input affects the output, those teams can slowly begin to narrow the many possible causes to a few critical causes. In many cases, the truly critical factors may not be the ones that we initially consider to be of much importance.

During the Analyze and Improve stages of the Six Sigma basics, teams will work together to develop innovative strategies for controlling those factors deemed most important, and asses the quantitative effect that each input has on the process. Only be carefully and methodically testing each factor can a team develop a successful Control plan. Finally, the teams must develop a system for maintaining the new plan, and monitoring the progress of the operation.

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