Six Sigma Process

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Though Six Sigma is a complicated methodology, the basics of Six Sigma process can be broken down into a few main ideas. First is the equation y=f (x), which in Six Sigma means that the output Y is always recognized as a function of X, the input. The other is the acronym DMAIC, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.

The equation y=f (x) displays the Six Sigma process as one that focuses on controlling X, the input of a process. The output, though able to be monitored, cannot be directly controlled. Instead, a business must insure the quality of output by shaping the inputs. This, in turn, means that amongst all of the input factors of a process lie a few critical factors that directly effect defective parts. By controlling those factors, you can reduce deviation to an acceptable level (recognized as 3.4 parts per million).

DMAIC: An Essential Element of the Six Sigma Process

By using the techniques of DMAIC, Six Sigma practitioners can find those variables and develop control plans for them. In the Define stage, teams look to identify the many variables that could possibly affect a system's performance. By collecting all of those variables, whatever they are, the teams can begin to systematically Measure the effect that subtle changes of each variable have on production.

Then, Analyzing the data that they collect, the teams can rank the criticality of the variable, eventually narrowing them to a few key factors. This signals a turning point in the Six Sigma process. From that point, it is possible for them to develop innovative solutions to problems and Improve upon the causes of deviation. They can also develop and implement Control plans to monitor the improvements and other future business plans.

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