Six Sigma Implementation

What is Six Sigma

Though six sigma is defined by many in many different ways, but the gist of what it is can defined as follows:

Six Sigma (6σ) is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It is used to improve the quality of the output of a process by identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. It uses a set of quality management methods, primarily empirical, statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization who are experts in these methods.

Six Sigma Projects

Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has specific value targets, for example: reduce process cycle time, reduce pollution, reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and increase profits.


This method is used primarily for improving existing business processes. The letters stand for:

Define the problem and the project goals

Measure in detail the various aspects of the current process

Analyze data to, among other things,  find the root defects in a process

Improve the process

Control how the process is done in the future.

saf international six sigma chart


This method is typically used to create new processes and new products or services. The letters stand for:

Define the project goals

Measure critical components of the process and the product capabilities

Analyze the data and develop various designs for the process, eventually picking the best one

Design and test details of the process

Verify the design by running simulations and a pilot program, and then handing over the process to the client

Benefits  of implementing six sigma
Increased long term revenue
Improve quality
Expand Innovation
Reduce costs
Positively impact employee safety

SAF’s process of implementing Six Sigma system

Leadership vision dispersion –Leadership gets engaged in this process by clearly defining the vision of implementing the system. This vision is communicated clearly, consistently, and repeatedly throughout the organization. In other words, leadership must lead the effort. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that Six Sigma goals, objectives, and progress are properly aligned with those of the enterprise as a whole. This is done by modifying the organization such that personnel naturally pursue Six Sigma as part of their normal routine. This requires the creation of new positions and departments, and modified reward, recognition, incentive, and compensation systems. These key issues are discussed throughout this chapter. The Six Sigma deployment will begin with senior leadership training in the philosophy, principles, and tools they need to prepare their organization for success

Infrastructure – Leadership direct the development and training of an infrastructure to manage and support Six Sigma.

Communication and awareness – DMAIC project essentially create change in the environment, therefore the buy-in through proper communication is essential.

Stakeholder feedback systems –Processes are then developed for establishing communication with customers, employees, and suppliers.

Process feedback systems –A framework for continuous process improvement is developed, along with a system of indicators for monitoring progress and success.

Project selection – Six Sigma projects are proposed for improving business processes by people with process knowledge at various levels of the organization. Six Sigma projects are selected based on established protocol by senior management to achieve business performance objectives linked to measurable financial results

Project deployment –Six Sigma projects are conducted by project teams lead by Black Belts (or by Green Belts with the technical assistance of Black Belts)