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Six Sigma - Essay Example

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Six Sigma Introduction: Definition and Core Philosophy of Six Sigma It is due to globalization that customers have fast access to products, services and information. This concern has provoked organizations to improve the quality of their operations. Six sigma, therefore, is an approach aimed at improving quality…
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Download file to see previous pages This is done by distinguishing and correcting faults that occur in the organizational processes and products. In other words, six sigma is a management concept formulated by Motorola in 1986 which aims are defining high goals, data collection and carrying out the analysis of results to a fine degree so as to cut down the defects that appear in tangible products and services. Therefore, we can say that six sigma is focused on improving the quality of business processes and end products (Peter S Pande, Robert P. Neuman, Roland E. Cavanagh, 2000). The core aim of six sigma is to give businesses an error free performance. The philosophy of six sigma is that if an organization is able to measure the number of faults in its business processes, then it can systematically eradicate them and achieve close to perfection operations. The Greek alphabet Sigma is used to represent a deviation or variation from a defined standard. Organizations use sigma as a scale to measure their performance. The value of sigma is indirectly proportional to the number of defects. This means that smaller value of sigma will show less deviation from the norm that is less faults. For instance, two sigma covers ninety five percent of the bell curve whereas six sigma reaches to a point where there is absolutely no chance of defect. Simply put, six sigma is basically a standard for quality which aims at producing no more than 3.4 defects per million units or procedures. The goal however, is difficult to attain yet a number of manufacturing companies such as General Electric, Martin Dow, Johnson & Johnson, Nokia and many others have realized heavy savings with the application of six sigma. Service sector such as healthcare and financial institutions have also started benefitting from six sigma (Praveen Gupta, 2004). History: Whenever the origin of six sigma is talked about, the first name that strikes our mind is: Motorola. It is usually believed that the concept of six sigma was introduced by the employees of Motorola. A deep look into the history will show that the development of the concept began when Carl Frederick Gauss introduced major statistical element of bell curve called normal curve. In 1920’s Walter Shewhart analyzed the normal curve thoroughly and came up with his proposal that any business process or product may require rectification when the variation from mean is three sigma. After the second world war, Japan’s economy was poorly slashed down. However, with optimal utilization of natural resources and leadership, Japan became world leader in terms of quality. Noticing this sudden progress, U.S companies realized how important the role of quality in gaining profits and customer satisfaction is. The automobile industry of U.S was suffering to a great extent because Japanese had grabbed major share of its imports. In 1986, the engineers at Motorola implemented the concept of six sigma in their manufacturing processes. Bill Smith and team members decided to replace the measurement of defects in thousands by millions in order to make more sense out of the concept. Guidelines for addressing problems with six sigma were established and it was also suggested that projects in which six sigma is applied should always give positive outcomes. Therefore, six sigma is officially associated with Motorola. Observing Motorola’s increased efficiency, Allied Signal began implementing six sigma in its operations. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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