What Is the Six Sigma Methodology, and How Does This Approach Work?

Simply put, Six Sigma is a process that is meant to improve continuously upon several different aspects of a business. It can reduce defects, limit waste, streamline the delivery of goods or services to customers, improve profitability, and contribute to the health of a company’s culture. Six Sigma basics can be applied to nearly all businesses, and positive results can be expected as long as employers and employees diligently analyze data and stay committed to improving operations and customer experiences.


What Is the Concept of Six Sigma?

There’s much to be said when employers and employees ask, “What is Six Sigma?” Concept basics can vary a little depending on the particular methodology that is followed, but the core of the program tends to remain the same. When businesses adhere to the Six Sigma process, they commit themselves to:

  • Understanding how work is produced
  • Decreasing potential defects and reducing waste
  • Increasing profitability and lowering costs
  • Improving the customer or client experience
  • Creating productive teams and leaders

A Six Sigma methodology can be applied to any corporation or small business, regardless of whether you manufacture products or provide a service. When you use Six Sigma, your goal is to use data and analysis to aim for only 3.4 defects or fewer per million opportunities. Ultimately, when you use Six Sigma, your target should be the perfect customer experience, and anything that fails to meet that expectation will be considered a defect.

What Are the Basic Principles of Six Sigma?

To understand this highly systematic approach to streamlining output, you first have to realize that there are variants of Six Sigma. The methodology can differ depending on whether you subscribe to the traditional version of Six Sigma or use the more modern Lean Six Sigma.

Further, different steps may need to be taken if you follow the Six Sigma DMAIC cycle for improving existing processes or the Six Sigma DMADV framework for creating new ones. Despite these differences, there are basic guiding principles that inform the Six Sigma process, regardless of which particular methodology you choose to learn and incorporate into your business.

Focus on the Customer

One of the core principles of Six Sigma revolves around being a consummate professional and focusing on serving customers. To increase profitability through production, you must find out what customers need or want, establish a baseline that meets these requirements or the quality that they’re seeking, and maintain that level throughout your production process.

Understand Your Production Model

Before you can make improvements to your production process using Six Sigma techniques, you’ll have to determine how your production process works. This goes beyond a basic understanding and necessitates advanced measurements and statistics. Using those hard figures, you can then identify variations in production and where potential problems that lead to waste and defects may lie.

Eliminate Variation

A primary characteristic of the Six Sigma approach aims to remove variation so that waste and defects become a thing of the past. For this to be successful, you’ll have to continually assess your production models and look for ways to improve your workflow. Although it’s not always convenient, it’s important to remember that the Six Sigma process is an ongoing affair that requires you to be very active in its technique deployment.

Invite Your Employees Into the Process

The Six Sigma methodology can only work when all employees buy into the basic concept. Six Sigma is highly specialized and requires that employees always be mindful, communicate clearly with others, and welcome change and improvements. Training employees to understand Six Sigma can increase your chances of success. At Certstaffix Training, we provide a number of belt and methodology-specific courses designed to educate employees at all levels; these classes are taught by live instructors for a superior online learning experience.

Commit to Flexibility and Thorough Analysis

Since the success of Six Sigma hinges on the ability to make improvements through changes, employees and business owners need always to be open to reassessments and should be able to adapt to changes in the name of implementing better production models. Precise figures pertaining to operational data, profitability, and workflow statistics should always be referred to if you want to incorporate Six Sigma into your business successfully. Some of these processes may require a shift in company culture, but these modifications can be considered investments when you find that you can reduce waste, increase profits, and serve your customers better.


Six Sigma Classes:

Course Title Length
Introduction to Lean Six Sigma 1 days
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt 5 days
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt 4 days
Six Sigma Yellow Belt 3 days