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Is Benchmarking Worth It?

The term benchmark originated as a surveying term. It is a distinguishable mark placed on a wall, building or rock that is used as a reference point to determine elevation and position in topography surveys. In business today we use a benchmark in much the same way – to select a reference point to make…

Statistical Six Sigma Definition

What does it mean to be “Six Sigma”? Six Sigma at many organizations simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. But the statistical implications of a Six Sigma program go well beyond the qualitative eradication of customer-perceptible defects. It’s a methodology that is well rooted in mathematics and statistics. The objective…

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Words of Advice for Frustrated Black Belts

“I entered the Six Sigma program with our organization in May as a BB candidate. Since then I have encountered a number of setbacks and frustrations. They aren’t unique to me, either. Many other BBs at my company are experiencing the same things. I’m hoping for some general advice. What can you do (as a…

Linking Quality to Business Finances

The Quality profession has always been about improving processes, products and services. From TQM to PDCA to Six Sigma, all Quality methodologies are focused on eliminating defects and the root causes of those defects. It involves products that satisfy your customers, running processes at greater efficiencies, producing less waste and increasing business productivity. All of…

Why Hire a Six Sigma Consultant?

“Changing what we have the power to change, accepting the things we cannot change, and becoming wise enough to know the difference between the two.” It is a very old saying, and one that many people aspire to. But when it comes to implementing quality within your business, many feel they have or should have…

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Six Sigma E-Learning: Fact or Fiction?

Six Sigma e-learning is now on the radar screen of every major company implementing the Six Sigma Quality initiative. The key will be to design a Six Sigma e-learning system that combines both online and in-person classroom learning to meet the needs of individual employees and the business. Although it’s still in its early stages,…

Variation – The Root of All Process Evil

As a customer, the worst experience I can imagine is being a casualty of process variation. ‘It doesn’t seem that bad,’ you may be thinking to yourself. Just remember back to the last time you: Went grocery shopping only to select the slowest teller in the store. Received a haircut that was shorter or longer…

Six Sigma Organizational Architecture

Six Sigma is a quality methodology that can produce significant benefit to businesses and organizations. Not much text, however, has been written about the structure needed to successfully implement Six Sigma quality within your business or organization. This article will focus on roles and responsibilities, as well as required rewards and recognition for a successful…

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Measurement System Analysis Resolution, Granularity

Quality improvement methodologies and the analyses that are performed within your organization are only as good as the data on which they are based. That is why it is essential to make sure that your measurement system – your gages, personnel, methods and procedures – is stable and capable of measuring your data before continuing with…

Six Sigma Q&A

Learning the Six Sigma methodology can be confusing. Even if you know the Six Sigma methodology, questions arise from co-workers or in daily activities and answers may not be readily available. To help with this problem, iSixSigma has compiled a list of questions that have been posed on the discussion forum. Below are the five…

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DFSS Technology Tips

Many of us – as Quality professionals – have implemented quality improvement projects throughout our careers. Best practices resulting from these implementations are paramount for: designing processes for Six Sigma (defect-free) production from the beginning, increasing business productivity on future projects, as well as not ‘reinventing the wheel.’ After recently implementing a technology project, I thought it…

Six Sigma Training

Six Sigma training is one of the most important factors that contributes to and helps modify and shape a Six Sigma culture. This article will help identify who in your organization is required to go through six sigma training and what type of six sigma training they should receive.

Increasing Customer Interactions

Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity for advancing your relationship and gaining key information. Your early interaction efforts set the stage for mature and productive relationships. Clear and efficient communication with your customers may serve you better than anything else in developing relationships. Once you have established mutual trust and respect, you will…

Is CRM the Six Sigma of the New Economy?

The Internet has not only lowered the barrier of entry into markets, but in many cases also allows companies to offer products and services at much lower prices. Customers now have the choice and, more importantly, they are aware of their choices. As the economy moves more towards the e-conomy, customer expectations and the ability…

Six Sigma Curriculum and Body of Knowledge

iSixSigma receives many questions regarding the Six Sigma methodology and, more specifically, what each business change agent (Champion, Master Black Belt, Black Belt, Green Belt) should know in order to be effective. To help meet this need, I have created a reference document detailing what should be contained in a Six Sigma curriculum. Below is…

Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) Versus DMAIC

One of the most confusing issues associated with someone saying “I’m using Six Sigma” has to do with what methodology they are actually using. A majority of the time they are using the DMAIC methodology, because they have existing processes that are wasting resources (hence the big savings you’ve heard about at GE, Honeywell and…

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Keep Employees Energized on Quality

Without employee contributions, we might as well hang a sign in the window and close up shop. We need to make sure that employees are always contributing to their maximum extent — we need to keep them energized on Quality.

Online Holiday Shopping at 2 Sigma

Holiday season sales will be up 100% to about $10 billion, and customers expect 100% Web site availability, order status and online customer service. This year (2000) the price of admission to the online market is much steeper. Is your business operating at 6 sigma…or 2 sigma? Improve your customer experience by measuring it.

Integrating Quality with Integrity

You never hear anyone say “I don’t have time for integrity – I have too many other priorities to take care of right now.” So why, as quality leaders, do we consistently hear how some of our business leaders and process improvement teams don’t have time for quality? Is personal integrity more important than the quality…

Organizing Your Quality Life

Getting your “quality” life in order is no easy task. Project meetings, staff meetings, tollgate reviews, and business deliverables can wreak havok on our daily lives. Sometimes it seems as if there is nothing we can do to stay organized – until now. Just as we teach our businesses that processes are necessary to increase productivity,…

Design For Six Sigma Roadmap

In the 21st century, new technologies will be developed and improved and will eventually be obsolete for the need of more advanced technologies. In this dynamically changing world, product cycles are expected to last for just a few months. To meet these demanding requirements product developers have to develop products in the shortest amount of…

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How to Select a Quality Improvement Project

You have identified a process improvement area within your business or department. It is easy to figure out what comes next – just fill out a team charter, select the team and team leader, form the team and get out of the way, right? Well, sort of… Why Select Projects? Selecting the right project can…

Know Your Customer

Only by using the appropriate information source can you begin to truly know your customer and understand your customer needs. Read about all the possible information sources that are available that you may already have access to.

Building Team Consensus

The Six Sigma quality methodology almost always requires a Black Belt or Green Belt to lead a team in solving a problem. When teams members interact – and no matter how well the Black or Green Belt can facilitate – opinions of the individual team members will inevitably differ and the team may end up deadlocked, compromising…

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