Six Sigma: Everything You Need To Know
What exactly is six sigma, and how can it benefit you? While the term ‘Six Sigma’ is known by many in the industry, and its advantages remain obvious, the inner mechanics often remain a mystery. Let’s delve into the ins and outs of Six Sigma and explore the possibilities it can introduce into your business.
What is Six Sigma?
Starting with the basics… Six Sigma is a data-focused methodology that identifies and aims to eliminate defects and reduce process variation, equipping organisations with the tools required to take control over their processes.
Originating in the 1980s, Six Sigma gained traction when Motorola needed a quality management tool to increase business performance, fine-tuning its key production and organisation procedures. The result of this fine-tuning saw incredibly high levels of process capability, the elimination of business and process costs, and the trigger of a remarkable boost to profitability.
Coined by Motorola, ‘Six Sigma’ has since revolutionised how companies operate, showcasing its impact on business performance.
What About DMAIC?
Six Sigma requires a systematic and structured approach to problem-solving, known as DMAIC:
Define – the problem and the project goals. Only when you know the scope of the issue can you start to understand what exactly the project should solve.
Measure – the gap in performance and the process. This step includes deciding what needs to be measured, and how you will measure it.
Analyse – the process effectively so you can pinpoint the root cause. You can use various analytical tools to analyse the data you measure, gaining valuable insights into the factors influencing process performance.
Improve – along the way, then measure the outcomes so you can learn from them. This is when strategies for process enhancements are developed, and the improvements are implemented. The main goal is to address the identified issues from the ‘define’ stage.
Control – the process to achieve higher performance (process capability). This allows sustainability over time. Implement monitoring systems to track the performance of the process, and corrective actions need to be decided if deviations happen from the desired outcome.
What Are the Benefits of Six Sigma?
There are many advantages to adopting the Six Sigma methodology:
- Improves the processes in your business.
- Enhances problem-solving capabilities.
- Reduces variation, thereby enhancing quality and productivity.
- Lowers costs.
- Introduces data-driven decision-making.
- Provides a competitive advantage.
- Facilitates the standardisation of processes.
- Connects new and existing tools to a methodology that yields results.
- Helps in selecting the most appropriate tools for the task at hand.
- Offers valuable insights into how your products and processes function.
- Builds sustainable results and enables continuous improvement.
What Are the Levels of Six Sigma Training?
At The Manufacturing Institute, we offer three levels of Six Sigma training courses: Yellow Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt. Each course is designed to equip delegates with the knowledge and skills required to maximise their contribution to Lean Six Sigma projects. This practical application brings about real change, empowering delegates to apply their learning effectively.
Six Sigma Yellow Belt
This serves as the introduction to Six Sigma. Suitable for any team member regardless of seniority, looking to understand the basic language of Six Sigma. It provides an overview of the DMAIC methodology and introduces Lean Six Sigma tools such as process mapping, cause and effect analysis, basic problem-solving tools, and much more.
Yellow Belt is the perfect way to start your Six Sigma journey, regardless of function or seniority. To view our upcoming Yellow Belt courses click here.
Six Sigma Green Belt
The Green Belt Programme takes a step further, designed for those ready to step up into team leader roles. It expands on the details, diving deeper into the DMAIC methodology and introduces the relationship between Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing. Participants become more confident in using Lean Six Sigma tools to aid problem-solving and transform business performance through data-driven decision-making.
Build on the basics and bolster confidence around problem-solving with Green Belt. To view our upcoming Green Belt courses click here.
Six Sigma Black Belt
The Black Belt Programme offers robust and practical delivery of tried and tested advanced improvement tools. It is aimed at high-potential and high-ability individuals who are passionate about improvements and want to enhance their capabilities in problem-solving and influencing change. This introduces various tools inside your Black Belt Toolbox, including Minitab, multi-vari analysis, an introduction to the design of experiences, and more.
Enhance your capability to create change within your organisation with Black Belt. To view our upcoming Black Belt courses click here.
Directly following all Green and Black Belt Programmes, delegates can extend their classroom-based learning with a Manufacturing Institute fellowship, which is a value-added recognition scheme around the successful implementation of a work-based improvement project. Put the learning into action and make some real improvements in your business with this work-based project, supervised by a Manufacturing Institute Practitioner.