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Six Sigma Information That Bears Repeating

Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.” These words were spoken by Florence Nightingale Graham, who founded the cosmetic empire Elizabeth Arden, Inc., So in honor of International Women’s Day this month, we are taking her advice and repeating great Six Sigma information, specifically several quality tools often used in the discipline.

Pareto Analysis: This is a technique that helps determine which tasks make the most overall impact. This uses the Pareto Principal, which is also known as the 80/20 rule. It  translates to 20% of the work done generates 80% of the benefit of doing the entire process or job.

Broken down:

  • 20% of your products or services account for 80% of customer complaints
  • 20% of possible causes account for 80% of delays in the schedule
  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of your product or services
  • 80% of your company’s revenue is produced by 20% of your sales staff

Pareto Chart: This is a vertical bar chart that helps you automatically see by the descending order of the height of the bar and how to prioritize the problem. This can help in analyzing issues and identifying root causes.

Flowcharts: These are great and can be used in process mapping. Flow charts give a visual of work processes. Anyone can quickly see how and if there are duplicate efforts being done or what part of the process doesn’t offer value to the end product.

Check Sheets: These are used to collect data and keep an organized list of data.

Histograms: These are to quickly find variation in an existing process. The spikes in the histograms would show the variation. To create a histogram you need to:

  • Collect the data having to do with the issue
  • Prioritize the data
  • Assign categories
  • Create a bar chart
  • Fill in counts and categories

Cause and Effect Diagrams: Also known as the fishbone or Ishikawa Diagram, these are used when a company team is involved in problem solving.  Brainstorming is a big component used for filling in the possible causes and effects. The cause and effect diagrams can be used in the service, manufacturing, or process steps, and any category that you need to visually see what would otherwise be a concept or verbal acknowledgement of a problem.

Learn more about these tools through one of our Six Sigma training classes! For more information on our Six Sigma training courses or services, visit

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