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Six Sigma Key Concepts and Terms

Every once in a while, reviewing Six Sigma key concepts is important as a refresher. These concepts are what keeps the focus on what’s important. 

six sigma key concepts terms

  1. Critical to Quality (CTQ): What’s most important to the customer, what does the customer require, or what must be included for the customer to spend their money at your business. The customer has to define what quality is, not the business.
  2. Defects: Failing to give what the customer asked for; or failing to deliver what the customer wants. Example: When Coca Cola changed its original recipe and made New Coke. That was a major defect, the customers did not ask for that.
  3. Process Capability: This is what your process can deliver. 
  4. Variation: What the customer sees and feels. This is anything that the customer doesn’t expect in the product that they purchased from the company. There should never be any fluctuations.
  5. Stable Operations: This refers to ensuring a consistent predictable process to improve what the customer sees and feels. This is ensuring top quality to what the customer expects from the product. 
  6. Design for Six Sigma (DFSS): Designing to meet the customer needs and process capability. Designing a product or service that you currently don’t have to satisfy a customer request or redesigning a problematic process 

The Difference Between DMAIC and DMADV or (DFSS)

The DMAIC methodology is used when you want to improve an existing process not create an entirely new process.

The DMADV methodology (also known as DFSS) is focused on developing a new service or product. 

Define: The customer’s requirements and for the new process, service or product.

Measure: Measuring the customer’s needs to match the customer requirements.

Analyze: The design for the process

Design: Implement the new processes that are required for the new product or service.

Verify: The results and monitor performance.

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