Quality is everything for Six Sigma, and quality starts off with giving the customer what they require. If what you are doing isn’t in accordance to what the customer deems as important to the finished product or service, then it is a waste of resources.
In fact, Six Sigma’s entire evolution is towards quality. Here are some key principles of Six Sigma:
- Focus on customer’s requirements: To define what quality means, you need to go to the source, which is your customer/client who purchased your product or service. By focusing on the customer, you will give them a consistently high quality product/service.
- The process: Really understand what the customer needs from their perspective, and know the day-to-day process so you can identify what is and isn’t working. It’s referred to as “outside-in thinking.”
- Employee involvement: The name of the game is involvement. Make sure all employees are involved in what makes your company successful by implementing Six Sigma methodologies; this is done by education and opportunities for leadership.
Six Sigma Quality Tools and Approaches
- Control Chart: This is a way to track how a process is working over time. The measurements are compared to previous measurements, all things being the same, and is a good way to spot variances.
- Pareto Diagram: This chart focuses on the effects that have the most chance or potential for improvements. The Pareto diagram is based on the Pareto principle that 20% of sources cause 80% of any issues.
- Process Mapping: This great visualization tool allows to “see” how things get done. You can view the entire process and identify the strengths and weaknesses in the entire processes. Also helps identify defects and reduce cycle time.
- Root Cause Analysis: You can use the 5 whys to determine the root cause of an issue. By removing the root cause, you remove the problem forever.
- DFSS (Design For Six Sigma): This enables us to design a product or service that doesn’t exist yet. This product or service would be designed with the customer’s requirements in mind.
- DMAIC: Stands for Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control. This template is used to improve the processes that produces the product or service. Remember, it is to improve the process an existing product or service.