Six Sigma: What It Is and How to Use It

Since Motorola introduced Six Sigma in the 1980s, dozens of leading companies have adopted its techniques. Six Sigma is a quality initiative which focuses on defects per million–at the Six Sigma level the expectation is a mere 3.4 defects per million. It goes well beyond earlier approaches to quality such as TQM and requires entirely new procedures. Six Sigma was initially designed to improve manufacturing processes, but these days the techniques are being applied to various business areas, including sales, human resources, and customer service. “Defect” is defined differently according to the process involved. This article explores the four-step process for achieving Six Sigma: Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.

 

About the Author /

hplotkin@plotkin.com

<p>My published work since 1985 has focused mostly on public policy, technology, science, education and business. I’ve written more than 600 articles for a variety of magazines, journals and newspapers on these often interrelated subjects. The topics I have covered include analysis of progressive approaches to higher education, entrepreneurial trends, e-learning strategies, business management, open source software, alternative energy research and development, voting technologies, streaming media platforms, online electioneering, biotech research, patent and tax law reform, federal nanotechnology policies and tech stocks.</p>

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