Friday, October 13, 2006

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a Quality program comprising of four steps to be applied to processes and transactions.

1. Measure : Analyse the process to find out what are the critical variables effecting quality. Find out the number of defects based on this variable. For example a quality measure could be 10x hardness. Any hardness measured to be greater than 10x would then amount to be a defect.

2. Analyze : Using techniques like brainstorming and statistical tools find out the cause of defects. Find out the variable whose variation is leading to the defect.

3. Improve the Process : Improve the process to keep the identified variable's variation to acceptable limits.

4. Control : Make sure that improved process is being executed properly.

How to monitor the progress of Six Sigma Program?

1. Customer Feedback : Ask the user to grade your quality in a point scale.
2. Measure the cost of Quality : Inspecting the products, scrap and rework and warranties to be executed due to defects all contribute to the cost of the quality.
3. Monitor Supplier Quality : The supplier should be made to correct any defects arising in your process because of supplier error.
4. Internal Performance of the Company: It is the ratio of defects to all possible defect opportunities.
5. Design for Manufacturability : At design stage see if drawings and specifications conform to quality variables and percentage of these quality variables which are designed to Six Sigma.

"Quality has a cost of conformance and a pay-off of compliance".

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