There are roadmaps of Six Sigma - DMAIC and DMADV.
DMAIC is a data-driven Six Sigma methodology for improving existing products and services. The DMAIC process is to be used when an existing product or process can be improved to meet or exceed the customer requirements. DMAIC Roadmap consists of five stages: D – Define, M – Measure, A – Analyse, I – Improve, C – Control.
- Define: Define the project targets and customer (internal and external) requirements.
- Measure: Measure the process performance to determine the current process baseline.
- Analyse: Investigate and find out the root causes of issues and defects.
- Improve: Improve the process by eliminating defects.
- Control: Control the future performance and ensure sustainability of the process.
DMADV is a roadmap that is used to develop a new process or product, and is similar in nature to what is known as DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) methodology. DFSS is an application of Six Sigma which focuses on the design or redesigns of the different processes used in product manufacturing or services. It is used for new process designs. DMADV Roadmap is used when the existing product or process does not meet the level of customer specification or Six Sigma level even after optimization with or without using DMAIC. DMADV methodology consists of five phases: D – Define, M – Measure, A – Analyze, D – Design, V – Validate.
- Define: Define the project goals and customer requirements
- Measure: Measure the process to determine the baseline performance level
- Analyse: Analyse and determine the root causes of the issues and the defects
- Design: Design the new process so that it meets customer needs and requirements
- Validate: Validate the design performance and its ability to meet the customer needs
Six Sigma is a data driven, customer focused, and result oriented methodology that makes use of statistical tools and techniques to continuously eliminate defects and inefficiencies and with that - improve processes. Six Sigma is a consistent methodology to measure and analyse the business processes to identify critical factors that impact business results and improving the processes and setting up control mechanisms on the improved processes.
Six Sigma is not a new method and widely accepted quality management approach already for a few decades. Six Sigma appeared in the 1980s as a data driven methodology to reduce variation in manufacturing processes in Motorola Inc. in the USA. Six Sigma became famous when Jack Welch made it vital to his successful business strategy at General Electric in 1995. At present, the Six Sigma approach is used as a business performance improvement method all over the world in various industries including manufacturing, construction, finance, education, healthcare, government agencies, BPO, IT, etc. At present IT/ ITES sector companies are dynamically implementing Six Sigma. It has been a long time since Six Sigma was only used in manufacturing.
The term ‘six sigma’ comes from statistics and is used in statistical process control to evaluate process capability i.e. measures the ability of a process to meet the required customer specifications. Its origins go back to the terminology associated with manufacturing and refers the ability of a certain manufacturing process to produce a very high proportion of output within set specifications. The sigma rate of a process indicates its yield or percentage of defect-free outputs that it produces. A six sigma process is the one that produces 99.99966% defect-free outputs – it is also equivalent to 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). DPMO metric has a major importance in Six Sigma to measuring the sigma level of a certain process. It is indeed the top indicator in Six Sigma improvements to be used.
Six Sigma uses a set of quality management and statistical methods. In Six Sigma projects there is a team of experts within the organisation (Executive Leadership, Champions, Black belt, Green Belt, Yellow Belt, Subject matter experts, etc. roles) having specific set of skills required to carry out the six sigma project. Each six sigma project delivered within an organisation follows a defined sequence of phases or stages with quantifiable value targets e.g. reduction in process cycle time, achieving cost reduction, increase in customer satisfaction index, increase in loyalty ratings, reduction of possible defects within a process and other benefits of Six Sigma implementation.
Steps to delivering of a Six Sigma project:
- Identify the areas of improvement
- Define the problem and improvement goals in quantifiable terms (i.e. which can be measured numerically)
- Determine the resources needed for the project
- Set up a project deliverables timeline in a phased manner
- Establish performance metrics (KPIs)
- Collect baseline data and information about the process
- Validate measurement system (MSA) for the process output (Y)
- Examine the data collected in the earlier phase to determine a prioritised list of sources variation
- Explore potential causes (potential X’s for causation) and determine the impact of each X has on the response Y
- Determine the optimal level of vital few X’s
- Validate measurement system for X’s (MSA)
- Verify process improvement delivered
- Develop control mechanism to ensure sustenance of the improved process
Benefits of Six Sigma:
- Six Sigma helps companies reduce cost, boost performance and improve productivity
- Six Sigma improves project outputs by reduction of inefficiencies and eliminating defects
- Six Sigma increases customer loyalty and decreases dissatisfactio
- Certified Six Sigma Professionals support the increase of ROI significantly
The levels of Six Sigma certifications make use of the so called system of belts to denote the level of six sigma skills and competence of leaders and teams within a six sigma project.
Several belt levels exist within a six sigma project:
- Six Sigma White Belt – manages small projects within their operation, serves as team member
- Six Sigma Yellow Belt – manages departmental level projects
- Six Sigma Green Belt –drives cross-departmental projects
- Six Sigma Black Belt – lead cross functional projects
- Six Sigma Master Black Belt – leader to complex organisational projects, coaches and mentors other belts and team members