An Introduction to Six Sigma

Developed in 1985 by Motorola, Six Sigma utilizes a set of process improvement tools to improve output. Since its inception, many Fortune 500 firms have adopted Six Sigma, most notably General Electric and Honeywell.

What Is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach that helps companies deliver near-perfect products and services. It can be applied to any manufacturing or business processes. The main premise behind Six Sigma contends that if a company can measure defects in its processes, then it can systematically figure out how to eradicate them.

At the core of the Six Sigma methodology is the DMAIC model, an acronym that stands for:

  • Define opportunity
  • Measure performance
  • Analyze opportunity
  • Improve performance
  • Control performance

Where Can I Learn More?

Most online resources also peddle products or consulting services, but you can still gain valuable information from many of them. Kenda James, quality manager at General Composites Inc., recommends these links:

isixsigma.com – The website for this B2B media business includes articles, blogs, tools and a resource forum.

Oneworldlearning.net – The “resources” tab links to articles with basic information on Six Sigma, trends, DMAIC and more.

Processexcellencenetwork.com/six-sigma-quality – This online global community for process professionals features information on various quality programs, including Six Sigma.