what is Six Sigma

Most business owners who start their first business are using only their specialized knowledge and skills to grow and improve their business. Even though this is an essential part of any business, it is not nearly enough to succeed in the business world nowadays. Specialized methods that can help companies accelerate their growth are crucial. This is why finding out what is Six Sigma and understanding the DMAIC steps is so valuable for business owners.

This method provides insight into the art of business improvement, revealing to you how big companies and corporations are using Six Sigma and other methods to continue their growth even at their highest point. This information will be valuable for a new business owner. Even old companies can benefit from it, and investors can use this knowledge to analyze the potential and stability of a business they want to invest in.

What Is Six Sigma and How Will It Help Your Business?

Six Sigma is one of the methodologies used in the business world to improve the processes of companies. This alternative uses statistical analysis to replace any guesswork, which makes it one of the best options you have nowadays. For example, you can use this method to control the variations present in your business. By understanding what is Six Sigma, you will be able to make your business more profitable by increasing its predictability.

You should not consider Six Sigma to be a simple training. It is a general approach based on data that can be used for any quantifiable process. So, it can also be used as a business philosophy to improve company culture and maximize production and results.

As for the effectiveness of this method, it has been proven many times in the past. You can find many examples online. One of the easiest to see is when GE Capital used Six Sigma to save $2 billion in 1999. These examples will also showcase the versatility of this method and the possibility of using it in a wide variety of industries.

To Understand What Is Six Sigma, Start by Learning the Define and Measure Steps

At the base of the Six Sigma methodology are the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) steps. These five steps are the structure of this method and will help you understand what is Six Sigma and apply all the tactics of this method. By successfully implementing everything, you can expect massive improvements in your business functions and an unquestionable rise in overall quality.

This method is used to solve business problems that don’t have an identified answer. The first step, “Define”, has the role of understanding the problem. To achieve this, it’s vital to define it using quantifiable terms and ensure a working description. An essential goal in this step is to look for the CTQs, which are the few factors that are critical to quality.

After the “Define” step is completed, the professional in the Six Sigma method will have all the key factors which can be measured in the second step, “Measure”. This step has the goal of gathering all the data, which will determine the critical issues with the effectiveness and efficiency of the process.

The Analyze and Improve Steps Will Help Your Business Soar

The next step of the process, “Analyze”, will do precisely what the name implies. Every metric measured previously will be strictly analyzed, with the primary goal being to identify the reasons that cause errors in the process. Most businesses make guesses on why many of their business’s procedures do not perform because of their lack of knowledge or to avoid the effort required for this type of process.

As a result, many companies suffer losses because of their wrong guesses. The bigger a business is, the higher the risks of guessing are. It became clear for all top companies that methods like Six Sigma are essential to improve the performance of their business, especially due to their capabilities to identify errors effectively.

Another significant advantage brought by the “Analyze” step is the ability to find errors that can be quickly fixed in the “Improve” step, which brings massive benefits. Contrary to popular belief, the DMAIC method is very efficient and does not require a long period to bring impressive improvements.

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Control Is the Last Step and the Most Important for the Long Term

The last step of the process, “Control”, has the highest importance, and it will determine the long-term benefits brought by Six Sigma to a business. If the rest of the steps were implemented correctly, then in this one, a management system that uses tools and supervisors will be created to maintain the improvements made in the previous steps.

Without this last step, the DMAIC method will only temporarily fix the process, and in time, the errors will increase again and reduce the effectiveness and efficiency. So, to maximize the benefits of your business, implementing the “Control” step is mandatory. To accomplish this, Six Sigma professionals will not only create the system but also train and educate your employees on using it.

One of the main benefits of working with top professionals, black belts in the Six Sigma method, is their strategy creation and implementation for business culture. Besides providing help in mastering the use of all the newly created systems and improvements made to business processes, they can also synergize everything to improve the overall culture level of a company.

Choosing Between Mastering Six Sigma or Hiring an External Professional

Even though Six Sigma is a potent method that can bring you many valuable skills, it is not essential to acquire them as a business owner. At least you don’t need to become a black belt. You can get all the benefits by simply working with a professional who has already mastered it.

The main reason why looking for external professionals is recommended is the complexity of the method. You will need a lot of time and effort to master it, which you may not have as a business owner, and forcing it may negatively impact the company during the learning process.