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sábado, 12 de noviembre de 2011

Basic Six Sigma concepts

Nowadays, due to the worlwide economic crisis, many of the ongoing projects are related to processes optimization with the goal of reducing costs in the organizations as consequence of the increase in their internal efficiency. Due to this, for a PM, it is highly recommended to have knowledge on ETOM, ITIL, Six Sigma, BPM, just for mentioning some methodologies and frameworks.

In this post I will give some basic concepts about Six Sigma.

First, what is Six Sigma? Six Sigma is a methodology based on statistics which goal is to reduce process output variation. The variation can come due to two reasons:

 - Common cause
 - Special cause

A way to determine if a cause is common or special is using control charts. Once decided which causes are common and which ones are special, then we have to focus on the common ones and make fundamental process changes in order to avoid output variations.

Six Sigma as a measurement standard comes from the times of Gauss, but it started to be known as Six Sigma and spread its popularity once it was implemented by Motorola in the mid-80s, when they decided that the traditional quality levels (measuring defects in thousands of opportunities) didn´t provide enough granularity and instead they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities.

Since then, many hundreds of companies have adopted Six Sigma as a way of doing business. In fact, Six Sigma is not just a quality system, it is a vision, a philosophy, a metric, a goal, a methodolody....

For getting some more basic insigts about Six Sigma, please check the webinar: "Lean Six Sigma concepts  every manager should be using" that is in the IIL International project management event that I mentioned in one of my first posts.

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