Every individual and every other company strives towards achieving magnificent results to fulfil both personal and organisational goals. The digital platform has evolved beautifully embarking on a major role in today’s fast-paced track for business hubs. Over the past few decades, the growth in digital trends has enormously impacted the way an organisation has been working with the emergence of new tools and technologies almost every single day. Innovation and Technology go hand in hand: the inclusion of these two elements in the digital world is just like the icing on the cake. 

To be in the league consisting of giant market players within any given industry, it becomes inevitably important to identify and troubleshoot the errors, flaws and problem areas that create possible obstacles in the growth. In the course of the period, many such tools and techniques have been coined. These have enabled the business to take the necessary steps and measures in controlling and managing the quality.

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As we proceed further with this article, you will get familiar with various facets of Six Sigma such as:

  • Introduction to Six Sigma
  • Key principles of Six Sigma
  • Six Sigma Methodology/Models
  • Six Sigma Techniques
  • Six Sigma Tools
  • Certification levels
  • Career choices and remuneration prospects

INTRODUCTION:

Two geniuses by the name of Bill Smith and Bob Galvin, who worked in one of the famous American consumer electronics and telecommunications company called Motorola, developed the concept of Six Sigma in the year 1986. The main objective was to improve the quality of the process by minimizing the defects or errors to an extent that they are statistically insignificant.

The term Six Sigma is a resultant from the bell curve that is used in statistics where one Sigma denotes one standard deviation away from the mean. The defect rate is said to be immensely small when the progression displays Six Sigma’s, where three are above the mean and three below.

In simple terms, Six Sigma is a management technique that is designed and implemented to enhance the efficiency of the business processes by knocking out the possibilities of potential errors. Therefore, Six Sigma is a framework of quality management tools and techniques conceived to improve businesses by removing probable inaccuracies. It is a data-driven methodology that practices statistical approaches for eliminating deficiencies.

Six Sigma has not only supported many business operations of many well-known companies across the globe but has helped in controlling the quality, manage various factors such as risk, time-management, waste reduction, reduce undesirable costs, etc.

The application of this approach is data-driven and puts the statistical methodologies in practice to eliminate deficiencies. Though this technique relies on quantitative factors, it ensures accomplish the qualitative necessities of the business as well.

Let us now discuss the key principles that prove to be an important framework of this concept.

 

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KEY PRINCIPLES OF SIX SIGMA

Six Sigma embodies certain key principles and it becomes certainly important to understand them before we get on to further topics.

1. Customer Focus

The prime and the most important principle that Six Sigma concentrates on is consumer satisfaction. The goals and end objectives of ay business can be met by addressing and fulfilling the needs and quality standards of the customers. The business has to analyse the quality perspective from the consumer’s point of view. Hence it becomes important to examine the questions like how, when, what and why in the business operations.

2. Understanding the Business flow

To make necessary improvements and changes it is first important to know and understand the business procedure and have the workflow documented in sequential order.

It is implied that all the documentation must be per the business ethos and objectives. By doing this it enables you to channelize your efforts towards a systematic and scientific approach.

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3. Make use of the data

As mentioned earlier, this concept is data-driven and takes into consideration the facts and figures. An unbiased and detailed procedure must be carried out to gain the right set of statistics that will help in deriving a true picture of the operations. Irrespective of how well the operational goals and objectives are framed, the data derived from the core operations must be correct and competent for executing further solutions.

4. Identification and rectification of the problem

To transform the business, it becomes necessary to find the root cause by

  • Mapping the steps and the process
  • Measuring the magnitude of the problem area
  • Establishing relevant relationships among various processes
  • Refining and redefining the additional goals and objectives

5. Waste Reduction and Zero Defect solutions

One of the most important principles of Six Sigma aims at waste reduction and arriving at solutions that leads to zero defects by eliminating variations and discrepancies in the business activities. This can be achieved through performing quality checks consistently and adhering to this step strictly. Quality check and quality control are some of the chief undertakings that help in streamlining and smooth running of the projects.

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SIX SIGMA METHODOLOGY

Six Sigma has evolved innovatively that is oriented towards excellence and increase the efficiency of the processes in different sectors. Industrial activities that are involved in the production, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, IT sectors, etc. Six Sigma uses two different models DMAIC and DMADV as the barometers to inspect and address the complementary aspects of business activities.

Though the above two methods are different in their ways, they tend to share the end objectives which are common and similar. Each model has its guidelines that are focused on growth and improvising by making use of statistical tools and techniques.

DMAIC METHOD

The DMAIC Six Sigma methodology can be seen popularly applied to the manufacturing and production side of the industry. This method is favourable in increasing the overall effectiveness of the existing process. This method comprises 5 steps which are mentioned below:

  • Define– To identify the specific problem and the process that needs to be examined and worked upon
  • Measure–  observe and record the required data to measure the magnitude of the problem using the right metrics
  • Analyse– careful study the collected and measured data to critically evaluate the causes of the problems by studying the data
  • Improve– make necessary modifications in the business operations by eliminating the causes of problems and building safeguards that are in sync with the overall operational goals.

Control– developing a framework that ensures periodic and stringent quality checks to construct opportunities for further improvements

DMADV METHOD

This method can be popularly seen in inspecting and improving the customer relationships platform in the company. It focuses on tuning and refining the existing business activities. This model includes 5 crucial steps which are mentioned below.

  • Define– To identify and address the customer needs and requirements towards the product or a service
  • Measure– Collect the essential data and records to measure the customer responses, feedback and buying behaviour and pattern through various metrics and electronic devices
  • Analyse– Careful study and critically analysing the collected data. Utilization of the metrics to evaluate the product or service that can be aligned with the customer expectations   
  • Design– To create a better structure that will prove to be a positive catalyst in terms of streamlining the corporate objectives along with the customer needs
  • Verify– To build a structure that can be timely monitored and verified. This will ensure better and stronger customer relations with the business.

 

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SIX SIGMA TECHNIQUES

Six Sigma is a comprehensive concept that includes several important techniques that are applied in most organisations. These techniques take into consideration the qualitative aspects as well as the quantitative metrics.

The key techniques contain a mix of statistical tools, intense analysis of data, process mapping and designing along with arriving at valid interpretations. The focus strictly lies on reduction in the variations and elimination of the errors, defects and wastes.

The Six Sigma techniques are strong enablers that help in bridging the gap between the current position of the business operations to achieving the desired result. Thus creating a strong positive impact on the overall business. Below are some of the most common and widely adopted techniques that are embodied within the progressions irrespective of the size of the business activities.

  1. Brainstorming– One of the most commonly adopted techniques that are inclined towards the thought processes and input from the team members associated with the process.  Typically involves a facilitator (generally a black belt/ a person at the managerial level) and a group of participants who contributes their ideas, opinions, suggestions and feedback. Thus creating a platform to discuss the problems and gaps and arriving at the best conclusions.
  2. Root Cause Analysis/ The 5 Why’s– This is one of the brilliant techniques used to find out the root cause of a persisting problem. The simple method wherein asking the question ‘Why?’ 5 times and the answers to each question leads to the core issue. Although “five” is the thumb rule, the number and the severity of the questions can be altered.
  3. Kaizen Method- It is a word derived from the Japanese language which means “continuous improvement” or “change for the better”. This approach consists of aspects such as teamwork, personal discipline, enriched morale, open to suggestions for improvement and quality circles. This method focuses on the collective ongoing betterment of the activity with constant screening and execution of improvements.
  4. Voice of the Customer- This technique relies on customer feedback and responses. The data can be collected by either internal or external means. The nucleus of this technique is to capture the voice of the customers and make necessary changes and improvements in the current process to provide better customer satisfaction.
  5. Benchmarking- This technique enables a company to compare the performance of their activity and output to that of the desired already set standards. It focuses on the implementation of the best practices by critically comparing the processes or divisions within the business or with the competitors. There are different types of benchmarking such as internal benchmarking technique, functional benchmarking, competitive benchmarking, performance benchmarking, etc.
  6. The 5s System- This technique is aimed at removing the unwanted and eliminating the blockages/bottlenecks that are caused by ineffective and inefficient tools, redundant activities or resources in the operations.  The 5s system involves the following steps:
  • Seiri (Sort),
    •  Seiton (Set In Order),
    • Seiso (Shine),
    • Seiketsu (Standardize), and
    • Shitsuke (Sustain)

7. Value Stream Mapping- This technique is used to define and evaluate the movement/ current flow of raw materials and information from the beginning of the process or the operational activity till the time the product or service delivered to the end-user/customer. Thus eradicating waste and inefficiencies to create a streamlined and leaner activity flow.

8. Poka-Yoke- This a Japanese term that means “Mistake proofing” or “avoiding errors”. In other words, it is a mechanism that prevents the occurrence of any mistake or potential error in the process. This technique is designed so that the defects are almost impossible to occur in operations or business activity. Poka-Yoke is a well-known process analysis tool.

9. Gemba walks- In Japanese Gemba means “the actual place”. This concept gives a great opportunity for the staff members to step aside from their everyday responsibilities and take a walk on their floor space to identify the inefficient activities and scope for continuous improvements at the workplace. The goal is to deep dive into the issues and problems and seeks the best possible solutions rather than making shallow comments.

10. Pareto Chart- This is a six sigma technique that depicts the relationship and differences between various groups of data in the graphical representation form. The Pareto chart is a bar graph representation that indicates the occurrence and the number of defects along with their collective impact on the business process. This proves to be useful in prioritizing and rectifying the errors and defects to seek overall improvement in the activities.

 

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SIX SIGMA TOOLS

To achieve unbiased results and concrete quantitative as well as quality data, the six sigma statistical tools plays a vital role. These tools not only help in determining the variants of the different activities but also helps in continuous business process improvements. Some of these tools are mentioned below.

  • Flow chart
  • Histogram
  • Check sheet
  • Scatter plot
  • Control chart
  • Pareto chart
  • Cause and Effect Analysis
  • Process Mapping
  • RACI Matrix
  • FMEA

 

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SIX SIGMA CERTIFICATION AND LEVELS

The Lean Six Sigma Certification helps you to understand, validate, and implement the various tools and techniques that prove to be an important asset in an organisation. It is an enabler that will help you in acquiring the right skillset such as risk mitigation, identifying the bottlenecks or hurdles in the business operations (errors and defects) and formulating functional solutions to eliminate and overcome these problems.

To pursue Six Sigma Certification, you are required to have a certain level of experience and ability to testify to the proficiency level of this course. Upon the completion of the course, you not only become a specialist or an expert in the respective level or field but will also enhance and boost your credibility and profile. Let us now discuss the various levels of the Six Sigma Certifications which will enable you to drive projects and implement such improvements per your qualified certification level.

  1. White Belt– When you are certified as a white belt you can work upon the local problem-solving teams that are associated with supporting projects overall. You may not be a part of the core Six Sigma project or a team, but you will be the one who just has a basic understanding of the concepts from the point of awareness.
  2. Yellow Belt– With the help of the yellow belt you can participate in the reviews and process improvements that support the project and be a member of the project team.
  3. Green Belt– As you move up the ladder of the structure, you attain a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. This implies that you are proficient in assisting data collection and data analysis that are necessary for Black-Belt projects.
  4. Black Belt– When you are a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, it is implied that you have thorough knowledge about the various favourable and unfavourable occurrences. You lead the teams to train and coach the problem-solving tasks and crucial projects.
  5. Master BlackBelt- When you are qualified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certification, you become a coach and train the Black Belts and the Green Belts. You drive the organisation’s strategic principles. You develop the key metrics and measures that will be responsible for the continuous growth of the company. You act as the organisation’s Six Sigma Engineer and an internal advisor.
  6. Champion- When you are the champion it means that you are capable of translating the organisation’s mission, vision, strategy, principles, objectives and metrics into action. Thus, creating a concrete plan to identify major and significant projects that will enhance the operations by eradicating the bottlenecks and roadblocks.

Have a look at- Six sigma Black Belt Certification in Hyderabad

CAREER CHOICES AND SALARY PROSPECTS

Six Sigma is a brilliant way to explore the various opportunities that can support to climb up the career ladder accompanied by excellent job titles and hike in salary prospects. Major Key players in today’s industry such as 3M, IBM, Microsoft, Infosys, Honeywell, Siemens, Wells Fargo, etc. are regularly recruiting candidates to fulfil the need for Sig Sigma professionals.

The sectors like IT, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain and so on continuously make efforts to improvise on their business operations and activities to enhance the business portfolio. Hence creating opportunities for ideal professionals holding the required skillset. The Job titles and ranks can vary from company to company based on norms and principles. Nonetheless below is a list of job titles that are popularly noticed across organisations:

  • Six Sigma Consultant
  • Six Sigma Analyst
  • Six Sigma Project Manager
  • Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Advanced Quality Manager
  • Operation Specialist
  • Lean Manufacturing Engineer
  • Director, Process Engineering
  • Quality Testing Consultant
  • Quality Auditor

In terms of salary, according to online reports and surveys, a Six Sigma Green Belt certified can expect an average salary ranging between ₹ 10L – ₹ 12L annually.

 

1. Henry Harvin Education

It is one such institute in India that offers Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. Below is the list of features that will help you understand this perspective better.

  • According to Trainings 360, Henry Harvin Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification ranks no.1 in the industry.
  • You get to work on 12 crucial projects over 1 year upon the completion of formal training
  • The curriculum is aligned with the IASSC book of knowledge assuring you to gain the best learning on board
  • The sessions are driven by the top industry experts who hold the specialisation in Lean and Six Sigma with valuable experiences and immense knowledge
  • You gain access to 33 PDUs  (Professional Development Unit) that is an essential criterion to maintain your PMP certification

And with many more such mind-boggling benefits offered to you by Henry Harvin Academy.

 

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2. ASQ

The American Society for Quality and IASSC-The International Association for Six Sigma Certification are the two most widely known Six Sigma Certifications across the globe. Of course, several other institutes offer the certification and placements, yet it’s important to opt for the best program under the best guidance to accomplish your professional and personal goals.

 

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SUMMARY

If you want to accomplish your professional goals and raise your career bar high, then ensure to enrol in the Lean Six Sigma Certification Course. This will not only enhance your profile but also give you that extra edge to perform better in today’s world of stringent competition. The significance of Six Sigma certification cannot be overlooked. This has become an integral part of any organisation aiming at delivering the best solutions to its consumers with the help of the finest Lean Six Sigma experts. There is no room for redundant knowledge hence it’s never too late to keep your skillset updated. Grab the opportunity that is aimed towards excellence.

 

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FAQ’s

1.What is the duration of the Six Sigma Certification course?

Normally the duration to complete the Six Sigma Certification course depends on the institute you are pursuing from as well as your speed and pace of understanding. Depending upon the number of projects, practical and theoretical sessions, examination, Q&A sessions and other curriculum requirements, you can estimate the time required to finish this course. Typically, it takes about 32 hours of intensive classroom/online training to complete the Six Sigma Green Belt Certification that is led by professionals and trainers at Henry Harvin Education.

2. What are the job opportunities after the completion of the course?

You can be assured of a positive upward career path as a Six Sigma Certified. This being a niche stream in the current industry, many well-known companies across the globe recruit professionals having this particular certification. Therefore, you have a great scope in gaining promising career opportunities in your way.

3. Is there any eligibility criteria required for enrolling in the Six Sigma Course?

There are no prescribed or pre-requisite criteria for enrolment in any kind of Six Sigma Certification courses. However, having a few years of work experience and the right supervision will prove to be an added advantage to take up the various levels of Six Sigma.

4. Is it hard to score well in the exams conducted of Six Sigma Certification?

There is no doubt that pursuing Six Sigma is one of the most rigorous and tough options in today’s education background. Hence it requires a lot of discipline, sheer hard work and well preparation practices to crack down various exams and assessments involved in the curriculum.

5. How to enroll for different levels of six sigma?

Well, there is no hard and fast rule in the enrollment of the levels of Six Sigma. You may wish to opt for the level according to your caliber and interest. Having said that, following the standard ladder of various Six Sigma levels will help in making your learning, training and certification process easier and faster. It is certainly advised to complete your Six Sigma Green Belt successfully before getting into the Black Belt level.

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1 Comment

  1. I really like your blog…..from beginning to the end everything was clear…..I must say this blog is on my hit list……I recommend this blog who want to learn more about six sigma.

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