Your company’s performance will be influenced by a variety of factors, from your field of activity to the innovation shown by rivals. However, if you want to improve the reputation of your brand and streamline the internal production processes used by your staff, then the best decision would be to turn to the Six Sigma philosophy. Known in the business world since the 1980s, Six Sigma is a set of complex techniques whose purpose is to improve the quality of marketed products by employing analytical data and removing the bloatware from the production line that affects the performance of the finished products.
The name Six Sigma comes from the standard bell curve used in business quantitative data, where one sigma is equivalent to one standard divergence from the average. What does this mean? It means the ideal scenario in the Six Sigma methodology is that your company’s production line experiences a maximum of 3.4 defects per million manufactured items, which, in itself, is not realistic. Therefore, most businesses strive to achieve a Sigma Five, which is equivalent to 233 defects per one million manufactured items.
How you implement Six Sigma will depend on your business, your budget, your technology, and your workforce, the last being the most important. Investing in Six Sigma belts for your employees is the only way to benefit from the analytical proficiency necessary to improve the efficiency of your business. Furthermore, Six Sigma programs contribute to the development of leadership skills. So, by investing in a Yellow or Black Belt program for your senior staff, you could end up with competent project managers who can reduce the workload on your senior executives and improve overall worker efficiency.
Are There Other Benefits to Six Sigma Belts?
Of course. First of all, earning multiple Six Sigma belts will demonstrate the professional proficiency of your employees. Six Sigma professionals benefit from the knowledge needed to eliminate defects in your company’s production processes and can streamline the procedures used internally. Investing in the certification of your employees will result in lower production costs, a substantial increase in productivity, and better customer satisfaction. In addition, Six Sigma certifications are helpful for your workers’ professional experience.
Although it is no longer at the peak of the popularity it reached in 2005, Six Sigma, especially when combined with other philosophies such as Kaizen, is still of increasing relevance and represents a plus on any employee’s CV. A Six Sigma “Black Belt” certification demonstrates that the employee has the analytical knowledge necessary to increase the efficiency of production factors within the company they work for. Moreover, graduates of Six Sigma courses are usually skilled in leadership and teamwork development and, therefore, are recommended for management positions.
Six Sigma emphasizes objective decision-making. Furthermore, as it uses a data-first approach, the DMAIC framework of the philosophy aligns in almost all cases with the long-term strategies of companies aspiring to international relevance. Six Sigma encourages the professional development of employees, thus improving their skills, supports the standardization of internal processes that can provide added market share, and is the best way to enhance the quality of products sold.
What Other Methods Work with Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a business philosophy that has retained its relevance even in the 21st century. In addition, choosing Six Sigma belts is straightforward, as the naming scheme is less complicated than in other methods. However, for maximum efficiency and adaptability to market changes, Six Sigma can also be combined with other more or less similar approaches. The first of these is Lean, a philosophy whose focus is on eliminating waste and improving the internal production processes that contribute to the final quality of goods. Lean and Six Sigma have many shared elements, and their combination has led over time to the emergence of a distinct business strategy, Lean Six Sigma, whose popularity is growing.
Another related methodology that can be used with Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma is TQM, where the main focus is on the constant improvement of internal standards within companies. In TQM, the interactions between employees and the work environment are more essential than in Six Sigma, where the analysis of complex data provides the central element of the framework. The same is true in Kaizen, a Japanese methodology based on continuous improvements, whose substrate is the implementation of incremental changes that contribute over time to fundamental increases in product quality.
In Kaizen, employees are pushed to contribute to the development process of marketed products, and the hierarchy between staff is well defined. Moreover, collaboration between departments is increased. Other philosophies that can be combined with Six Sigma include Agile, TOC, or ADKAR. Six Sigma is a philosophy that, thanks to its emphasis on data, is compatible with countless other methodologies, the standouts being Kaizen and Lean. So, with proper management, it can be a good fit, even if you work in an industry not usually associated with the DMAIC framework.
What Techniques Will Be Used in Six Sigma?
For starters, at the core of the Six Sigma methodology is the DMAIC framework, which involves a set of techniques by which you can identify, correct, and stabilize the elements that improve the defect ratio of your manufactured items. In addition, the Six Sigma philosophy also involves the use of process mapping, which is a technique that involves flowcharts to visualize in real-time the areas of business that need improvement, and Ishikawa diagrams, which help internal teams investigate the connections among diverse elements impacting a specific desirable result.
In addition to these elements, Six Sigma belt recipients will also use SIPOC diagrams, put into practice the control charts specific to SPC, and use DOE, FME schematics, or the DOE approach. After completion of a Six Sigma program, your staff will possess advanced knowledge of tools and techniques deployed in the DMAIC framework, be able to work with general factorials, implement the central limit theory in the internal projects of your firm, and create final reviews of the strategies used, while leveraging project presentations for visual cues.
The Best Aid for Your Success
Why invest in Six Sigma belts for your employees? Knowledge. Although it has gone through many changes over the years, and nowadays is often found bundled with other business methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma continues to be relevant for companies active in manufacturing, finance, healthcare, services, and sometimes even technology. Do you want to unlock your firm’s untapped potential? To improve the performance of your products while increasing your reputation and market share? In that case, you will need to invest in the professional training of your employees.
Six Sigma is a method built on a data-driven approach to decision-making. And that means that the tools and techniques that your staff must use are complex. From nested ANOVA to change management and fractional factorial implementations, your employees’ knowledge will be the main factor behind your organization’s long-term success, and access to this knowledge will only be possible by completing an in-depth, internationally recognized Six Sigma course.