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What is Six Sigma?| Know the tools used

Last updated on 30th Jan 2023, Artciles, Blog

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Bharathi Suresh (Talend ETL Developer )

Bharathi Suresh has extensive experience with SQL, Teradata, Data warehousing, Talend open studio,MDM & MDM, ETL, mySQL. His articles assist in sharing information and abilities in core fields and provide students with informative knowledge.

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    • In this article you will get
    • What is Six Sigma?
    • Six sigma techniques
    • The Six sigma tools
    • Six sigma levels
    • Conclusion

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is the method that offers an organizations tools to improve their capabilities in a managing their businesses. This increase in performance and aslo decreasing a process variation, it is possible to reduce a defect rates, improve employee morale, and improve quality of products or the services, which all contribute to be higher level of profitability.

Six Sigma is the set of management tools and techniques designed to improve capability of a business process by reducing likelihood of error. Six sigma is the data-driven approach that uses statistical methodology for an eliminating defects, defect reduction and profits improvement.

Six Sigma

Six sigma techniques

A Six Sigma methodology also uses mix of a statistical and data analysis tools like a process mapping design and also proven qualitative and a quantitative techniques, and to achieve be desired outcome.


Brainstorming is a key process of any problem-solving method and is an often utilized in the “improve” phase of a DMAIC methodology. It is a necessary process before anyone starts using the any tools. Brainstorming involves are bouncing ideas and generating creative ways to approach a problem through an intensive freewheeling group discussions. A facilitator, who is a typically the lead Black Belt or a Green Belt, moderates the open session among group of participants.

Root cause analysis:

This technique helps to get to a root cause of the problems under the consideration and is used in a “analyze” phase of a DMAIC cycle.In 5 Whys technique, the question “why” is asked, again and again, finally leading up to a core issue. Although “five” is a rule of a thumb, the actual number of questions can be greater or a fewer, whatever it takes to gain be clarity.

Voice of customer:

This is a process used to capture the “voice of customer” or customer feedback by either be internal or external means. The technique is aimed at giving a customer the best products and services. It captures to changing needs of the customer through a direct and indirect methods. The voice of customer technique is used in a “define’ phase of the DMAIC method, usually to further explain the problem to be addressed.

The 5S System:

This technique has its roots in a Japanese principle of workplace energies. The 5S System is aimed at a removing waste and eliminating bottlenecks from an inefficient tools, equipment, or resources in a workplace. The five steps used are the Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set In Order), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Standardize), and Shitsuke (Sustain).

Kaizen (Continuous Improvement):

The Kaizen technique is the powerful strategy that powers a continuous engine for a business improvement. It is a practice continuously monitoring, identifying, and an executing improvements. This is the particularly useful practice for manufacturing sector. Collective and ongoing improvements ensure the reduction in waste, as well as immediate change whenever a smallest inefficiency is observed.


Benchmarking is a technique that employs a set standard of measurement. It involves are making comparisons with the other businesses to gain an independent appraisal of a given situation. Benchmarking may involve a comparing important processes or departments within a business (internal benchmarking), comparing the similar work areas or functions with an industry leaders (functional benchmarking), or comparing similar products and services with that of a competitors (competitive benchmarking).

Poka-yoke (Mistake Proofing):

This technique’s name comes from a Japanese phrase meaning “to avoid errors,” and entails preventing the chance of a mistakes from occurring. In a poka-yoke technique, employees spot and remove inefficiencies and aslo human errors during manufacturing process.

Value stream mapping:

The value stream mapping technique charts are current flow of materials and information to design the future project. The objective is to remove waste and inefficiencies in a value stream and create leaner operations. It identifies a seven various types of waste and three types of waste of removal operations.

The Six sigma tools

  • 1.Cause and effect analysis
  • 2.Flow chart
  • 3.Pareto chart
  • 4.Histogram
  • 5.Check sheet
  • 6.Scatter plot
  • 7.Control chart

Six sigma levels

White Belt:

This is simplest stage, where:

  • Any newcomer can be join.
  • People work with a teams on problem-solving projects.
  • The participant is be required to understand a basic Six Sigma concepts.

Yellow Belt:

Here, participant:

  • Takes part as the project team member.
  • Reviews a process improvements.
  • Gains understanding of various methodologies, and DMAIC.

Green level:

This level of an expertise requires a following criteria:

  • Minimum of three years of a full-time employment.
  • Understand a tools and methodologies used for a problem-solving.
  • Hands-on experience on a projects involving some level of a business transformation.
  • Guidance for a Black Belt projects in the data collection and analysis.
  • A Lead Green Belt projects or teams.

Black Level:

This level includes a following:

  • A Minimum of three years of full-time employment.
  • Work experience in the core knowledge area.
  • Proof of completion of minimum of a two six sigma projects.
  • Demonstration of an expertise at applying multivariate metrics to a diverse business change settings.
  • Leading diverse teams in a problem-solving projects.
  • Training and coaching of project teams.

Master Black Belt:

To reach this level, the candidate must:

  • Be in a possession of Black Belt certification.
  • Have a minimum of a five years of full-time employment, or Proof of a completion of a minimum of 10 Six Sigma projects.
  • A proven work portfolio, with an individual specific requirements, as given here, for instance.
  • Have coached and trained a Green Belts and Black Belts.
  • Develop the key metrics and strategies.
  • Have worked as organization’s Six Sigma technologist and the internal business transformation advisor.


The etymology is based on a Greek symbol “sigma” or “σ,” a statistical term for a measuring process deviation from process mean or target. “Six Sigma” comes from a bell curve used in statistics, where a one Sigma symbolizes a single standard deviation from mean. If the process has a six Sigmas, three above and three below mean, the defect rate is classified as a “extremely low.”

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