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What is Six Sigma? …and DMAIC | Video

What is Six Sigma? ...and DMAIC | Video

Motorola introduced the idea of Six Sigma to reduce defects. They sought to match the quality standards their competitors were able to achieve.

So, what is Six Sigma?

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Originally, Six Sigma was a metric for a quality standard

Now, it is much more. You can see Six Sigma as a:

  • methodology to achieve quality
  • toolset for business improvement
  • management approach that dominates the company’s culture
  • basis for a huge consulting and training business

Six Sigma offers performance improvement processes on top of existing processes.

The Six Sigma method focuses on understanding customers’ requirements better and eliminating defects and waste.

The Benefits of Six Sigma

The primary benefits are:

  • Improved quality
  • Reduced waste
  • And therefore reduced cost
  • And so, increased customer satisfaction

Training for Six Sigma

Six Sigma training uses the metaphor of colored belts, lifted from Japanese martial arts.

Yellow Belt

Typically one to two weeks’ training to learn to use the basic tools of Six Sigma.

Green Belt

Typically two to three weeks’ additional training, to handle problem-solving tasks, leading small teams. Green belts often do much of the work on a Six Sigma initiative.

Black Belt

Black belts lead six sigma teams. You typically need

  • Extra 2 to 4 weeks’ training
  • experience of 2 or more 6-s projects
  • passing a test

Master Black Belt

Train, mentor, and advise black belts.

If you need Six Sigma Training…

OnlinePMCourses recommends GreyCampus Six Sigma training, which covers Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma training and Yellow, Green, and Black Belt levels.

Six Sigma Offers a Peerless Toolset

Six sigma has a large toolset of business performance improvement tools:

  • DMAIC problem solving (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control)
  • DMADV design process (Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, Verify)
  • 5 Whys
  • Fishbone (Ishikawa) analysis
  • SIPOC – Supplier, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customer
  • 5 Cs
  • Box Plots
  • FMEA – Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

Relevance of Six Sigma to Project Management

Six Sigma process improvement projects tend to be 3-6 months in duration. They usually follow the DMAIC lifecycle (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control).

A project is typically led by a Six Sigma Black belt, working on the project full time, with Green belt team or workstream leaders.

Carefully curated video recommendations for you. These are about other ideas from Japanese manufacturing, and answer the question, What is…

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

Learn Still More

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If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.

For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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