In 1950 the Japanese government invited W. Edwards Deming (then a professor at New York University) to give a series of lectures on quality control to help Japanese engineers reindustrialize the country.
In the popular book The Six Sigma Way, Six Sigma is defined as:
a comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining and maximizing business success. Six Sigma is uniquely driven by close understanding of customer needs, disciplined use of facts, data, and statistical analysis, and diligent attention to managing, improving, and reinventing business processes. (p. xi)
The define phase of a DMAIC project focuses on clearly specifying the problem or opportunity, what the goals are for the process improvement project, and what the scope of the project is. Identifying who the customer is and their requirements is also critical given that the overarching goal for all Six Sigma projects is improving the organization’s ability to meet the needs of its customers.
Two key drivers of an organization’s long-term competitive success are the extent to which its new products or services meet customers’ needs, and having the organizational capabilities to develop and deliver such new products and services.
Tools for helping translate customer desires directly into product service attributes.
Earlier it was noted that a literal interpretation of Six Sigma is 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). This may have caused some confusion for more statistically inclined readers, which we shall now attempt to reconcile.
In this phase our objective is to utilize the data that has been collected to develop and test theories related to the root causes of existing gaps between the process’ current performance and its desired performance.
See next slide Table 4.3 Common tools and methodologies in the Six Sigma toolset.
Series of standards covering environmental management systems, environmental auditing, evaluation of environmental performance, environmental labeling, and life-cycle assessment.
Intent is to help organizations improve their environmental performance through documentation control, operational control, control of records, training, statistical techniques, and corrective and preventive actions.
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