Farhan Hassan (Riyadh Daily)
Six Sigma

“ Six Sigma is a quality program that, when all is said and done, improves your customer’s experience, lowers your costs, and builds better leaders. “

Jack Welch

In 1986, was initiated in Motorola by engineer Bill Smith., followed later on by many global companies such as GE, Ford, and Sony saving millions of dollars after the implementation of this strategy. Six Sigma (6σ) is one of the best modern quality methods based on utilizing a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. 


The concept of Six Sigma lies in the identification and measurement of the defects in the products or process of services through a specific and scientific steps and tools detecting the defects (expected to be free of defects by 99.9999998027%). 

As a primary goal going to throw six levels from one to six (Sigma σ is a Latin letter which is the standard deviation) this methodology is based on analyzing collected data and statistics.

Six Sigma is applicable to most industries and activities; it can successfully deliver its advantages in different fields such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, Finance, Engineering and construction and Supply chain.

Six Sigma & Lean

Before our journey in six sigma we need to clear that between a two concepts Lean and six sigma which are sharing similar methodologies and tools but here the difference is that Lean management is related to eliminating waste and ensuring efficiency while Six Sigma is focusing on eliminating defects and reducing instability of the products.


Trace Six Sigma two sets of projects inspired by “Deming series: Deming's Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle”. These methodologies consist of five stages, known as DMAIC and DMADV, as follows: 

DMAIC used for projects aimed at improving existing business processes. It is a set of initials of the following words:

Define- Measure- Analyze- Improve-Control

DMADV used for projects aimed at creating new products or process designs.

It is a set of initials of the following words:

Define-Measure- Analyze-Design- Verify

These steps involve important functions that depend on each other as in the series, 

1. Identify and select the project.

2. Team composition.

3. Charter development.

4. Team training.

5. Building a team of six.

6. Perform DMAIC process and application solutions.

7. Provide appropriate solutions.


In the 1990s started offering Six Sigma certifications programs by Motorola and General Electric as a part of their Six Sigma implementation (Team Training as above point 4), and categorize it as below skill levels:

Black belt master: trained black belts and green belts 

Black Belt: Lead troubleshooting projects. Teams of Trainers.

Green Belt: as data collector and analysis for black belt projects. Lead projects or Green Belt teams.

Yellow Belt: Member of the project team. Review and support the project.

White Belt: problem solver and support comprehensive projects, but may not be part of the Six Sigma project team. (Understand the six basic Sigma concepts).


As to be covering the subject in it is important to look to the other side below mentioned some drawback points need to be considered and known about our topic:

• Inadequate for complex manufacturing (such as semiconductor manufacturing).

• Role of consultants (to be more clear and to be sure about the competency although if he certified).

• Over-reliance on statistical tools: Reliance on significance testing and the use of multiple regression techniques increases is risky and it may make errors in statistical or lead to mistakes.

• Lack of systematic documentation and researches: most cases are not documented in standards a systemic or academic manner.


Finally, The Six Sigma approach is an improvement methodology helps numerous companies increase customer satisfaction, reduce expenses, and enhance efficiencies, also, the point here that six sigma can apply to your life as well in somehow and in some ways for the things that you feel it is required to be enhanced and improve, good luck.


Farhan Hassan


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