Lean Six Sigma General Information
WHAT IS LEAN SIX SIGMA?
Lean Six Sigma is a methodology for evaluating processes for defects, variation and waste. This structured process uses the power of Six Sigma’s analytical methodology and Lean’s practical approach to optimize any process to the desired levels.
WHAT DOES LEAN SIX SIGMA DO FOR AN ORGANIZATION?
Six Sigma, first developed by Motorola in the in the 1980’s gets it origin from the statistical analysis of normal data distribution. Data said to be normally distributed will have mean value at the peak with each side of the mean containing less and less values. Statistically, the number of standard deviations units (classified sigma units) away from the mean will contain points of data. As shown in the Figure 1 below, the amount of data points at each sigma level are directly equated to the Yield. Six Sigma units away from the mean will contain 99.9997% of all data points collected. The methodology of six sigma was originally designed to optimize the curve below to reduce the measurement between sigma levels. By doing so, a process reduces variation and ultimately defects.
COMMON INDUSTRY SIGMA LEVELS
To demonstrate the impact of sigma levels, Figure 2 lists several recognizable industries and their approximate sigma level. Organizations must assess the need to eliminate defects in their process and balance it against the cost and resources needed. Each sigma level represented below the standard process for that industry and the number of defects found, on average, for that industry. Hence, tax advice can be seen to have approximately 100,000+ mistakes per 1,000,000 occurrences while airline safety rate is less than 1 defect (incident) per 1,000,000 flights.
Organizations must understand the demands placed by the market, consumer safety and overall business impact when assessing the target sigma level. Corporate College instruction aids in determining the most suitable goals for a specific organization.