Combining Six Sigma techniques with the project management practices is the way to go for companies which focus on continuous improvement. A lot of organisations employ Total Quality Management, Six Sigma in addition to Total Quality Control in order to:
- Assist with new product development,
- Lower the cost of development,
- Enhance manufacturing efficiency, or
- Enter new markets.
Many organisations include the Six Sigma method in project management tools as well as processes so as to gain the maximum advantage.
What is Six Sigma?
The term ‘Six Sigma’ refers to a business methodology which aims to develop processes, lessen waste in addition to errors as well as improve customer satisfaction through all touchpoints that an organisation has with its customers. Driven by data in addition to statistical analysis, Six Sigma offers a method of minimising mistakes as well as maximising value in any business process that your organisation may be involved in, from manufacturing to management.
Six Sigma is a practice which is used in order to find as well as address the weak points in a process. These weak points hinder efficiency or result in more errors than is perfect. Six Sigma particularly refers to the goal of lowering the number of defects experienced in manufacturing to below 3.4 per 1 million units.
Over the past number of years, however, Six Sigma’s worth has expanded far beyond the world of manufacturing. This methodology has helped a diverse assortment of multinational companies such as Amazon, Xerox, and Bank of America to save money by improving efficiency.
Through the process of visualising how your product or service goes from its original conception into the hands of your customers, you can begin to identify ways to increase efficiency as well as quality, which is what the Six Sigma methodology is all about
The benefits of Six Sigma
The Six Sigma methodology offers a structured approach towards resolving business issues. The tools made use of in Six Sigma are primarily in order to identify the root causes for process defects so that the business can provide customers reliable quality products on time as well as at a low cost. The project management tools in addition to techniques emphasise the project attributes such as development, control and completion.
Will Six Sigma work for you?
It’s firstly important to ascertain if the Six Sigma methodology will be a good fit for your project. In order to find this out, one of our Six Sigma experts starts by asking himself a number of key questions:
- What is the aim of this project?
- Is it to launch new technology?
- Will it result in changing a job by more than 50%?
- Will this project lead to efficacy gains?
We have found that Six Sigma is most effective on operations initiatives. In part, operations have processes which could be complemented with newer technology or, alternatively, repeatable processes that could be centralised elsewhere, and allows the present employees room to perform advanced type of activities.
In addition to this operational focus, here are a few more issues to look at in terms of Six Sigma:
- To get rid of waste, whether that’s wasted time, materials or, alternatively, other resources
- To lessen defects or differences in your product or service
- To define what’s triggering problems
- To make use of data more effectively in order to increase efficiency as well as productivity
- To boost customer as well as employee satisfaction
- To design a new process or redesign an ineffectual one
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