17 Six Sigma Tools and Techniques That Rock

17 Six Sigma Tools and Techniques That Rock

Critical Six Sigma Tools and Methodologies’ Pocket Guide

Six Sigma has basic two methodologies that comprises of further more sections. Those two basic methodologies are:


D : Define the problem statement and purpose of the project

M : Measure the detailed prospects of the current process running.

A : Analyze the data to identify the actual root cause.

I : Improve the overall process by fixing the root cause and by exploring any opportunities for improvement.

C : Control the process parameters to avoid deviation and variation in product quality.


D : Define goals of the project

M : Measure components that are critical to the process and product quality

A : Analyze the collected data and develop few process designs to check which provides best quality product with optimized resources being used.

D : Design and test all the details of the process

V : Verification of the tested design by running simulation on small pilot scale before making it to the finish line.

Six Sigma Tools Kit: Quantitative and Qualitative Tools and Techniques of Six Sigma

Six Sigma is not less than an art that makes use of statistical data and graphs to identify, resolve or fix problems and look for various opportunities for improvement in the current system leading to better product quality in the longer run.

  • Define Phase

In define phase of Six Sigma tools, a project charter will be made which defines core focus area, scope and expectations from the project. Value stream map will be made defining the overview of the process denoting where to start and what is the finish line of the project.

  • Measure Phase

In measure phase, process map is made for activities recording and capability analysis is made to assess the ability of the designed process to meet customers’ requirements and quality standards followed by Pareto Chart (80-20 Rule) to see what is the frequency of the problem.

  • Analyze Phase

In analyze phase, root caused analysis is done to identify the actual root cause followed with FMEA which stands for Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.

  • Improve Phase

In Improve phase, complex problems are being solved and their desired outcomes are being observed and recorded by Design of Experiments (DOE) In order to isolate one variable from another.

  • Control Phase

In control phase, the root cause gets fixed by applying mistake proofing method called Poka-Yoke solution. 5S is implemented to create visual control and Statistical Process Control (SPS) for effective process monitoring.

The Roadmap of DMAIC

While walking through the journey of Six Sigma methodology, one will come across many Six Sigma basic tools that can ease your Six Sigma journey in numerous ways. The basic Six Sigma tools that will be your helping hands through Six Sigma implementation journey are as follows:

  • The 5 Whys

The tools of 5 Whys is being used when actual root cause of any problem is tried to be identified. In order to apply the methodology of 5 Whys, following steps can be followed as per the sequence:

(a). Detailed elaboration and documented problem statement should exist.

(b). Question to yourself and your team why the problem was happened to be occurred.

(c). Keep asking Why (in a polite professional tone rather than investigating like a police officer trying to catch up the culprit) again and again and document all the answers of Whys.

(d). Repeat the process till you find a valid accurate reason.

  • Regression Analysis

Six Sigma deals with data analysis that often ends up with regression analysis. In Six Sigma, regression analysis is used to find the correlation between process input and outcome or output of the process being delivered to the customers.

  • Visual Data Representation by Histogram

During Measure and Analyze phase in Six Sigma methodology, one will come across tons of data files depending upon the complexity of the problem. Histogram will help to give shape to your data by forming in visual representation so that it can be analyzed easily. After crossing analyze phase, you will enter to Improve phase where you have to implement improvements in the current process stream and to see the effects of the improvements you will have to plot it in graphical form to see after effects of the improvement being done in the process.

  • FMEA

In order to identify failures and breakdowns before they actually happens is being done by FMEA Six Sigma tools which stands for Failure Mode Effect Analysis. FMEA is more of a forecasting tool that enables the designers to design a process keeping human and machine safety in consideration leading to zero incidents. Minimization of product and process failures, Process improvements making the workplace safest with documented risk management and risk controls. FMEA involves following steps:

(a). Detailed Process Review : Complete process mapping is done by documented each and every activity performed at workplace during the process.

(b). Failure Modes Identification: All potential failure modes will be identified that can negatively affect the process stream.

(c). Enlisting of Cause and Effects: Against each failure mode, effects will be listed down along real root cause of the problem.

(d). Severity Scoring: Each failure mode identified will be given a severity scoring.

(e). Occurrence Scoring: Each failure mode will be given an occurrence score depending on the frequency of occurrence.

(f). Detection Scoring: Detection scoring will be given depending on the ease of the detection of the failure.

(g). RPN: RPN stands for Risk Priority Number which can be easily calculated by multiplying severity score, occurrence score and detection score. This exercise allows you to put high risk as first priority. High risks will first be mitigated as per the priority.

(h). Action Plan: An effective and realistic action plan will be developed against each RPN starting from high scored RPN to eliminate high risks first.

(i). Implementation: Action plan will be implemented on the workplace in an effort to make manufacturing more human friendly.

8 Popular Six Sigma Myths

8 Popular Six Sigma Myths

Before we look at the Six Sigma myths here are the key principles:

  • Customer Focused Approach
  • Understand, develop and improve value stream
  • Design, manage and make the process flow better
  • Making evidence based decisions
  • Reduce process flow variation
  • Equip people, process and machinery by Six Sigma methodology
  • Have continuous improvement and sustain the process

Busting Biggest Six Sigma Myths and its Successful Implementation

Assumptions and misconceptions have spawned 8 big Six Sigma myths. These myths sometimes prove to be a hindrance in the implementation  and might lead to potential resistance from one’s team which becomes a hurdle in the success and fruits of Six Sigma.

Busting the Six Sigma Myths

  • Six Sigma Is All About Data, Excel Files and Conference Room Presentations

The biggest of the Six Sigma myths is that it is about Excel files and PowerPoint presentations only which is totally wrong notion, Six Sigma is actually a cultural and mind set shift which forms the frame of mind towards actual root cause fixing approach because anything that got to be measured gets not only managed but controlled and tracked also.

  • Only Manufacturing Firms Can Have Six Sigma

One of the pitfalls through which many service industries fall into is that they consider only for giant manufacturing companies. However many service industries of Public and Government sector, Healthcare and NGO’s have been benefited from the fruits of Six Sigma by getting an increased in their Sales as well.

  • Only Giant Manufacturing Firms Can Afford Six Sigma

The third of the big Six Sigma myths is Six Sigma has always been thought to be the part of hefty profitable firms only because the approach  thought to be required large amount of money to be invested which only big multinational can afford. It is a big myth that exists in the minds who are afraid of the change and have less change adaptability. Six Sigma is an approach that directs towards actual problem solving by fixing the root cause one time which can avoid recurrence of the problem. Reoccurrence of the problem calls for money expenditure on repeated basis while nipping the root cause will be a onetime expenditure and that will be sufficient to ensure smooth operations.

  • Massive Training Hours Are Required For Six Sigma Implementation

Yes, initial phases of Six Sigma calls for effective trainings and refresher sessions but it will be done massively in the beginning only. However, time to time refresher sessions will be given by your own team to your other team members. Exceptional trainers and coaches will be identified within your team and those will be responsible to train your other staff periodically.

Traditional Approach versus Six Sigma Approach: How Six Sigma Is Better Than Traditional Approach

Six Sigma is way more advantageous and state of the art success proven method as compared to traditional business approach based on hit and trail basis.

  • Work Flow

In traditional approach, work flows on departmental or functional basis with respect to the tasks whereas the flow of process is oriented towards customers’ output and feedback making your process channel more customer friendly.

  • Performance Measurement

In traditional business approach, the performance is measured on the basis of actual versus budgeted amount. On the other hand, Six Sigma believes on taking casual measures and their outcomes in consideration.

  • Problem Solving Approach

In traditional business, most of the problems are being solved on hit and trial basis which means solutions are implemented and the best one gets selected after detailed experimentations. In state of the art problem solving tools which are success guaranteed are being implemented and the recurrence of the problem gets avoided by root cause fixation.

  • Skills Development Of Work Force

When it comes to training and skill development, mostly top leadership managers get selected. However, in Six Sigma the people who get their skill developed are main shop floor machine operators and maintenance technicians and not only just office based management people.

Popular Six Sigma Tools and Techniques Which Further Proves Myths Dead Wrong!

Following are the Six Sigma tools and techniques which are being used worldwide successfully by small, medium and large enterprises:

  • Affinity Diagram: The way to categorize the ideas and making it convenient to get sifted.
  • Bench marking Study: Internal, functional and competitive benchmarking will be done in initial phases of Six Sigma implementation. Benchmarking is a sort of standard by which one can compere own established standard and it can be done internally, functionally and competitively.
  • Detailed Statistics: one of the simple yet very powerful tool for analyzing of data is detailed statistical study.
  • Fishbone Diagram: A graphical method to identifying the actual root cause based on 5M’s (Man, Method, Machinery, Material, Mother Nature) tool.
  • Pareto Analysis Or 80-20 Rule: A bar graph that exhibits the frequency of the occurrence of certain events which is called Pareto principle.
  • Risk Management: Management of potential risks by two elements which are uncertainty and potential loss whereas Risk management is a continuous implemented tool which have numerous steps to evaluate and categorize risks.
  • Scatter Plot: Scatter plotting is wonderful tool which draws a graph between dependent and independent variables and the correlation between them.
  • SIPOC: Supplier Inputs Process Outputs Customers is conveniently abbreviated as SIPOC is a high end process that specifies how a process is being flowed through the value chain. It helps to uncover the hidden details and problems that are stuck somewhere in the supply chain and are continuously harming the product stream.
Integrating Six Sigma with ISO 9001, TQM and Lean Manufacturing

Integrating Six Sigma with ISO 9001, TQM and Lean Manufacturing

What No one tells you about Six Sigma Approach

Six Sigma approach aims to peerless supreme quality control and quality assurance methodologies by continuously improving the process focusing towards prevention of defects. Moreover, another problem solving approach that relies on statistical approach leading to huge profit margins along with maximum employee engagement. Hence, iso 9001 and Six Sigma acts like a backbone for any organization.

How ISO 9001 Works?

ISO 9001 is a systematic quality management technique that works on eight guiding principles which are Customer Focus Approach, Leadership commitment, People Engagement, Efficient Process Approach, Systematic Management Approach, Continuous Improvement, Evidence based factual decision making, Healthy Supplier relations.

What Is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing tends to achieve zero waste generation motive by making use of its core tools and systematic techniques like Kaizen, Visual Workplace control. Statistical data analysis and hypothesis tests are not being made up in Lean manufacturing as they are core tools.

A Brief Insight about TQM

TQM stands for Total Quality Management refers to the production manufacturing with zero defects meeting all the defined process parameters and precise premium quality guaranteed every time the product has been manufactured.

There are number of tools involved in TQM in which few are Benchmarking, failure analysis, PDCA cycle (Plan Do Check Act) cycle, Process management, final product design control and statistical process control.

Connecting ISO 9001 and Six Sigma

As stated previously, ISO 9001 is nothing but a quality improvement management strategy whose entire focus is to ensure the products have been manufactured on the set standards as defined by ISO 9001 clauses. ISO 9001 also emphasis on quality improvement but it has much wider scope than ISO 9001. ISO 9001 cannot be used as a statistical approach to solve a problematic defect.

ISO 9001 helps in identification of the problem and not in identifying the solution or fixing the actual root cause. In its comparison  one step ahead in terms of quality improvement. Six Sigma not only identifies the actual root cause but also provides appropriate solutions for it. Consider helping hand when it comes to ISO 9001 certification or ISO 9001 implementation steps.

How This Helps to Achieve Objectives set by ISO 9001

Here are some really helpful ways through which Six Sigma can assist achieving ISO 9001 objectives:

  • Reduction in Defects

A significant amount of defect reduction has been allowed throughout the process execution leading unmatched quality outcomes and reduction in defects generation which is ultimately the objectives of both.

  • Rock Solid Verification of the Process

Both the management philosophies tends to define, control, verify and improve the overall process leading to reduction in defects generation.

  • Problem Indication

ISO 9001 and Six Sigma both indicates the problem identification and identifies the deviation from the set standard specifications.

  • Continuous Improvement

Both management success-proven strategies of ISO 9001 and Six Sigma put a great amount of stress on improving the process continuously and seek new opportunities for improvement.

Wiring the Concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM) and Six Sigma

TQM aims to satisfy every type of customer (be it internal customers like suppliers and vendors or external customers like end-consumers).

TQM has limited scope as compared to Six Sigma. The implementation of TQM is in some particular areas especially production and quality departments which comes under technical departments.

Whereas Six Sigma’s Methodologies like DMAIC is applicable to any type of problem existing in any department whether the department is technical or non-technical. TQM doesn’t deal with the execution of any process whereas Six Sigma keeps process execution steps in spotlight anytime.

How Six Sigma and TQM comes Hand In Hand?

Six Sigma is of great help when it comes to achieving TQM objectives. Here are few common goals:

  • Customer Satisfaction

They both narrow down towards meeting customers’ requirements leading to winning customers’ trust and confidence by providing them satisfactory outcomes.

  • Evidence Based Decision Making

Rather using your gut feelings, TQM both are based on decisions to be made on definite facts and figures.

  • Process Variables

TQM and Six Sigma stresses upon the fact of lowering variability in process which can lead to potential hazards and defects leading sub-standard product.

  • Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement of the process and making new doors for more smarter ways of manufacturing certain products.

  • Ensuring Boost in Employees Morale

With proven success of  TQM, employees working on shop floor level feels motivated and rewarded as their contributions add value to the organization and to the performance of the business thus leading to high employee engagement levels.

Integration of Lean Manufacturing 

Lean manufacturing implements a funnel approach to eliminate waste that are being produced while manufacturing a product. By eliminating waste, one can avail numerous benefits like lower production cost, reduction in cycle time and increased yield while Six Sigma focuses on problem resolution caused due to unknown reasons.

A Handshake between Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma

Both success proven scientific methodologies comes hand in hand to provide benefits to manufacturing industries by various means.

Since lean manufacturing stresses upon zero waste and Six sigma emphasizes on least variability in the process so that final product can be made of precise quality and each and every customer of the product feels satisfied and trust the ordered paid products.

Here is how Six Sigma aims in achieving objectives of Lean Manufacturing also.

  • Reduction In Defects

As soon as the quantity of waste produced in reduced, the amount of good production will increase ultimately increase in Asset Intensity of machines.

  • Reduction in Production Cycle Time

Since the quantity of waste production will be eliminated by implementing Lean methods in manufacturing processes and will result in flawless quality product that is ultimate target.

12 Six Sigma Tips

12 Six Sigma Tips

 Six Sigma Tips 

These Six Sigma tips help you achieve high quality every time, the desired objective of most every business. However to get the desire of high quality creations turn into reality calls to extend yourself for some extra miles. Six Sigma is a success proven business management scheme that can assist you to unleash new horizons of business success with time bound rock solid results. The notion of six sigma was created by Motorola in 1986 as a result of consumers’ complaints about sub-standard Motorola phones’ quality. With the passage of time, the philosophy was further refined by General Electric and was adopted worldwide by various manufacturing firms.

Six Sigma Tip[s on Methodology says:

“Any type of process which does not result in customer’s satisfaction is referred as a “Defect” and it has to be excluded from the process in order to get matchless supreme quality products and services”.

 Six Sigma consists of further two sub-methods. These are:

  • DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
  • DMADV (Design, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify)

Amazing DMAIC Methodology to Try Right Now!

Get your all doubts vanish in few seconds by getting these Six Sigma tips and more insights about DMAIC methodology explained just right below:

DMAIC has five steps which are defined step wise in sequence.

D – Define the Problem statement:

Before trying your hands on to the problem, it is important to define the problem statement first. Follow 5W 1H rule to define your problem in detail whereas 5Ws are What, When, Why, Where, Who and 1H is How.

M – Measure:

After defining the problem statement in detail, data collection is the next step. Compile all relevant data that provides you exact insight for the problem diagnosis.

A – Analyze:

The data collection that was done in previous step will be analyzed thoroughly where root cause analysis will be done and ways to eradicate such defects will be looked into.

I – Improve

Process improvement will be carried out on the foundation of facts and figures derived from research done in previous steps. Efforts will be directed towards process improvement leading to peerless quality outcomes.

C – Control

Implement control measures to the processes that ensure defect free product every time with superior precision and accuracy.

How to Boost New Product Development by DMADV Method?

Let’s unlock the potentials of DMADV method.

D – Design

In Design phase, one has to design the process from the scratch with all the relevant strategies that will give unbeatable results on prototype small scale.

M – Measure

Measure all the defined parameters that holds significance with respect to high quality delivery at all levels.

A – Analyze

Analyze what has been measured in previous step keeping design constraints in mind.

D – Design

Go for designing considering major and minor details of process on big scale.

  V – Verify

Verify the process and its flow. Observe and record the results after successful implementation of the designed process.

Getting Smart with Six Sigma Belt System

As similar as Martial Arts system, Six Sigma also comes with Belt system with different level of authority system along with experience and level of competency and trainings. Employees start with initial levels i.e. White Belt System and then employees can gradually increase their levels depending on their interest, experience and capabilities.

Six Sigma White Belt System

Level: First Level of Belt System

Knowledge Criteria: Mandatory to complete several hours of training about Six Sigma to get the basic clarity about the basics of it.

Six Sigma Tips Yellow Belt

Level: Second level of Six Sigma

Knowledge Criteria: Mandatory to complete 10 to 15 hours Six Sigma classroom trainings to understand a bit advance steps methods.

Six Sigma Tips: Green Belt

Level: Fundamental of success for any project.

Knowledge Criteria: A classroom training session consisting for weeks is compulsory to attend and have to pass a written exam along with serving in a Six Sigma project team.

Six Sigma Tips: Black Belt

Level: Full time job for Black Belt. Advance level of Six Sigma.

Knowledge Criteria: To become a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, candidates must pass a written exam and successfully complete projects.

Six Sigma Tips: Master Black Belt

Level: Highest Six Sigma Belt ranking and the certification is in high demand for customers.

Knowledge Criteria: To become Six Sigma Master Black Belt, one has to opt an experience of at least five years as Black Belt along with successful completion of minimum of ten six sigma projects. The role of Master Black Belts is not only to ensure active participation and efficient problem solving in six sigma projects but to trickle down six sigma culture and nourish six sigma techniques among employees is one of the objective of Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

What Not Everybody Ought to Know About Six Sigma

Do you wish more people bought your product, or your sales to be sky-rocketed without investing years and years? Are you still wasting your time on reoccurring problems daily? Let us unlock few of the many benefits of Six Sigma which your consultant will never tell you about.

  • Proven Way to Enhance Customer Retention:

A single dissatisfied customer can take your millions of business away and on the other hand one loyal customer can bring in the opportunities to invite other new customers as well so to retain your regular customers should be your top most priority by all means.

  • How to be able to Achieve Targets in an Easy Way?

Set SMART goals to accomplish anything whereas the term SMART is an abbreviation whose full form is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound. Before setting SMART objectives, it is important to know every employees’ training needs, learning agility and performance curve accordingly.

  • The Best Ever Planning Solution for Any Business

Six Sigma tips help in great ways to get rid of distractions and to maintain your focus in unidirectional way. SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis remains your eyes to the areas of improvements which eventually can turn your business a worth more than the present situation.

  • How Big Firms Are Able To Reduce Their Cycle Times?

According to numerous business reports, 35% reduction in cycle times have been observed after implementation of Six Sigma. On the contrary, firms who haven’t implemented six sigma methodology complaint about delays in their projects and cycle time completion, less employee engagement or totally zero employee motivational levels.

Real Life Amazing Results of Six Sigma: 3M Success Story

3M reported to have been celebrated their success credited by Six Sigma back in early 2000’s. Spare few minutes to have a glance on impressive ground breaking results made real only through Six Sigma.

  • 50% reduction in waste generation
  • 67% reduction in GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions
  • 37% water recycles usage
  • 8% reduction in toxic air emissions

If Six Sigma tips can do wonders for 3M then why not you? Let’s banish the hindrances and fears in your way to become world class business.


Six Sigma – The Lean Diet

Six Sigma – The Lean Diet

Rightly said “you cannot control what you do not measure”. The fad about Six Sigma may have been due to savings in large proportions for organizations to take action or its ability to be applied to different situations with actionable and quantifiable results. Either ways fad or not, Six Sigma is not going to go away, it’s here to stay. The concepts when understood are very basic. Bottom line is to look and measure your input and then you have the power to affect the output. The thought of going lean can be daunting and frightening. (more…)