17 Six Sigma Tools and Techniques That Rock

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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.

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