Improving processes through reducing variations and defects
This article discusses and considers how you can improve manufacturing and other processes through reducing variations and defects in the process itself.This particular article will discuss how you can improve processes through reducing variations and defects by using the six sigma approach to customer satisfaction and quality improvement.
First let's discuss what six sigma is, precisely.Six sigma is a business control methodology that improves processes specifically by identifying and then managing and eliminating variations in the process itself, as much as is possible.By managing variation in the process itself, then you can eliminate defects in the process and in the product.By eliminating defects and reducing variations, you can increase customer satisfaction by improving your performance, the reliability of your product, and the value of your processes and products.
Six sigma is a management initiative and methodology that was developed by Motorola in the 1980s.The title of six sigma reveals the central role that managing variation plays in six sigma's approach to improving the value of processes and products.Sigma is a Greek letter that is used in statistics to denote the amount of variation from what is determined to be perfection.As a company, you decide what amount of variation is acceptable to your processes.Your goal is to come up with ways to reduce the amount of variation in your processes to the level that is acceptable to you.
When you use six sigma to measure and then reduce the amount of variation and defects in your process, then what you will initially do is to define the process itself-its beginning, its end, and everything that goes on in between.You will then collect data and measure results, looking at the amount of variation from what you have previously determined to be the performance goal of your process.Within the six sigma methodology, the goal is to reach a Sigma Performance Level of 6.When you reach a sigma performance level of 6, it means that you have reduced variation and defects to the point that your process is strong enough that undetected process variation will be so small that it will not effect the value of the process.The variations will be small enough in relation to the process requirements that when variation occurs, then there will only be a couple defects in a million process runs.
When you use Six Sigma, then you will be invoking Sigma Performance, which is a way to measure the performance of your process in relation to what the customer expects or requires of your process.Sigma Performance measurements account for a degree of variation that you are unable to detect.The larger variations in your process, that result in differences in the value of the process and the end value of the product are what cause random defects in your product and decrease the value of your product.This reduces your customer's perceived value of your process.Six sigma provides you with a group of tools and techniques that are geared specifically toward improving your processes.The entire improvement methodology is based on measuring data and taking account of all of the mathematical variations in your process.You will then come up with mathematical and statistical answers to the problems that are presented in your process.The idea is then to continually control and monitor the solutions that you have implemented in order to improve your processes.By reducing variation, you will have a more consistently high value in your process and your product.This higher consistency in your process will translate into a higher value perceived by your customers because there are fewer defects in your process.