Description

The Six Sigma methodology for problem solving stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. It is a data-based methodology to define, measure and analyze the problem, to determine the best statistical solutions to solve it and to implement them in the physical process. It designs practical control mechanisms to ensure sustainability. There are two main concepts behind this methodology: “finding causality” is one of them, i.e., solving root causes rather than the symptoms they produce. The other is variability or the obstacles to making, doing, serving or producing always the same (quantities, quality, lead times, cash…).

Impact

The impact of putting an end to the root causes provoking a symptom is clear, especially if we compare it to taking actions to remedy the symptom. It ensures the problems do not come back again. When we do this, we can free up resources that, rather than working on firefighting, can focus on improving critical areas of the company. There is one benefit that is often underestimated; employees and leaders think of customers, processes and data. The search for the root causes originating most of our problems is a discovery that enables our people to get a much deeper understanding of processes and products.

Results

  • Companies like GE saved billions by implementing Six Sigma.
  • As former GE leaders we were part of that, and we have learned and improved since then, not so much in the technical aspects but in the Acceptance and Accountability aspects.
  • That helped business to improve results, e.g.: 20% scrap reduction in a food company; 25% product returns reduction in a consumer electronics company; 30% warehouse efficiency improvement in a wholesale company.