Six sigma is a widely accepted quality concept in the corporate world. It is a data driven, customer focused, and result oriented methodology which uses statistical tools and techniques to systematically eliminate the defects and inefficiencies to improve processes.
Six Sigma started its journey in the 1980s as a data driven method to reduce variation in electronic manufacturing processes in Motorola Inc. in the USA. Six Sigma became famous when Jack Welch made it vital to his successful business strategy at General Electric in 1995. Today it is used as a business performance improvement methodology all over the world in diverse industry including general manufacturing, construction, banking and finance, healthcare, education, government, KPO/BPO, IT/ Software. At present IT/ ITES sector companies are dynamically implementing Six Sigma and it is no more confined into manufacturing sector only.
The term ‘six sigma’ comes from statistics and is used in statistical quality control (SQC) which evaluates process capability i.e. the numerical measure of the ability of a process to meet the customer specifications. A six sigma process is the one which produces 99.99966% statistically defect-free outputs which is equivalent to 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). Each six sigma project carried out within an organisation follows a defined sequence of phases with quantifiable value targets e.g. reduction in process cycle time, reduce cost, increase in quality rating/ customer satisfaction index, reduction is defect rate.