What is "Six Sigma" The term "sigma", taken from the Greek alphabet, is used in statistics as a measure of deviation. If a company achieves a "six sigma" measurement in production, for example, that means that only 3.4 of 1 million products are defective. This represents a 99.9997 percent error-free performance. Not all Six Sigma projects reach that lofty goal but they aspire to it and set continuous improvement as a standard. The methodology were initiated in 1980's & first formulated by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986. Six Sigma at many organizations simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process -- from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service. widely accepted definition of a six sigma process is one that produces 3.4 defective parts per million opportunities (DPMO). So the 3.4 DPMO of a "Six Sigma" process in fact corresponds to 4.5 sigmas, namely 6 sigmas minus the 1.5 sigma shift introduced to account for long-term variation. Taking the 1.5 sigma shift into account, short-term sigma levels correspond to the following long-term DPMO values (one-sided): * One Sigma = 690,000 DPMO = 31% efficiency * Two Sigma = 308,000 DPMO = 69.2% efficiency * Three Sigma = 66,800 DPMO = 93.32% efficiency * Four Sigma = 6,210 DPMO = 99.379% efficiency * Five Sigma = 230 DPMO = 99.977% efficiency * Six Sigma = 3.4 DPMO = 99.9997% efficiency Globally, Six Sigma is now recognized as a new way of doing business. Six Sigma is fast becoming a standard practice in manufacturing, service and software companies. Pioneered by Motorola and later adopted by companies like GE, ABB, AlliedSignal, Kodak, Ford, Delphi etc. are adopting this practice. Most of the Korean companies are aggressively working on Six Sigma initiative and the competition will become tougher for Indian companies.Wipro, Samtel, Escotel, are some of the typical Indian companies passionately deploying, Six Sigma in their business units. Six Sigma has been deployed in all types of industries including manufacturing, IT, ITES, services, healthcare, design, BPO etc. Some example companies that have realized huge benefits are GE, Motorola, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Ford, Wipro, HP etc. The benefits of implementing Six Sigma are: Cost of Quality of a typical three sigma company will be about 25% of the turnover. The Cost of Quality of a Six Sigma company will be less than 1%. Improved customer satisfaction, as the latent failures are eliminated. Accelerated rate of improvement in quality, cost and cycle times. Reduced product development risks. Improved organizational capabilities to design and manufacture defect free products and services. Six Sigma initiative is not limited to large companies. FQA Management Services Pvt.Ltd. (An ISO 9001:2000 Certified) along with FSS has helped start six sigma in small and medium size companies as well - TEI Technologies, Elin Electronics, Dixon Utilities & Exports. What is Lean? Lean is a philosophy that looks at constant elimination of wastes within a company to make all tasks or activities value adding from the customer's point of view. Lean is also about flow and velocity. A lean enterprise is one in which the work flows rapidly from the suppliers all the way to the customers without getting stuck anywhere in the company. The Six Sigma methodology includes five steps: * Define the project / problem. * Measure the improvement monetary dollar value. * Analyze the problem. * Implement the improvement strategy. * Control and sustain the gain Six Sigma has two key methods: DMAIC and DMADV, both inspired by Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle. DMAIC is used to improve an existing business process; DMADV is used to create new product or process designs. DMAIC The basic method consists of the following five steps: * Define high-level project goals and the current process. * Measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data. * Analyze the data to verify cause-and-effect relationships. Determine what the relationships are, and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered. * Improve or optimize the process based upon data analysis using techniques like Design of experiments. * Control to ensure that any deviations from target are corrected before they result in defects. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability, move on to production, set up control mechanisms and continuously monitor the process. DMADV The basic method consists of the following five steps: * Define design goals that are consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy. * Measure and identify CTQs (characteristics that are Critical To Quality), product capabilities, production process capability, and risks. * Analyze to develop and design alternatives, create a high-level design and evaluate design capability to select the best design. * Design details, optimize the design, and plan for design verification. This phase may require simulations. * Verify the design, set up pilot runs, implement the production process and hand it over to the process owners. DMADV is also known as DFSS, an abbreviation of "Design For Six Sigma". * Six Sigma Green Belt Certification: Benchmark Six Sigma Green Belt Certification prepares people as improvement specialists who can bring reasonable performance benefits to the organization. This highly acclaimed program is delivered through a series of lectures, workshop exercises and group sessions. This program is offered with or without project guidance and consulting. * Six Sigma Black Belt Certification: Benchmark Six Sigma Black Belt program (exclusively for Green Belts) prepares people as improvement experts who can bring quantifiable business benefits to the organization by taking up complex improvement projects that lead the company to a competitive edge. * Six Sigma Executive Overview: For people new to Six Sigma and wanting to understand Six Sigma methodology and how it brings breakthrough improvements. * Six Sigma Champion Training: For business leaders/decision makers who wish to identify and support Six Sigma projects. * Balanced Scorecard Executive Overview: For Senior Management Professionals who wish to create visible Metrics (Business Dashboards) in their organization. * Lean Management - Foundation Program: An excellent hands on program for improvement enthusiasts who may or may not have a Six Sigma background. * Lean Management - Advanced Program: Builds on Lean-Foundation concepts and addresses complexities in lean implementation through practice sessions * SEI-CMMI and Six Sigma: For Senior Professionals wanting to understand how CMMI initiative can be energized using Six Sigma. * Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training: For people who wish to learn and apply basic quality tools at the work place. difference between Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt Certification Programs? Green Belt program covers most common tools and methodologies used in Six Sigma. Black Belt course provides competence on high rigor statistical techniques that are used for major and more complex projects (like the ones that provide distinct competitive advantage to an organization.) This is a 4days certificate program consisting of 6 modules that is designed to teach the six sigma way of process improvement. Each module contains theory followed by case studies These sessions include group time and teaching/applying the Six Sigma body of knowledge including: * The identification of core processes * Defining customer requirements * Measuring current performance * Defining opportunities for improvement * Measuring the relevant processes requiring improvement * Gathering and analyzing the data required to investigate causes * Improving, controlling, and redesigning the processes.