What is Six Sigma?

- Six Sigma Academy Amsterdam -
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01:33:03 of on-demand video • Updated October 2020

  • Become a certified Six Sigma white belt with BKO accredited certification.
  • Experience a real six sigma project from A-Z.
  • Get a helicopter view of DMAIC structure of Six Sigma,
  • Learn the difference between Kaizen and Six Sigma.
  • Be able to join conversation with six sigma professionals.
English So welcome everyone, so you became interested in Six Sigma. In this lecture I'm going to explain to you what it actually is. Have a look at this mall. Chances are high that pretty much every single product you find here and also the services that are offered here, have a company behind them that is making use of Six Sigma methodology to improve the delivery of its services or goods. What is it? At its core, six sigma is a methodology. A methodology for what? It's a methodology that makes it possible to have substantial improvements in the delivery of services and the production of goods. These substantial improvements affect the quality that the customer experiences. These substantial improvements affect the consistency of your production. It does not matter whether it is products or services. These substantial improvements translate into money: The bottom line. And these days it's very very difficult to find Fortune 500 companies and even medium size or smaller size companies that do not make use of the six sigma principles. If you're curious about that, just google it and have a look to see how many companies out there actually apply Six Sigma principles. And while we're at it, also look at how many job vacancies out there require an understanding of Six Sigma as a prerequisite to apply for those jobs. Maybe the students at this point are curious to know in which kind of fields or industry these jobs exist? That's a good question. It affects pretty much every industry. It used to be in the 1980's, mostly something that was used in manufacturing. So you saw that Six Sigma was mostly used in manufacturing, but these days everything from IT to education, to all kinds of services, to health care, you name it. I don't know any kind of industry out there these days that is not making use of Six Sigma principles. It used to be purely manufacturing. But these days it's it's really omnipresent. And then we already explained you that it's a methodology that helps to improve substantially quality, value proposition etc. in businesses. But how does it do that. It does that by taking any kind of business problem and then applying to that problem the so-called the DMAIC methodology. The pronunciation is quite region specific and really not that important. We just refer to it as DMAIC. But this DMAIC methodology is actually the core off six sigma. The backbone of six sigma is this DMAIC methodology. What is this DMAIC sequence or methodology? It's actually what you see here. It is used at every single business problem can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and subsequently whatever improvement is put in place, that improvement can be controlled which makes sure that your problem does not reoccur after a while. All six sigma projects start at this point and end at this point, which means that all of them go to this DMAIC sequence. At this point you might think: "OK I got it. You have to define and then measure, analyse, improve and control something and then you're done. That's Six Sigma." .... It's a little bit more complex than that, because each one of these DMAIC phases has a number of tools attached to it. For instance tool A, B, C might all be attached to the 'define' phase. You have to master those tools in order to be able to deal with this 'define' phase in the appropriate way. Then these karate belts become relevant, because it's the mastery of those tools can be expressed in a certain belt color. So how well you master those tools, can be expressed in a certain belt color. The hierarchy is usually this: At the bottom we have the white belts and the absolute top we have black belts. In the middle you can have green and sometimes even yellow belts. White belts just have a basic helicopter view of what Six Sigma actually is. They don't really know how to apply those tools. Neither are they expected to apply those tools. They should know what people are talking about when they mention six sigma during, for instance, meetings. That's the point of the white belt certification. When you have basic mastery of those tools, you become a certified Six Sigma green belt. Black Belt have full mastery of the tools that are attached to these phases. On top of the black belts, we have the 'Master Black Belts.' ... These are black belts that also have the teaching qualifications required to teach people Six Sigma. They can also certify them. We are all master black belts, which means we also have the didactic qualifications to teach Six Sigma to others. .... It doesn't matter whether we teach white belts, or green belts or black belts. But you should understand what this white belt is actually about. It means you have a basic understanding of what six sigma is from a helicopter view. The White Belt course is not about applying tools. During the six sigma white belt certification we don't go into detail about the execution of those tools. .... We discuss some of these tools, but we discuss them just so that you can become familiar with them. So as we mentioned, six sigma is about achieving substantial improvements in any kind of industry. .... It's different from what you may already have heard about, namely: 'Kaizen.' .... 'Kaizen' is Japanese words which can be broken into two parts, namely 'Kai' which means: change and 'Zen' which means: 'for the better.' So 'Kaizen' is a methodology to change things for the better. You might think: "I already know Kaizen. So there is no need to lean Six Sigma." But you have to realize that these are two completely different concepts. .... So what is Kaizen actually? Then we can continue to the difference between Kaizen and Six Sigma. What is your opinion what is Kaizen? We can say that Kaizen means small and continuous improvements. Kind of like the staircase. Very small everyday little by little improvements. Everyday you try to save one hundred, one thousand dollars. Whereas Six Sigma is about a radical breakthrough. We're talking here about hundreds of thousands of Dollars at once. Of course after a big effort of a project. Both methodologies co-exist, but both have different approaches to solving problems. ..... So Kaizen would be responsible for those small little by little improvements. Whereas Six Sigma would be that big saving of 1 million or 2 million or sometimes even hundreds of millions. So this would be actually six segments big jumps. So that's a very rough introduction to the question what six sigma is and are we going to elaborate further on this issue in the coming lectures so far. Thank you so much for your attention. Have a great day wherever you are. Thanks.