Six Sigma is a measurement of quality. It is achieved when a process works correctly 99.99966% of the time. This equates to just 3.4 errors per million, which is about as good as any human endeavour can achieve.
To be more precise, Six Sigma is a statistical measure of standard deviations within a process. However, that is not a helpful way to explain it to a newcomer to the subject.
Many organisations have Six Sigma initiatives. These use the necessary Six Sigma philosophy and methods to work towards raising the quality level to 99.99966% accuracy (Six Sigma).
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The Six Sigma
Central to the Six Sigma philosophy is the understanding of what process needs to be measured. This is often referred to as Critical to Customer (CTC). This highlights which business units need to become actively involved in the Six Sigma initiative.
Six Sigma evolved in a manufacturing environment, but it can be applied equally to other types of organisation. For instance, a bank may decide that it needs to achieve at least Six Sigma accuracy when moving customer's money between accounts, because that is exactly what their customers expect.
The Five Steps of Six Sigma.
Every Six Sigma project covers 5 basic steps, which are normally known by the acronym DMAIC (which is made up of the initial letters of each step):