Six Sigma

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Ten Ways to Gain Synergies between Lean and Six Sigma

Six Sigma and Lean are different but closely related improvement methodologies. Using elements from both can help gain synergy for your project. Six Sigma is a rigorous project-driven approach to reducing [more…]

Ten Places to Find Help for Six Sigma

Six Sigma is big, and it can seem almost daunting at times. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Although you may be blazing new trails through your own life and organization, thousands of people have forged [more…]

How to Define Six Sigma Specifications

Specifications are an important element in Six Sigma approaches. Before the 1800s, all products were manufactured one at a time by craftsmen. A gunsmith, for example, would shape a single barrel of a gun [more…]

How to Calculate Six Sigma Quality

The term Six Sigma comes from the statistical basis of the approach and methodology used to address quality concerns: the roll-up of characteristic behaviors and the natural increase in variation in each [more…]

How to Use Six Sigma’s Breakthrough Equation: Y = f(X) + ε

All of Six Sigma can be summarized with what’s called the breakthrough equation — one general-purpose equation that shouldn’t intimidate even the least mathematically inclined: [more…]

Six Sigma Principle One: Recognize Determinism

A fundamental element of the Six Sigma approach is the ability to recognize determinism. If you’re like most people in Western society, you’re results-oriented. You ask questions such as “How did it turn [more…]

Six Sigma Principle Two: Reduce Variation

In general, when planning for Six Sigma, variation is undesirable because it creates uncertainty in your ability to produce a desired outcome. Professional results, in anything, demand consistency. In [more…]

How to Create Scatter Plots for a Six Sigma Initiative

Often, you need to explore the relationship between two characteristics in a Six Sigma initiative. To do so, you use a scatter plot. Scatter plots get their name from their appearance — a scattered cluster [more…]

How to Create and Interpret a Process Behavior Chart in Six Sigma

A behavior chart graphically shows how variation plays out over time in a Six Sigma initiative. Time/order can be a critical factor, especially when you’re trying to figure out the causes behind variation [more…]

How to Create a Cause and Effect Analysis for a Six Sigma Initiative

A cause-and-effect matrix — sometimes called a C&E matrix for short — helps you discover which factors affect the outcomes of your Six Sigma initiative. It provides a way of mapping out how value is transmitted [more…]

How to Create a Six Sigma Multi Vari Sampling Plan

Multi-vari uses a specific data sampling plan, which graphically highlights the major variation cause in the output characteristic of your Six Sigma process while allowing the process to operate in its [more…]

How to Construct and Interpret a Normal Probability Plot for a Six Sigma Project

Seeking clarification is critical in Six Sigma and normal probability plots can help with this. When someone tells you that his or her data are normal, always respond with, “How normal are they?” No real-world [more…]

How to Apply Six Sigma Multi Vari Study to a Real World Problem

Consider an example of a real situation where you can use a multi-vari study for a Sigma Six project. It can be used to pare down a large collection of potential factors and discover the “critical few” [more…]

How to Use Confidence Intervals to Verify Differences between Outcomes

Confidence intervals give you a way of quantifying how much variation will appear in repeated measurements and statistical calculations for Six Sigma. Knowing how to create confidence intervals, you’ll [more…]

Six Sigma Analysis: How to Fit Lines in Simple Linear Regression with Excel

Simple linear regression is becoming a common activity. Any Sigma Six practitioner with Microsoft Excel, for example, can take data from an X and a Y variable and almost immediately create a scatter plot [more…]

How to Calculate Multiple Linear Regression for Six Sigma

What should Six Sigma practitioners do with all the situations where more than one X influences a Y? You use multiple linear regression. After all, that kind of situation is more common than a single influencing [more…]

How to Use the Six Sigma Experimental Approach

You may be wondering whether a solid strategy for experimentation even exists. Lucky for you, we have just that. Six Sigma uses a reliable approach to experimentation that helps you do the following: [more…]

How to Plan a Six Sigma 2k Factorial Experiment

Like in most other endeavors, time spent planning for Six Sigma is rewarded with better results in a shorter period of time. Planning 2k factorial experiments follows a simple pattern: choosing the factors [more…]

How to Conduct a Six Sigma 2k Factorial Experiment

Carrying out a well-planned 2k factorial experiment for Six Sigma is easy — it’s like falling off a log. You just have to roll up your sleeves and get into the scientific trenches. [more…]

How to Create a Six Sigma Control Phase Plan

Six Sigma emphasizes the Control phase and planning for it because previous attempts at improving quality and business performance repeatedly demonstrated that process behavior is complex and fragile and [more…]

What is 5S in Six Sigma?

For Six Sigma, 5S can be invaluable for reducing waste. High-performing processes and workplaces are always characterized by organization and cleanliness. The whole point is to reduce or keep out waste [more…]

How to Mistake Proof with Poka Yoke in Six Sigma

Mistake-proofing, or Poka-Yoke (pronounced POH-kuh YOH-kay) as it’s known in Japan, is an action you take in Six Sigma to remove or significantly lower the opportunity for an error or to make the error [more…]

How to Implement a Control Chart for Six Sigma

The primary SPC tool for Six Sigma is the control chart— a graphical tracking of a process input or an output over time. In the control chart, these tracked measurements are visually compared to decision [more…]

How to Use Control Charts to Keep Six Sigma Improvements on Track

If you apply control charting as a part of your Six Sigma process control plan, you can use the control chart itself to trigger action or to leave things as they are based on what the control chart tells [more…]

Process Intelligence Tools to Interpret Results for Six Sigma

Process intelligence tools give you all the information you need to understand what’s happening with process behavior and performance in a Six Sigma Initiative. These tools are vitally important because [more…]


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