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### How to Define a Six Sigma Project

When defining a project, you get into the nuts and bolts of Six Sigma. Doing this step right is well worth your time because 50 percent of your project’s success depends on how well it’s defined! [more…]

### Brainstorming Tools for a Six Sigma Initiative

At this point in your Six Sigma project, the intent of your brainstorming is to generate and capture a list of possible factors (the *X*s) that may be influencing the key output [more…]

### Six Sigma Failure Mode Effects Analysis

*Failure mode effects analysis* (FMEA) is a tool you can use in Six Sigma to quantify and prioritize risk within a process, product, or system and then track actions to mitigate that risk. It’s valuable [more…]

### Failure Modes in FMEA for a Six Sigma Initiative

FMEA can be very valuable for identifying failure modes in a Six Sigma Initiative. After scoring the severity of the possible effects, your cross-functional FMEA team brainstorms potential causes of the [more…]

### What is Statistical Distribution in Six Sigma?

*Distribution* is the statistical term that describes the relative likelihood of observing values for a variable factor. When you think of a Six Sigma initiative and the critical performance characteristics [more…]

### How to Construct and Interpret a Multi Vari Chart for a Six Sigma Initiative

You don’t have to wait until your multi-vari data are collected to start creating the multi-vari chart for Six Sigma. Instead, you can build the chart, incrementally, adding more to it as you collect more [more…]

### What is Short Term Variation in Six Sigma?

When enacting a Six Sigma initiative, you will undoubtedly encounter short term variation. Short-term variation is purely random. Like rolling a pair of dice, you can’t predict what the next output value [more…]

### What is Long Term Variation in Six Sigma?

You will need to understand long term variation to launch a successful Six Sigma initiative. When underlying disturbances are added to the natural short-term variation, the overall combination is called [more…]

### How to Create and Interpret Dot Plots and Histograms in a Six Sigma Project

Both dot plots and histograms give you lots of information about the variation of a critical characteristic in a process for a Six Sigma initiative. A [more…]

### How to Create and Interpret Box and Whisker Plots for a Six Sigma Project

Like putting two people back-to-back to see who’s taller, Sigma Six uses *box and whisker plots* (or just *box plots*) to directly compare two or more variation distributions. When you need to compare value [more…]

### How to Draw Correlations from Scatter Plots in Six Sigma Analysis

A scatter plot tells you graphically how two characteristics are related, or *correlated* in a Six Sigma initiative. You can then use this correlation information to explore which factors and outputs affect [more…]

### How to Use the Central Limit Theorem for Six Sigma

What happens when you take repeated samples from the same population? This idea is important when you use the central limit theorem for Six Sigma. Imagine flipping a coin ten times and counting the number [more…]

### How to Use the Confidence Intervals for Six Sigma

Because samples are accessible, samples and confidence intervals are the primary data tool for understanding a business or processing Six Sigma performance situations. But samples can never give you an [more…]

### How to Use the Confidence Intervals for Proportions in Six Sigma

Sometimes in a Six Sigma project, you will be faced with confidence intervals and proportions. When you calculate the number of successes out of a certain number of attempts — like “four out of five dentists [more…]

### What You Should Know about 2^{k} Experimentation for Six Sigma

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2* ^{k}* full factorial experiments give you a powerful jump-start into the world of improvement through DOE for Six Sigma projects. But really, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. As you gain experience, you [more…]

### How to Set Standards for Six Sigma

Taking measures for Six Sigma projects to enable and encourage a process to follow a *standard* — a standard sequence, a standard method of handling, a standard set of equipment settings, and so on — must [more…]

### How to Detect Patterns in Control Charts for Six Sigma

Besides control chart points that lie beyond the control limits in Six Sigma, other visual patterns can tell you that something out of the ordinary is happening to your process. These other patterns also [more…]

### How to Collect Data for Control Charts for Six Sigma

You must collect data for control charts for Six Sigma projects in a way that avoids a distorted or inaccurate view of the process performance — whether overly optimistic or too bleak. Using rational subgroups [more…]

### How to Make Control Charts for Attribute Data for Six Sigma

In Six Sigma initiatives, you can make control charts for attribute data. *Attribute data* is data that can’t fit into a continuous scale but instead is chunked into distinct [more…]

### The Managerial Perspective of Six Sigma

Six Sigma action occurs on two levels: the *managerial* and the *technical.* At the managerial level, a Six Sigma initiative includes many units, people, technologies, projects, schedules, and details to be [more…]

### Management System Orientation for Six Sigma

Six Sigma is so appealing to managers because it delivers business management results. Managers need to see a return on investment, commitment, accountability, transparency, and a clear path to success [more…]

### What is Quality in Six Sigma?

To begin understanding the technical side of Six Sigma, you have to first answer a seemingly straightforward question: What is quality? A traditional and widely held definition of quality is [more…]

### The Six Sigma Perspective on Quality

What’s poor quality really costing your business? Compare the flawed traditional perspective and the Six Sigma perspective on specifications and their relation to quality and costs. Poor quality is detrimental [more…]

### How to Connect Quality to Variation with Six Sigma

Simply changing a company’s belief system — its philosophy — from a goal post quality mentality to a Six Sigma “on target with minimal variation” mentality immediately and naturally begins to alter the [more…]

### How Much Statistical Skill Is Required for Six Sigma?

Solving problems the Six Sigma way requires varying degrees of skill in applied statistics. Solving complex problems requires considerable statistical expertise, but dealing with moderate problems or routine [more…]