Six Sigma For Dummies
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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. Six Sigma provides all these things.

Clear value proposition and ROI

Six Sigma is characterized by an unwavering focus on business return on investment (ROI). A Six Sigma project can improve a business characteristic by 70 percent or more, stimulating increased operating margins for businesses while increasing the value those businesses provide to their customers. Six Sigma initiatives and projects have a direct, measurable financial focus and impact.

Top commitment and accountability

A Six Sigma initiative begins at the top. The leadership and management of an organization must actively commit to the Six Sigma initiative, setting performance goals and developing tactical implementation plans. Management team members must be personally accountable for achieving the performance improvement goals they set for their respective organizations and business units.

Customer focus

Six Sigma, through its voice of the customer (VOC) tools, drives business processes through customer requirements. No operational, process, and business improvements can occur without a definitive understanding of who the customers are and what they need, want, and are willing to buy. Six Sigma managers become savvy about the needs and requirements of customers in a way that also enables the business to become stronger and more profitable.

Connected business metrics

Six Sigma is different from other performance improvement approaches in its focus on business financials and measurable operational improvements. To support this focus, the Six Sigma management system must include performance measures that are readily accessible and visible to everyone whose actions or decisions determine performance levels and operational quality. You can read about metrics and measures in Parts II and III.

Process orientation

Six Sigma improves the performance of any business or work process — specifically, how those processes effectively and efficiently transform material and other inputs into the desired outputs. This trait is the focal point of using Six Sigma to improve performance: the design, characterization, optimization, and validation of processes.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Craig Gygi is Executive VP of Operations at MasterControl, a leading company providing software and services for best practices in automating and connecting every stage of quality/regulatory compliance, through the entire product life cycle. He is an operations executive and internationally recognized Lean Six Sigma thought leader and practitioner. Bruce Williams is Vice President of Pegasystems, the world leader in business process management. He is a leading speaker and presenter on business and technology trends, and is co-author of Six Sigma Workbook for Dummies, Process Intelligence for Dummies, BPM Basics for Dummies and The Intelligent Guide to Enterprise BPM. Neil DeCarlo was President of DeCarlo Communications.

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