Six Sigma FAQ's
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a methodology that has been in use for over 20 years.
The underlying principles to this program are to identify the root
causes contributing to a defect (material or transactional) and
determining through examination, analysis and experimentation at
what level they should be controlled.
causes = inputs that drive the process or contribute to the defect
Defect = anything that generates a customer concern (internal or
2) What level is a Six Sigma process?
A true six sigma process is one in which defects would occur only
3.4 times in every million opportunities which is referred to as 3.4
PPM. Most companies today are operating in the area of three to four
sigma = 67000 to 6200 PPM.
difference is often referred to as the Cost of Poor Quality which
may mean millions of your sales dollars spent in reworking /
repairing / redoing inside the company and after sales servicing.
3) What will it cost to start a Six Sigma program?
The cost to implementation of a Six Sigma program is based on many
factors. The levels of training (Champion, Black Belt or Green Belt)
and number of candidates that will be receiving the training will
dictate to a large extent the consultant portion cost of the
training program. Also there is the cost of replacing the
individuals (Black Belt level) within your organization. It is
recommended that candidates be chosen from the upper ten to fifteen
percent of your organization.
4) What type of savings are typical?
The average project savings for a Six Sigma program are
approximately $125,000.00. The average Black Belt can be expected to
successfully complete 3 - 4 standard projects per year.
5) What comprises a Six Sigma training program?
The training program is a combination of classroom presentations,
interactive participation in discussions with the candidates and
hands on practice models. This is combined with direct project
related application of the tools learned. Additionally we will
provide on site support for each candidate with their project to
ensure correct tool application and understanding is being
performed. Of course we are always available for email or phone
6) What is required for certification as a Black Belt?
All candidates are required to complete two standard projects prior
to certification. The first project being completed during the
training program. They must also demonstrate understanding and
ability to correctly use the Six Sigma tools and methodology.
7) What happens after training?
The purpose of the training is to provide you with a self sustaining
group of internal consultants able to tackle any problem or process
that is questionable. Our group will be available to provide further
training as requested but eventually you will be self supporting.
8) Will my company achieve the target of 3.4 PPM defects (Six
Six Sigma Performance desires to ensure that the clients and
candidates understand the real goal of a Six Sigma program - defect
reduction with improved processes. Although the goal of having a Six
Sigma process is achievable we also stress the Return on Investment
portion for the candidates. They must understand at what point
achievable and sustainable improvements have been optimized with
respect to costs of improvements.
9) How do I know which processes my company or organization should
target for improved sigma levels?
considering which processes—from administrative paperwork to a stop
on the production line—concern your customers the most and place
your priorities there. Every process may not require immediate
improvement. For example, a hospital might learn from surveys that
their customers care less about the time it takes to be admitted
than they do about safe medical procedures and proper medications.
10) Who has been successful with Six Sigma?
The most publicized company with Six Sigma successes has been
General Electric. In their first two years of deployment G.E. has
saved nearly $900 million with savings to date over $1 billion. The
person most responsible for promoting Six Sigma in G.E. was Jack
companies that have great success in Six Sigma programs are Navistar
(International Truck), Allied Signal, Motorola, U.S. Postal Service,
Honeywell, Nokia, Ford, Allied Signal, Gencorp and Maytag.