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Problem Solving

Six Sigma Training as a Survival Strategy

Akhil Shahani asked:

Necessity is the mother of invention! A classic example is Motorola, the originator of Six Sigma. The need for survival created the winning strategy for Motorola through Six Sigma. Motorola is now known as a quality leader worldwide and credited with starting the Six Sigma revolution. Today, that concept is hotter than ever.

Six Sigma is a tactic to manage process variations that cause defects, and systematically working towards restricting them to below 3.4 per one million opportunities. It is a proven concept and has saved organizations millions of dollars without entailing capital investment! Six Sigma is more of a business philosophy, with a focus on delivering world-class performance, reliability and value to the end customer to generate business results.

Such tough quality measures call for intensive preparation. Six Sigma training is therefore very important. It also offers remarkable financial opportunities for corporations, many of which have developed their own Six Sigma training institutes. Realizing that the demand could not be met by companies by themselves, many training institutes and universities have come forward to develop Six Sigma training courses,

Take a look at what a comprehensive training program should include:

Implementing the DMAIC process – Includes complete training on implementation of the Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) performance improvement model. It is explained further:

– Define the goals of the improvement activity. Goals could be at the strategic, operations, or project level.

– Measure the existing system by reliable metrics to monitor progress towards goals.

– Analyze the system to identify ways to eliminate the gap between the current performance of the system or process and the desired goal.

– Improve the system by innovating and finding new ways to do things better, cheaper or faster.

– Control the new system by modifying existing compensation and incentive structures, policies, procedures etc. You can also make use of standards such as ISO 9000 to ensure that documentation is correct.

Defining key roles – Every employee in the organization plays a critical role in implementing Six Sigma. Therefore, Six Sigma training should focus on understanding the key elements of every employee’s role. Also, communicate well with the employees so that they understand their part better.

Identifying potential areas of improving work – Six Sigma training should lay stress on streamlining work processes and sticking with core competencies. It should identify and develop breakthrough processes through root cause analysis and crisis management. This will also help in developing flexible management abilities.

Implementing cross training – While deploying Six Sigma methodologies, place more emphasis on team-based approaches. Interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to transfer domain knowledge are qualities which employees should absorb.

Training in statistics – Six Sigma methodologies involve problem-solving tools which are statistical in nature. Hence, Six Sigma training should include modules on the use of statistical tools. Six Sigma training techniques presume that participants do not necessarily have formal training in statistics.

Presenting and closing techniques – Everyone should be trained on how to make presentations to the management and other decision makers. Six Sigma training should also include appropriate closing tactics in situations such as the conclusion or abandonment of a project.

Visit to find Six Sigma resources, right from training to conferences. Another site, provides six sigma online training in affiliation with provides technology, testing and certification facilities for the Six Sigma engineering training programs offered by the Ira Fulton School of Engineering at ASU. For reading purposes, pick up ‘Six Sigma Execution: How the World’s Greatest Companies Live and Breathe Six Sigma”

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