What is Six Sigma?

Linking methodology, tools and project management!

Six Sigma is a structured method for improving business processes in all areas of a company. Six Sigma is clearly results-driven with the simultaneous and permanent goal of maximising business success and customer satisfaction. The effectiveness of Six Sigma is reflected in the processing of improvement projects. Six Sigma projects are processed according to the following 5-step structure. As a result, processes should be designed in such a way that the resulting products and services have a high level of freedom from defects. Realisation: High process quality leads to low total costs and thus to favourable prices by avoiding error costs. Maximum reliability is achieved - this is also referred to as Six Sigma process capability. In this way, customers and suppliers achieve simple and problem-free order and process handling and save money on unnecessary administrative expenses.

The Six Sigma method can be described with the following characteristics:

  • Precisely structured procedure, thus easy to learn and with simple success control
  • Approach always based on data, facts, measurements
  • Process-oriented approach to eliminate and prevent quality problems and waste caused by errors of any kind
  • Suitability for all business processes, although often first used in production, already starting in the development and design phase
  • Possibility to escape the cost squeeze resulting from constantly growing quality expectations of customers and often subsequent increases in process costs

Properly applied, Six Sigma works like:

  • Implementation programme to save significant quality and process costs.
  • Means of increasing customer satisfaction and thus as a driver for generating growth also important for reducing risk in the development phase of new products.
  • Dynamic producers of new knowledge as opposed to previously frequent possession of static and partially outdated experience.
  • Groundwork for existing management methods (such as DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 or ISO/TS 16949) through a structured set of methods for operational implementation.

Six Sigma projects run in distinctly structured
phases, the DMAIC cycle.

D         Define         The existing process is described with data, facts and objectives.
M Measure In the measure phase, the concrete performance of the existing process is determined. An essential part is the testing and, if necessary, the improvement of the measurement systems.
A Analyze The real, even deeper causes of the problem are to be found; as well as the effect of the partly mutually influencing input variables.
I Improve This phase is about eliminating the causes that have been proven in the analysis phase to lead to the existing problems. The solutions identified are implemented and the success of the measures must be demonstrated.
C Control The improvements achieved are to be proven, monitored and ensured in the long-term. The project is concluded with a documentation.


Would you like ...

  • to learn more about Six Sigma training levels,
  • run a Six Sigma project and learn how to use the tools,
  • or get coaching as part of your current projects?

Then you've come to the right place!