A Brief Introduction To Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma

Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma


It is an approach to deliver error free products by processing data. The term six sigma itself means delivering defect free products. The term was first coined by an engineer of MOTOROLA, Bill Smith. It was registered as a Motorola trademark on 26th Dec, 1993.

Several organizations, companies, businesses, administrations as well as independent individual workers have adopted Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training module of project management. The good thing about Six Sigma is that it changes frequently according the customer needs. Also, the defect rate of Six Sigma is so low that as per reports there is only one defect per 3.4 million cases.


The acronym for DMAIC is DEFINE, MEASURE, ANALYSE, IMPROVE, CONTROL. It is one of the three methodologies for Six Sigma.

These five steps provide a structured and clear outlook into the process for improvement of projects to follow. It can be considered the backbone of Six Sigma, it can also be followed both during training and afterwards in real-life projects.

The first step, DEFINE

The defining phase is all about defining the problem that you are going to tackle. So, it helps you answer certain questions like,

‘What is the problem? ’

‘What impact does the problem holds?’

‘How frequently does the problem takes place?’

‘How the project team would be started?’

‘How the project team would run?’

‘Who are the key stakeholders?’

The second step is, DEFINE

The second phase is all about making sure we can measure the problem and understand the current performance of the process. Before we start trying to improve it. So, we are asking questions such as,

‘How do we measure the problem?’

‘What data we have to collect to measure it?’

‘Is the collected data reliable?’

And finally, ‘What is the current process performance?’

So, the ‘measure’ phase is all about establishing a baseline and this will be particularly useful later on in a project when we want to measure the effect of any process improvements that have been made.

The third step of DMAIC is analyse the analyse phase which is all about understanding what the root cause of the problem is. Six Sigma provides some process based tools that help us to look for which is in the process itself and answer questions such as ‘how does the process actually work and what does our existing knowledge of the process tell us.’

Importantly however Six Sigma also provides some database tools that enable us to look for clues in the data and answer questions such as ‘What does the data say and can we use data to verify that the root cause affects the process output?’

The fourth step is ‘IMPROVE’,

Having established what causes the problem the idea in the improved phase is to develop solutions and implement them, so relevant questions are

‘What are all the possible solutions which ones will work best and when where and how shall we implement the solutions?’

Finally, having completed the process improvements the last step of DMAIC the control phase is all about ensuring that the new improved process is stable and under control and answering questions such as has the project goal being achieved and have the improvements become business as usual. So that’s a quick summary of the DMAIC steps as you can see DMAIC is a simple and logical approach to problem solving and it’s that simplicity that makes it a very powerful methodology that can be applied to a wide range of problems in environments it’s also worth noting that DMAIC is quite an iterative approach so although you will typically follow the DMAIC steps quite rigidly in a training environment when you’re delivering real-life projects the phases will often overlap and indeed you might find yourself going backward and forward a little between the steps as your project progresses. It’s increasingly problematic for businesses to be robust because of international components like regulatory and formal drawbacks and boosted client intentions; however, companies are still under a burden to ascertain operating superiority.

Businesses that endeavour to acquire Six Sigma can expand a big benefit over their adversaries by keeping up in front of problems. Remember: Improvements in the industry are a lasting accomplishment and don’t transpire overnight. Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification is one of the beginner level certifications which aims at providing quality training. The Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training is highly recommended for beginners as well.