Six Sigma project is a formalized methodology which some companies use to measure and delivery quality to their customers.
Companies who participate in Six Sigma programs strive for a statistical goal of six standard deviations between the mean and the closest specification limit for whatever process is being measured.
This translates to a permissible defect or error rate of just 3.4 errors or defects of out of every 1 million "opportunities" to create that error or defect, or a success rate of 99.9997%.
How did Six Sigma originate?
A Motorola Corporation Quality and Reliability engineer by the name of Bill Smith is widely credited with devising the Six Sigma process. He had concluded a study which determined that actual Motorola product failure rates were much higher than had been predicted when the products were designed. The high failure rates translated into additional warranty repair costs for Motorola and decreased customer satisfaction.
Mr. Smith went to Motorola's CEO and convinced him that the company would benefit financially from a formalized methodology which analyzed and controlled quality and reliability processes. This process became what is known as Six Sigma.
Does Six Sigma work?
There are many large and small businesses who have implemented Six Sigma programs successfully. It is reported that the General Electric Corporation saved over $10 billion dollars in the first five years after implementing their Six Sigma program.
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