ix Sigma is best described as a journey—a journey for business professionals who are truly committed to improving productivity and profitability. Six Sigma isn’t theoretical; it’s an active, hands-on practice that gets results. In short, you don’t contemplate Six Sigma; you do it. And doing it has proven to be the fast track to vastly improving the bottom line. The Six Sigmastory began in the 1980s at Motorola, where it was first developed and proven. In 1983, reliability engineer Bill Smith concluded that if a product was defective and corrected during production, then other defects were probably being missed and later found by customers. In other words, process failure rates were much higher than indicated by final product tests. His point? If products were assembledcompletely free of defects, they probably wouldn’t fail customers later. This is where Six Sigma took off. Mikel Harry, Ph.D., the founder of the Motorola Six Sigma Research Institute, further refined the methodology, to not only eliminate process waste, but also turn it into growth currency—regardless of the specific type of service, product, or market sector. The rest, as they say, is history.Six Sigma statistically measures and reflects true process capability, correlating to such characteristics as defects per unit and probabilities of success or failure. Its value is in transforming cultural outlooks from complacency to accomplishment across the spectrum of industry. Most companies function at four sigma—tolerating 6,210 defects per one million opportunities. Operating at six sigmacreates an almost defect-free environment, allowing only 3.4
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Preface 1. What Is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma Defined and Explained Essentials of the Six Sigma Methodology Focus on Engaging People and Changing Processes Not Just Statistics, but CulturalChanges Six Sigma Applied What Six Sigma Is Not Manager’s Checklist for Chapter 1
2 7 9 11 13 18 20
2. Why Do Six Sigma?
Money Customer Satisfaction Quality Impact on Employees Growth Competitive Advantages Are You and Your Company Ready? The Correlation Between Quality and Cost Manager’s Checklist for Chapter 2
22 23 29 30 31 32 32 34 35
3. Setting Business Metrics
A LittleStatistics Criteria for Business Metrics What Is the Cost of Poor Quality? Financial Linkage of Metrics and Results Keeping Your Process Capability Manager’s Checklist for Chapter 3
38 44 52 52 60 61
Other titles in the Briefcase Books series include:
Customer Relationship Management by KristinAnderson and Carol Kerr Communicating Effectively by Lani Arredondo Performance Management by Robert Bacal Recognizing and Rewarding Employees by R. Brayton Bowen Motivating Employees by Anne Bruce and James S. Pepitone Leadership Skills for Managers by Marlene Caroselli Negotiating Skills for Managers by Steven P. Cohen Effective Coaching by Marshall J. Cook Conflict Resolution by Daniel Dana ProjectManagement by Gary R. Heerkens Managing Teams by Lawrence Holpp Hiring Great People by Kevin C. Klinvex, Matthew S. O’Connell, and Christopher P. Klinvex Empowering Employees by Kenneth L. Murrell and Mimi Meredith Managing Multiple Projects by Michael Tobis and Irene P. Tobis Presentation Skills for Managers, by Jennifer Rotondo and Mike Rotondo The Manager’s Guide to Business Writing by SuzanneD. Sparks Skills for New Managers by Morey Stettner
To learn more about titles in the Briefcase Books series go to
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Six Sigma for Managers
What Is Six Sigma?
Knowledge is power. —Francis Bacon...