Your Complete Guide to Six Sigma Methodology

Six Sigma is currently one of the most widely used methods for process optimization. It offers a set of standards that businesses must follow in order to reduce operational waste and redundancy, and subsequently eliminate errors, defects, and waste.

Six Sigma practitioners employed a basic approach to DMAIC. To find the deviations and rectify the issues, six sigma uses a variety of methods. To optimize and enhance corporate processes, six sigma's data-driven management process is employed. Strong client focus and solid utilization of data and statistics to draw a conclusion make up the underlying structure.

Business transformation process by Six Sigma

DMAIC methodologies have five phases, and each phase of business transformation consists of a number of steps −


Beginning with the Six Sigma process, a customer-centric approach is adopted.

Step 1 − The business issue is described from a customer's point of view.

Step 2 − Set objectives, what do you want to achieve? What instruments will you use to achieve the goals?

Step 3 − Diagram the procedure. Confirm with the stakeholders that you are moving in the right direction.


The metrics and measurement equipment for the project are the primary subjects of the second phase. How could you improve? How would you evaluate that?

Step 1 − Quantify or provide statistics to support your problem.

Step 2 − Establish the performance yardstick. Resolve the "Y" limit ranges.

Step 3 − Evaluate the suggested measurement method. Can it assist you in achieving your goal?


The third step studies the process to find the contributing elements.

Step 1 − Analyze the efficacy and efficiency of your procedure. Do you feel the process helps you reach your objectives?

Step 2 − In this, you have to give your goals a numerical value. Take a 20% reduction in defective items, for instance.

Step 3 − Utilize historical information to spot changes.


This process examines how changes to "X" impact "Y." You will determine ways to improve the process implementation at this level.

Step 1 − List the possible reasons. Conduct a test to identify which of the "X" components from Process III has an effect on "Y."

Step 2 − Find out how the variables are related.

Step 3 − Determine the process tolerance, which is the precise range of values that specific variables, such as the quality of a given product, can have while still falling within acceptable limits. Which limits are required for X to keep Y within limits? What features of the procedure could affect the outcome? Tools like validation sets and robust optimization can be utilized to attain process tolerances.


The effectiveness with which the performance objective identified in the earlier stage has been implemented is evaluated in this final stage, and the sustainability of the indicated improvements is examined.

Step 1 − Validate the measurement system you plan to employ.

Step 2 − Identify the capabilities of the process. Is the goal being attained? Will the goal of a 20% decrease in defective goods, for instance, be achieved?

Step 3 − Start implementing the six sigma method when the previous step has been executed.

Six Sigma Techniques

The Six Sigma strategy integrates a number of statistics and data analysis tools, including process design and mapping, as well as tried-and-true qualitative and quantitative techniques, in order to deliver the desired outcomes.


The DMAIC methodology's brainstorming phase is frequently employed since it is the fundamental stage in all problem-solving techniques. This process needs to be finished before anyone utilizes any tools. Brainstorming involves exchanging ideas and developing novel solutions to issues through protracted, unstructured group discussions. A lead Black Belt or Green Belt often serves as the facilitator who oversees the open session with the attendees.

The Five Whys and Root Cause Analysis

This technique is used to find the root causes of the problems being researched during the "analyze" phase of the DMAIC cycle.

The five-whys approach involves asking "why" questions repeatedly until the primary issue is revealed. Despite the fact that "five" is a general recommendation, the actual number of queries may be higher or lower depending on the degree of clarity required.

The Customer's Voice

This is the process used to gather the "voice of the customer" or customer feedback from both internal and external sources. The technique aims to provide the greatest products and services to the customer. It records the changing needs of the client through both direct and indirect methods. The voice of the customer technique is used in the DMAIC approach's "define" step to help further identify the problem that needs to be solved.

Five-S System

The technique's inspiration comes from the Japanese idea of workplace energy. The 5S System strives to eliminate waste and bottlenecks in the workplace that are brought on by inefficient resources, tools, or equipment. The five processes used are Seiri (sort), Seiton (set in order), Seiso (shine), Seiketsu (standardize), and Shitsuke (sustain).

Kaizen, Continuous Improvement.

The kaizen technique is a strong strategy that fuels an ongoing engine of organizational progress. The approach includes ongoing evaluation, identification of improvements, and implementation. Industries benefit greatly from this approach. Waste is reduced as a result of ongoing, communal improvements, and any time even the tiniest inefficiency is noticed, changes are immediately made.


A process called benchmarking makes use of a predetermined nit of measurement. Comparisons with other businesses are done in order to provide a neutral view of the existing condition. Benchmarking activities include internal comparisons, functional benchmarking, functional comparisons of similar work areas or functions with industry leaders, and comparisons of comparable goods and services with those of competitors (competitive benchmarking).

Poka-yoke, Mistake Proofing

The term "to avoid errors" refers to lessening the possibility that mistakes would be committed, and it is the source of the name of this strategy. Workers identify and get rid of various human faults and inefficiencies in processes using the poka-yoke technique.

Mapping Value Streams

The value stream mapping technique maps the current flow of materials and information to plan a future project. Processes are to be made more efficient, and waste and inefficiencies in the value chain are to be removed. It covers seven different trash kinds and three distinct rubbish collection services.

Six Sigma Levels

The various stages of Six Sigma training correspond to established requirements, including educational requirements and employment norms.

White Belt

This is the easiest stage and includes the following requisites −

  • It is open to newcomers.

  • Problem-solving tasks include group work

  • The participant must be able to comprehend the fundamental ideas of Six Sigma.

Yellow Belt

The participant here needs to −

  • participate as a team member on a project.

  • examine procedural upgrades.

  • gain knowledge of DMAIC and other approaches.

Green Belt

The following requirements are necessary for this level of expertise −

  • Three years or more of continuous employment.

  • Recognize the methods and resources at your disposal for solving problems.

  • practical experience working on initiatives that involve some sort of business transformation.

  • advice on obtaining and analyzing data for Black Belt initiatives.

  • In charge of Green Belt teams or projects.

Black Belt

The following are included at this level −

  • Three years at least of full-time work

  • working knowledge of a fundamental subject

  • proof of finishing at least two Six Sigma projects

  • Expertise in using multivariate analytics in a variety of business change scenarios

  • Directing varied teams through projects to solve problems.

  • Project team coaching and training.

Master Black Belt

In order to get to this level, an applicant must −

  • own a Black Belt certification

  • A minimum of five years of full-time employment, or have Proof of finishing at least 10 Six Sigma projects

  • Have a demonstrated job history and individual criteria, such as those listed here, for example.

  • You have trained and coached Black Belts and Green Belts.

  • Make critical calculations and plans.

  • possess prior experience serving as a Six Sigma technician and internal business transformation advisor for an enterprise.


Learning Six Sigma can help you advance your career potential regardless of whether you have a degree in any subject, are an engineer, or are an MBA professional. Begin with a Green Belt and work your way up to a Master Black Belt to get a higher wage.

Updated on: 19-Jan-2023


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