What is Six Sigma?

By: Susanne Rothschild

Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process focused on satisfying customers by delivering nearly perfect products and services. In today’s competitive market, consistently maintaining satisfied customers is essential to growth and success. Major corporations such as GE, Motorola, Honeywell and Ford, have demonstrated significant savings and increased profits by implementing Six Sigma processes in their business.

The Six Sigma process gets its name from the way it measures perfection – the absence of defects in the products and services. A defect is failing to deliver what the customer wants. Here is a sample of Six Sigma metrics:

  • One Sigma: 690,000 defects per million opportunities
  • Two Sigma: 308,733 defects per million opportunities
  • Three Sigma: 66,803 defects per million opportunities
  • 3.5 Sigma: Average level of perfection – around 30,000 defects per million opportunities
  • Six Sigma: 3.4 defects per million opportunities
  • Difference between Two & Six Sigma: 25 misspelled words per page in a book vs. 1 misspelled word in all the books of a small library

Six Sigma is not a “get rich quick” methodology. Instead, Six Sigma is a way to get rich by performing properly and consistently. Realistically, a company shouldn’t expect more than a breakeven the first year of implementation. The bigger profits follow with consistently following the improved processes. The structured problem-solving methodology follows the DMAIC process that includes these steps:

  • Define the project goals & customer deliverables
  • Measure the process to determine current performance
  • Analyze and determine causes of defects
  • Improve the process by eliminating causes
  • Control future process performance

Six Sigma training is ideal for program managers, project managers, operations managers, business unit managers, engineers, customer service, or anyone that wants to improve their business. The training prepares you to

  • Work with and understand customer requirements
  • Enhance the capability of processes to exceed customer expectations
  • Identify projects and select project team members
  • Work with sponsors to develop a Six Sigma deployment strategy
  • Act as an internal consultant
  • Lead Six Sigma projects
  • Train/mentor/coach project teams
  • Act as a catalyst for process improvement and best practices
  • Provide teams with ongoing support and leadership
  • Report and effectively communicate to project sponsor
  • Provide feedback to management

For more information, contact Susanne Rothschild, Consultant, Instructor, and Coach,

Copyright 2005, The Rothschild Corporation. All rights reserved.

Susanne Rothschild, The Rothschild Corporation Houston, TX 77069

Management / Organizational Consultant with extensive domestic and international experience in strategic human performance consulting helping organizations realize bottom line results aligned with business objectives.