Motorola's Six-Sigma Methodology

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Six Sigma is a world renowned management methodology within the Business and Manufacturing world. Six Sigma’s central ethos is to systematically reduce the number of defects and ultimately rejects that can occur in the manufacturing process. Acknowledged by many Quality Improvement experts as the most favoured management methodology in recent history, Six Sigma has become an industry standard in its 29 year existence. As Six Sigma has become so widespread throughout the global Quality Improvement sector it has become an industry in its own right with training and consultancy firms being set up to help implement Six Sigma within individual corporations. Due to Six Sigma’s success it has become a symbol of business prosperity with Six Sigma being…show more content…
Depending on what view you have, Six Sigma can mean different things to different people but for the purpose of this essay I will describe Six Sigma as a methodology used to reduce the number of defects within a process. Fundamentally Six Sigma is a measure of the number of defects that are produced in a given operation. According to Motorola University, Motorola’s Six Sigma training & consultancy division, there are three ways to imagine about Six Sigma. They are as a metric, as a methodology and as a management system.
1. Six Sigma used as a metric: A metric is a measure used to track and assess the status of an individual process. Due to this Six Sigma can be classed as a business metric as it is a scale typically used to determine the quality of a product using DPMOs or Defects Per Million
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Six Sigma as a management: If an organisation is to fully implement Six Sigma successfully into its activities, the organisation in question must align its business strategy to complement the Six Sigma way of approaching problems. Also ensure that projects are carried out in an appropriate manner and that the organisation’s goals are set and achieved, for example increasing efficiency & profits. Six Sigma management is focused on continual improvement and striving for business perfection or as close to perfection as is possible.

Six Sigma methodology is not concerned with the number of defective parts within a product but it is concerned with the number of defective opportunities. A defective opportunity is any possible defect that can occur which could negatively affect the customer. Taking into account that defective opportunities can be a very high number. The Motorola Engineers decided that DPMO or Defects Per Million Opportunities would be a sufficient way to determine the quality of a product. The Engineers at Motorola Inc. in the 1980’s devised a scale that would give meaning to the DPMO numbers;
Six Sigma = 3.4 DPMO, or 99.9997% defect-free.
Five Sigma = 233 DPMO, or 99.98%
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