In Six Sigma, there are three levels of deployment: as a statistical tool, as a process for improving processes, and as a philosophy in the organization.
1. Six Sigma as a Tool
When Six Sigma is used as a tool, the focus is on reducing variation and bringing down the defect level to 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). This level of deployment is typically the starting point for implementing Six Sigma.
2. Six Sigma as a Process
When it is used as a process, the focus shifts to improving processes and increasing efficiency. Using Six Sigma as a process involves using the DMAIC method, which consists of five phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. In the Define phase, the problem is identified and defined. In the Measure phase, the current performance is measured, and data is collected. The collected data is analyzed in the Analyze phase to understand the problem. In the Improve phase, changes are made to the process based on the analysis. Controls are put in place in the Control phase to ensure sustained improvements.
3. Six Sigma as a Philosophy
Finally, when Six Sigma is used as a philosophy, it is integrated into the organization's overall culture to improve processes and achieve near-perfect performance continuously. This requires the involvement and buy-in of all levels of the organization, from top management to front-line employees.
By implementing Six Sigma, organizations can improve their processes and increase efficiency, increasing customer satisfaction and profitability.