How to Implement Six Sigma Methodology Like a Pro?

Six Sigma methodologies is one of today’s most important process improvement methods that improve project management performance. These six sigma methodologies are best for use in project manager jobs that enhance the quality of a project. So, in this article we will discuss six sigma and the process of how to implement six sigma methodology. HAPPY READING!

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What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology developed in the 1980s by a scientist at Motorola. Therefore, Six Sigma practitioners employ statistics, financial analysis, and project management to improve business functioning and quality control by finding and addressing flaws in existing processes.

The Six Sigma Methodology

DMAIC and DMADV are the two basic Six Sigma methods. Each has its own set of procedures that should be implemented for business transformation.


DMAIC is a data-driven strategy for improving existing products or services in order to improve customer satisfaction. It is used in the production of a product or the delivery of a service. It is an abbreviation for the five stages: 

D – Define

M – Measure

A – Analyze

I – Improve

C – Control


DMADV is a component of the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) process that is used to design or redesign various product manufacturing or service delivery processes. It is divided into five phases: 

D – Define

M – Measure

A – Analyze

D – Design

V – Validate

DMADV is used when existing processes, even after optimization, fail to meet client requirements, or when new techniques must be developed. Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts carry it out under the direction of Six Sigma Master Black Belts.

Six Sigma Certification and Belt Positioning

Individuals can earn Six Sigma certification to show their knowledge of the process and their ability to put it into action. These certifications are conferred using a belt system similar to that used in karate. Belt levels are as follows:

  • White belt- Individuals with a white belt have received some training in the fundamentals of Six Sigma but have not yet completed any official training or certification programs. This equips students with sufficient knowledge to function as team members.
  • Yellow belt- This level is obtained over multiple training sessions and provides individuals with the competence to run small projects and support managers with more advanced belts.
  • Green belt- Individuals who reach this level complete a more comprehensive training that prepares them to be project leaders.
  • Black belt- After completing the green belt level so individuals can advance to black belt certification, qualifying them for leadership roles in larger and more complicated projects.

People with black belts can advance to become masters and champions. A master black belt is considered an adept and powerful leader with exceptional problem-solving skills.

The Core Steps to Implement Six Sigma Methodologies

Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) are the five data-driven steps of the Six Sigma Methodology.

1. Define:

The “Define” step attempts to find all relevant facts required to break down a project, problem, or process into tangible, actionable terms. Rather than abstract aims, it emphasizes the concrete, basing process changes in actual, quantifiable, and qualifiable data.

Term examples from the Define stage include:

  • Charter for project scope, including budget, emphasis, and driving motivation
  • Customer feedback (VoC) analysis
  • Value stream diagrams
  • Timeline for the project
2. Measure:

Organizations analyze their current process capabilities during the “Measure” phase. While they recognize the need for improvement and have concretely outlined those improvements in the Define phase, they cannot proceed with tweaking and tailoring adjustments until they have a data-backed baseline.

To put it another way, the Measure phase kicks off two activities:

  • Analyze the existing procedure or activity
  • Use the existing data sets to create a baseline against which process improvement data will be compared
3. Analyze:

The “Analyze” stage evaluates the data collected during the Measure stage to determine the precise underlying causes of process inefficiencies, faults, and discrepancies. In a nutshell, it derives meaning from your data. Analyzation insights begin to build the tangible process changes that your team or business will adopt.

  • Organizations can move on from the Analyze phase once they’ve completed the following tasks:
  • Pareto plots and similar diagrams Six-Sigma-approved data maps track the frequency of an issue.
  • Calculations of potential capability (Cp) and actual capability (Cpk).
  • A formal root cause analysis
4. Improve:

The “Improve” option begins formal action plans to fix the root problems identified by your analyses. Organizations immediately address what they’ve identified as problem root causes, generally using a Design of Experiment plan to isolate distinct variables and co-factors until the underlying hurdle is located.

5. Control:

In the third step, “Control,” Six Sigma teams develop a control plan and implement your new standardized process. So, the control plan outlines better daily workflows that result in crucial business process variables complying to accepted quality control variations.

You may also check: How Does PERT Work? Explained in Simple Terms

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Six Sigma simple to implement?

Six Sigma implementation is a difficult process that does not always produce immediate results. Many elements influence implementation success, including a company’s culture and the passion and conviction of its leadership. Hence, a Six Sigma deployment can fall if the key components are not in place.

2. Can Six Sigma work everywhere?

Six Sigma can be applied everywhere and anytime because it does not require any particular equipment or settings. Six Sigma processes are not constrained by factory size, personnel numbers, or scale of operation.

3. What is the Six Sigma formula?

The most fundamental Six Sigma equation is Y = f(x), where Y is the effect and x are the reasons, so removing the causes removes the effect of the defect.

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