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Six Sigma History:
Six Sigma is a business management strategy originally developed by Motorola, USA in 1981.  Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.  It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization ("Black Belts", "Green Belts", etc.) who are experts in these methods.

Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has quantified targets.  These targets can be financial (cost reduction or profit increase) or whatever is critical to the customer of that process (cycle time, safety, delivery, etc.).

Six Sigma originated as a set of practices designed to improve manufacturing processes and eliminate defects, but its application was subsequently extended to other types of business processes as well.  In Six Sigma, a defect is defined as any process output that does not meet customer specifications, or that could lead to creating an output that does not meet customer specifications.  Six Sigma projects follow two project methodologies inspired by DemingĀ“s Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle.  These methodologies, comprising five phases each, bear the acronyms:
- DMAIC is used for projects aimed at improving an existing business process
- DMADV is used for projects aimed at creating new product or process designs.

Advantages and Benefits of Six Sigma:
Among the benefits of six sigma is the decrease in defects that are allowed to reach the customer, beside:
- Focus on customers
- Improved customer loyalty
- Reduced cycle time
- Less waste
- Data based decisions
- Time management
- Sustained gains and improvements
- Systematic problem solving
- Employee motivation
- Data analysis before decision making
- Faster to market
- Team building
- Improved customer relations
- Assure strategic planning
- Reductions of incidents
- Measure value according to the customer
- Better safety performance
- Understanding of processes
- Effective supply chain management
- Design and redesign products/services
- Knowledge of competition, competitors
- Develop leadership skills
- Breakdown barriers between departments and functions
- Management training
- Improve presentation skills
- Integration of products, services and distribution
- Use of standard operating procedures
- Better decision making
- Improving project management skills
- Sustained improvements
- Alignment with strategy vision, and values
- Increased margins
- Greater market share
- Supervisor training
- Lower costs to provide goods and services
- Fewer customer complaints

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