What is Lean Six Sigma? An organizational perspective

Six Sigma is a rigorous and disciplined process improvement method that uses data and statistical analysis to measure and improve the operational performance of any organization. The Six Sigma methodology was developed by Motorola in 1986. General Electric (GE), led by Jack Welch, embraced Six Sigma in 1995 and reported $12 billion in savings in their first 5 years. After observing GE’s many successes with Six Sigma, other organizations have adopted the six sigma methodology for process improvement.

By using this management methodology, companies could eliminate defects in any process. A process is said to have reached six sigma when it produces 3.4 defects per million opportunities. For a process, a defect is considered anything that falls outside the customer’s specifications.

Six Sigma Methods

There are mainly two methodologies used in Six Sigma, DMAIC and DMADV. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control and is used for existing processes. DMADV is used for new processes and stands for Define, Measure, Analyse, Design and Verify. Each stage of DMAIC and DMADV has different deliverables that must be achieved while executing a process improvement project. DMAIC methodology helps to reduce the variations in a process by identifying the root causes of each problem and solving it by implementing the best solution. The DMADV methodology helps to design a new process after analyzing the customer requirements.

Six Sigma in an organization

An organization usually creates a roadmap for Six Sigma implementation. The roadmap includes infrastructure creation, six sigma project identification, project group selection and six sigma training, project execution and six sigma implementation. Different people in an organization, when involved in six sigma implementation, assume roles and responsibilities as Champions/Sponsors, Process Owners, Master Black Belt, Black Belt, Green Belt, and Yellow Belt. Black belts, green belts and yellow belts would form project teams and carry out six sigma projects.

For the organization, Six Sigma would benefit from reductions in defects (50-90%), waste (10-60%), rework, process cycle times (20-50%), and improvements in quality, production efficiency, productivity (10-20 %). %), customer satisfaction, capacity, profitability and competitive advantage.

Six Sigma has proven to be a successful method of process improvement in industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, banking, finance, insurance, IT, ITES, BPO, KPO, healthcare, pharmaceutical, logistics, shipping and supply chain.


A company or organization can make the most of the Six Sigma methodology by providing the right training and skills to its employees. Employees equipped with Six Sigma expertise and knowledge can solve problems in the best way to increase productivity and spontaneously this will lead an organization to growth and success.