Reflection on Six Sigma

I think learning the six sigma to improve the processes is the core of the operations management subject. Business processes are the most important part of all the organizations and helps the organizations to achieve the competitive advantage. Six sigma methodologies will help me in studying the processes of any organization in a detailed manner along with the effective tools to measure the key performance indicators of a product or process whose performance must be met in order to satisfy the customer. Also, I believe that Six sigma has the wide application across all the industries from manufacturing, aviation, automobile to even service industries these days. Knowledge of six sigma will really help me in adding the value to the process of the organization and thus help me in contributing to the revenue of the organization. Also, As per six-sigma methodology, if you can’t measure anything, you cannot improve anything. This means once we have identified the processes, measure it and improve it, it will directly help in improving the balance sheet of the company.

There are numerous case studies on how implementing six sigma will drastically improve the profitability of the company by reducing the cost of poor quality. There are famous cases like Toyota, GE, Acme, and Ingersoll Rand that proves the utility of six sigma. I believe six sigma consultants will always be in demand and especially in these challenging times when there are huge pressures in improving the margin and cutting the costs.

Also, as I always aim towards perfection in my personnel and professional life and so is the goal of six sigma. It is aligned with life values and convictions. Also, learning of Six sigma is a wide subject that includes study of mathematical models, software tools, statistical tools, quality improvement tools and that will boost my skill set so that I can serve my organization in a more effective way. Also, being a student of operations management, the focus is always on managing the operations of the company in an effective way by cutting costs. In other words, I believe that employing lean in his approach is very important for any manager so as to get the maximum output from the minimal input. This course will help me in learning the lean techniques also since they are associated closely with six sigma. I am not sure exactly how sig sigma and lean are actually related but as far as I know they are related somehow as employing lean tools like 5S, SMED (Single minute exchange of Dies), work load leveling, value stream mapping helps to improve the processes and process improvement is also one of the stages in Six sigma’s projects using DMAIC methodology. As I introspect, I feel once I grasp these concepts of six sigma, it will boost my career prospects and provide me numerous opportunities.

This course will also introduce me with the different phases of DMAIC methodology in detail.

Define phase will help me to understand voice of the customer and defining the customer requirement. Once requirements are defined, critical to quality outputs like productivity, defect rate% will be defined. This phase will teach me how to define the business problem.

Measurement phase will help to understand the effective tool like SIPOC and value stream mapping to map the business processes. I think business process mapping is very important and splitting the processes into high level processes L1, then adding more details to it L2 and like that will really be useful for me to work in any industry because unless we cannot split the process among all the activities and sub activities, we cannot find out the bottlenecks in the process and thus cannot improve it. After that, Baselining data will also happen in this phase and will help me to understand the various graphical tools and softwares used for this. This phase is critical to decide your sample size, process capability.

Analyze phase will teach me how to convert the business problem into the statistical problem. Using statistics and hypothesis, it is very important to understand how to define the business problem into the statistical problem. Once this is done, there are various hypothesis tests to check the result of our hypothesis. It is very important to use the right test based on your requirement. Selecting the right hypothesis testing is very critical for success of any project and I really want to learn that. Also, there are various softwares like Minitab, statpro used at this stage. Once hypothesis testing is done, the goal is to narrow down the cause of defects. There are various non-statistical tools like Process mapping, Brainstorming, Fish bone diagram to understand and identify cause and relationship. There are also statistical tools available like hypothesis testing, pareto diagram to achieve the same.

Improvement phase will help me to understand the various tools like 5S, pokayoke to improve the processes. This phase directly gives the statistical solution to the statistical problem. Control phase helps me to understand the business solution converted out of the statistical solution and how to maintain it.

In short, I think learning six sigma to improve the business processes will help me to learn numerous tools and techniques involve in the six-sigma methodology and thus boost my career. Also, since this tool can be used in any industry, this will also add flexibility to work in different industry. I really believe that this skill will help me to add the value to the organization I am going to work in future.

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