ISO Publishes Six Sigma Improvement Methodology

You may be aware that ISO has published as a two-part ISO standard the Six Sigma methodology.  Six Sigma is a data-driven method for improving business and quality performance.  This system was originally developed by Motorola in 1986 to ameliorate manufacturing processes with the goal of products free of defects (i.e., 3.4 errors per million). Today, the methodology is applied in many sectors of activity by organizations large and small for all types of process and services to:

  • Drive process improvement and make statistically based decisions
  • Measure business results with a level of reliance
  • Prepare for uncertainty
  • Combine high returns and benefits in the short, medium and long-term
  • Remove waste, defects and errors.

We recently purchased the ISO standard and found the information useful for beginners and seasoned professionals.   The standard includes recommendations on best practices and examples including on the roles, expertise and training of personnel involved in such projects.

The new standard, ISO 13053:2011, Quantitative methods in process improvement – Six Sigma, deals exclusively with the application of Six Sigma to ameliorate existing processes and is published in the following two parts:

Part 1: DMAIC methodology, describes the five-phased methodology DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control),

Part 2: Tools and techniques, describes tools and techniques, illustrated by factsheets, to be used at each phase of the DMAIC approach.

Although Six Sigma has existed for some time, bringing its best practice together under an ISO standard helps solidify and consolidate the methodology. The ISO brand is respected and recognized worldwide, and thus provides an added layer of confidence.

Both documents can be applied to all sectors and organizations. You can purchase the standard by your country through the ISO Website. 

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