GE: Six Sigma

From GE’s website:

Today’s competitive environment leaves no room for error. We must delight our customers and relentlessly look for new ways to exceed their expectations. This is why Six Sigma Quality has become a part of our culture.

First, What is Six Sigma?

First, what it is not. It is not a secret society, a slogan or a cliche. Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that helps us focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services.

Why “Sigma”? The word is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. The central idea behind Six Sigma is that if you can measure how many “defects” you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to “zero defects” as possible. To achieve Six Sigma Quality, a process must produce no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An “opportunity” is defined as a chance for nonconformance, or not meeting the required specifications. This means we need to be nearly flawless in executing our key processes.

Key Concepts of Six Sigma

At its core, Six Sigma revolves around a few key concepts.

Critical to Quality: Attributes most important to the customer
Defect: Failing to deliver what the customer wants
Process
Capability:
What your process can deliver
Variation: What the customer sees and feels
Stable
Operations:
Ensuring consistent, predictable processes to improve what the customer sees and feels
Design for Six
Sigma:
Designing to meet customer needs and process capability
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