The Power of One Sigma


Six Sigma is a quality improvement program that gets its name from the concept of 99.9997% quality. In statistics, each sigma represents the statistical measure of 1 standard deviation from the mean in a range of outcomes. Six sigma translates into no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

It is often related to (and sometimes conflated with) the concept of “Lean”, which was coined to describe Toyota’s manufacturing practices during the late 1980s, when their  level of consistent quality was noticeably superior to much of what was coming out of Detroit at the time. Lean focuses on improving efficiencies by reducing waste through standardization and elimination of non-value-added efforts. Six Sigma, developed by Motorola and widely popularized by GE and others, focuses on improving quality by reducing process variation and using detailed measurement and statistical analysis. The two are often used in tandem in Lean Six Sigma programs.

Striving for this kind…



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