Six sigma is a disciplined methodology for improving organizations' processes, based on rigorous data gathering and analysis. The approach focuses on helping organizations produce products and services better, faster and cheaper by improving the capability of processes to meet customer requirements. Six sigma identifies and eliminates costs, which add no value to customers. Unlike simple cost-cutting programs, however, six sigma delivers cost cuts whilst retaining or improving value to the customer. Six Sigma is a smarter way to manage a business or a department.

Six Sigma puts the customer first and uses facts and data to drive better solutions

Six Sigma efforts target three main areas:
• Improving customer satisfaction

• Reducing cycle time

• Reducing defects

Six Sigma is a total management commitment and philosophy of excellence customer focus, process improvement and the rule of measurement rather than gut feel. Six Sigma is about making every area of the organization better able to meet the changing needs of customers, markets and technologies - with benefits for employees customers and shareholders.

Six Themes of Six Sigma :

Genuine Focus on the Customer : In Six Sigma, customer focus becomes the top priority. For example the measures of Six Sigma performance begin with the customer. Six Sigma improvements are defined by their impact on customer satisfaction and value.

Data and Fact Driven Management: Six Sigma discipline begins by clarifying what measures are key to gauging business performance and then gathers data and analyzes key variables. Then problem can be much more effectively defined ,analyzed and resolved permanently.

Processes are where the Action is: Whether focused on designing products and services, measuring performance, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction or even running the business, Six Sigma positions the process as the key vehicle of success.

Proactive Management : In real world though proactive management means making habits out of what we are, too often, neglected business practices; defining ambitious goals and reviewing them frequently, setting clear priorities, focus on problem prevention rather than firefighting and questioning why we do things instead of blindly defending them.

Boundary less Collaboration: Boundlessness" is one of Jack Welch's mantras for business success. Years before launching Six Sigma, GE's chairman was working to break down barriers and to improve teamwork up, down and across organizational lines. The opportunities available through improved collaboration within companies and with vendors and customers are huge. Billions of dollars are lost every day because of disconnects and outright competition between groups that should be working for a common cause: providing value to customers.

Drive for perfection: Tolerate Failure: No company will get close to Six Sigma without launching new ideas and approaches - which also involves some risk .The techniques for improving performance include a significant dose of risk management so the downside of setbacks or failures is limited. The bottom line though is that any company that makes Six Sigma its goal will have to keep pushing to be ever more perfect while being willing to accept and manage - occasional setback.

Advantages of Six Sigma : Increase understanding of customers but also

- Drivers of satisfaction, loyalty, behavior, market share,
- How are we doing ? How can we stay ahead of competitors ? Increase effectiveness,
- Consistently meet customer requirements,
- Eliminate defects & create delight Enhance efficiency,
- Cut costs due to errors, rework,
- Streamline processes; Maximize use of resources & money Transform Management,
- More informed decisions, greater collaboration & focus,
- Optimize flow of value to customer-& gains to shareholders.

Auteur : Flore Montandon

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