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Six sigma is a highly disciplined process that helps an organization to focus on developing and performing nearperfect products and Services. Six Sigma is a rigorous, focused, and highly effective implementation of proven
quality principles and techniques. Incorporating elements from the work of many quality pioneers, Six Sigma aims
for virtually error-free business performance. Sigma, , is a letter in the Greek alphabet used by statisticians to
measure the variability in any process. A companys performance is measured by the sigma level of their business
processes. Traditionally companies accepted three or four sigma performance levels as the norm, despite the fact
that these processes created between 6,200 and 67,000 problems per million opportunities! The Six Sigma standard
of 3.4 Defects-per-million opportunities (DPMO) is a response to the increasing expectations of customers and the
increased complexity of modern products and processes. Despite its name, Six Sigmas magic isnt in statistical or
high-tech razzle-dazzle. Six Sigma relies on tried and true methods that have been used for decades. By some
measures, Six Sigma discards a great deal of the complexity that characterized Total Quality Management (TQM).
Six Sigma takes a handful of proven methods and trains a small cadre of in-house technical leaders, known as Six
Sigma Black Belts, to a high level of proficiency in the application of these techniques. To be sure, some of the
methods Black Belts use are highly advanced, including up-to-date computer technology.

Six Sigma projects follow two project methodologies inspired by Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle. These
methodologies, composed of five phases each, bear the acronyms DMAIC and DMADV. DMAIC is used for
projects aimed at improving an existing business process. DMADV is used for projects aimed at creating new
product or process designs.

DMAIC: The DMAIC project methodology has five phases:

Define the problem, the voice of the customer, and the project goals, specifically.
Measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data.
Analyze the data to investigate and verify cause-and-effect relationships. Determine what the relationships are,
and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered. Seek out root cause of the defect under
Improve or optimize the current process based upon data analysis using techniques such as design of
experiments, poka yoke or mistake proofing, and standard work to create a new, future state process. Set up
pilot runs to establish process capability.
Control the future state process to ensure that any deviations from target are corrected before they result in
defects. Implement control systems such as statistical process control, production boards, visual workplaces,
and continuously monitor the process.

DMADV or DFSS: The DMADV project methodology, also known as DFSS ("Design For Six Sigma"),
features five phases:

Define design goals that are consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy.
Measure and identify CTQs (characteristics that are Critical To Quality), product capabilities, production
process capability, and risks.
Analyze to develop and design alternatives, create a high-level design and evaluate design capability to select
the best design.
Design details, optimize the design, and plan for design verification. This phase may require simulations.
Verify the design, set up pilot runs, implement the production process and hand it over to the process owner(s).


Critical Components
of Six Sigmaa

Rigorous metho
Foocuses on errorr reduction through value-addded activities and
a streamlinedd processes.
of statistical
analyysis tools to ideentify root causses (not just syymptoms).
metric an
nd customer drriven with meaasurements of process
capabillity, performannce, variation and
mplements con
ntrol mechanism
ms to ensure suustainability off results.
hilosophy and strategy.
change and engrainedd philosophy.

Historicaal overview
The core of
o Six Sigma was born at
a Motorola in the 1970s ouut of senior exxecutive Art Sundry's
criticiism of
Motorolass bad quality. As a result off this criticism
m, the companyy discovered a connection between
increaases in
quality andd decreases in costs of producction. At that time,
the prevaailing view wass that quality costs
extra monney. In
fact, it redduced total costts by driving down
the costss for repair or control. Bill Smith
subsequently formulatted the
particulars of the method
dology at Mottorola in 1986. Six Sigma was
w heavily insspired by the quality
x preceding deccades, such as quality control, TQM, and Zero
Defects, based
on the work
methodoloogies of the six
pioneers suuch as Shewhaart, Deming, Juuran, Ishikawa, Taguchi and others.
Six Sigm
ma is a registerred service mark and
trademark of Motorola In
nc. As of 2006 Motorola repoorted over US$$17 billion in saavings from Siix Sigma.
some praactitioners havee combined Sixx Sigma ideas with
w lean manuufacturing to create
a methoddology
In recent years,
named Leaan Six Sigma. The Lean Six Sigma methoddology views leean manufactuuring, which adddresses processs flow
and waste issues, and Siix Sigma, withh its focus on variation andd design, as coomplementary disciplines aim
med at
promoting "business an
nd operationall excellence". Companies such
as IBM
M use Lean Six
S Sigma to focus
ot just on efficiiency but also on growth. It serves as a fouundation for innnovation throuughout
transformaation efforts no
the organizzation, from manufacturing and
a software deevelopment to sales and serviice delivery funnctions.

a numbeer of manufactturing and serrvice companiees have realizeed that Six Siggma Methodology is
In recent years,
flexible ennough to be ap
pplied throughout all businesss functions. Examples
of Six
S Sigma appllications in diffferent
functional areas other thaan manufacturiing operations are discussed next.

Sales and
d Marketin
In recent years,
several companies
havve considered using
Six Sigm
ma to improve marketing
proccesses. For exaample,
the marketting and sales organizations
a GE and Dow
w have been ussing Six Sigmaa for new produuct developmeent and
customer support
to redu
uce costs, imprrove performannce, and increaase profitabilityy. Other comppanies use Six Sigma
in marketinng and sales as
a a road map to capture marrket data and competitive
inttelligence that will enable thhem to
create prodducts and services that meet customers


Accounting and Finance

The Six Sigma Methodology has made its way into the accounting function and has contributed to reduced errors in
invoice processing, reduction in cycle time, and optimized cash flow. The accounting department at a healthcare
insurance provider, for instance, developed an applied Six Sigma Methodology to improve account withdrawal
accuracy. Prior to Six Sigma implementation, rectifying an error in the billing process involved a number of
reconciliation checkpoints and manual workflow, which resulted in 60% of customer accounts being charged less
than the amount due and about 40% being overcharged. After Six Sigma implementation, the defect rate reached
near zero and cycle times were reduced from two weeks to three days. The U.S. Coast Guard Finance Center used
Six Sigma to create a new standardized process for accounts payable services, which improved customer satisfaction
levels. A number of companies have applied Six Sigma to the finance process to reduce variability in cycle times,
error rates, costs, days to pay of accounts payable, and improve employees productivity ratios. Other companies
have used Six Sigma to reduce the cycle time of the quarterly financial reporting process and to reduce the time
needed to close books, reduce variability in financial reporting, improve shareholder value, and increase the
accuracy of the finance process.

Six Sigma Practices in Bangladesh and future opportunities:

Six sigma is the methodology or process which can be used in both product manufacturing and any service
industries to make its output nearly error free. In case of service industry it is all about providing faultless services to
the customers and thereby ensuring better customer experience. Though our neighbor country India is using it in
many manufacturing and service industries since decades, but still very few organizations in Bangladesh used this
quality control mechanism. Dabbawala, a Mumbai based homemade food delivery organization that delivers lunch boxes to
the offices located at various locations of one of the most populated cities of the world, is a six sigma company. Dabbawallas
error rate is one out of a million, even though most of their delivery boys are illiterate. Very recently two telecom

organizations of Bangladesh started using six Sigma method to modify and simplify all of its processes to ensure
better customer experience. One of the leading telecom operator started creating yellow belts, green belts and black
belts to create expertise on the employees to ensure better customer satisfaction, to simplify processes and to reduce
lead times on service delivery. Though for manufacturing industries six sigma or lean six sigma can be very
effective tools for reducing manufacturing defects and simplify processes, but in Bangladesh very few organizations
are yet to use this methodology. In other service related industries of Bangladesh can use this process to give
customers more satisfactory experience. Garments industry in this country can easily introduce this method to
ensure Buyers reliability.

Special Focus on Garments Industry:

In Bangladesh most of the garments factories uses different tools for quality management but not in organized way.
They use different tools on need basis. 4-point system is being used for inspecting fabrics of garments. Most of the
buyers are importing garments with AQL (Acceptable level) 2.5. Most of the manufacturers are doing inspection
during the manufacturing process of garments. Other tests such as shrinkage tests, color fastness tests, azo free tests
are done according to the buyers requirement.
A garment production process faces numerous kinds of problems leading to quality defects and subsequent
alterations and rejections of the product. The Six-Sigma methodology is a structured program for improving garment
quality through Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) methods. DMAIC phases consist of the
following steps:
Define: This is the first phase of the process improvement effort. During this phase, the Six-Sigma project is
defined. Planning for the garment production and collection of information pertaining to the customer requirements
is done.
Measure: In this phase the key internal processes that influence critical to quality (CTQ) are identified and the
garment defects are measured.
Analyze: This phase involves the data analysis for identification of parts of process which affect the quality of the
garment. There are a number of statistical tools available such as Hypothesis Testing, Regression Analysis and
historical Design of PFMEA, Box Plot, ANOVA, Correlation, Regression.
Improve: This phase finds a permanent solution to the problem. This may involve better forecasting, better
scheduling, better procedures or equipment.


Control: In this phase, tools are used to ensure that the key variables remain within the maximum permissible
ranges continuously.
Currently there are analytic software for Six-Sigma programs those provide all necessary data management,
analysis, and graphics capabilities to determine the most important factors, and perform data-driven decisionmaking.

Since People, Process and tools are most important features of an organization. Six Sigma is the Process that uses
modern statistical tools to ensure the expertise of the People (Belts) for the overall benefit of the organization. In
Bangladesh most of the organizations uses Quality management tools but not in organized ways. Many of the
organizations have some sort of certifications from different international certifying agents. But six sigma, though a
well recognized methodology, still not in use in Bangladesh. Where, for most of the industries it is easily applicable
and will be advantageous. Currently only two telecom giants started using this method. Some of the multinational
manufacturing organizations are using it since the mother concern is practicing it for their worldwide concerns.
Garments industry, Telecom Industry, Banking Industry, all the manufacturing industries, FMCG Industry,
Pharmaceutical industries, Hospitals, Educational Institutes and all other service industries can easily implement this
methodology and enjoy its advantages.


The Six Sigma Handbook, Third Edition 2010, A complete Guide for Green Belts, Black Belts and Managers at all
levels by Thomas Pyzdek & Paul Keller. The McGraw-Hills Companies,Inc.
2. Jurans Quality Handbook, Fifth Edition, Josheph M. Juran, A Blanton Godfrey, 1999, The McGraw-Hills
5. Application of Six-Sigma in finance: a case study; Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics by A.
Ansari, Diane Lockwood, Jessie Nino, (Seattle University) and Emil Thies, Batoul Modarress (Zayed University).
6. The Application of Six Sigma by Randall Smith, Timothy Rhines, Ph.D., and Richard Crowley
submitted to the School of Graduate Studies of Addis Ababa University on September 2009.
8. Case Study on Six Sigma at Wipro Technologies: Thrust on Quality by Dr. Manisha Sharma, Dr. Kapil Panda,
Prof. Prashant Gupta.
9. Quality Management in Garments Industry of Bangladesh: by Rahman, Mohammad Faizur; Baral, Lal Mohan;
Chowdhury, Md Abdul Momen and Khan, Ayub Nabi
10. Minimizing the Eighth Waste of Lean Absenteeism through six sigma: by C.S Chetan Kumar, NVR Naidu
11. Six Sigma Project Management (Pocket Guide) By Jeffry N. Lowenthal.
12. Reducing waiting time at an emergency department using for Six sigma and discrete event simulation-

Mandahawi, N., Al-Shihabi, S., Abdallah, A.A. and Alfarah, Y.M. (2010), Int. J. Six Sigma and
Competitive Advantage, Vol. 6, Nos. 1/2.