With the six sigma methodology, defects are removed from the process so a more efficient means of running a business or project can occur. This was the original premise behind this methodology when it was created back in 1981 and still holds true today.
The six sigma methodology approach to quality is to attain as close to perfection as possible. This can be measured by statistical means when attempting to make the results 6 standard deviations from the mean and the nearest specification that it is set against. In easy to understand language this means the number of defects cannot be greater than 3.4 for every million produced.
One of the main reasons the six sigma methodology was developed was to maintain customer loyalty by reducing the number of defects, the variability in the product and all possible waste so a high quality deliverable can be produced at the lowest possible cost.
For all practical purposes when a company decides to deploy the six sigma methodology, they have made the decision to make a continuous and permanent change to the way they do business. This is since the principals being used in this process calls for continuous monitoring so improvements can be made.
A side benefit of the six sigma methodology is by eliminating all possible waste in a production line and the way business is conducted, there is a revenue savings that automatically occurs. This allows for greater profits and the possibility that a reduction in the price can occur for the customers.
The implementation of the six sigma methodology has been seen in nearly every industry. Not only for the cost savings features of the program, but to get an edge on the competition. With the goal of continuous improvement, the true beneficiary is the customers of the deliverables.
There are many variations and tools associated with the six sigma methodology. The one that correctly fits your business is dependent on what you are producing and how you are creating it. This is definitely not a case of one size fits all.