Product management glosary

Six Sigma

What is Six Sigma?


Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology used to improve business processes by reducing defects and minimizing variability. It was first introduced by Motorola in the 1980s and has since been adopted by many organizations worldwide. The goal of Six Sigma is to achieve a level of quality that is 99.99966% defect-free, which translates to no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

The Six Sigma Methodology

The Six Sigma methodology consists of five phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC). Each phase has specific goals and tools that are used to achieve those goals.


In the Define phase, the project team defines the problem they want to solve and identifies the goals of the project. They also define the scope of the project and identify the stakeholders who will be affected by the project.


In the Measure phase, the project team collects data on the current process and identifies the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure the success of the project. They also establish a baseline for the process and identify any sources of variation.


In the Analyze phase, the project team analyzes the data collected in the Measure phase to identify the root cause of the problem. They use statistical tools to identify patterns and trends in the data and determine which factors are contributing to the problem.


In the Improve phase, the project team develops and implements solutions to address the root cause of the problem. They use a variety of tools, such as process mapping and brainstorming, to identify and evaluate potential solutions.


In the Control phase, the project team monitors the process to ensure that the improvements made in the Improve phase are sustained over time. They establish control plans and develop metrics to measure the ongoing success of the process.

The Benefits of Six Sigma

The benefits of Six Sigma include improved quality, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. By reducing defects and minimizing variability, organizations can improve customer satisfaction and increase their competitive advantage. Six Sigma also provides a structured approach to problem-solving, which can lead to more effective and efficient decision-making.


Six Sigma is a powerful methodology that can help organizations improve their business processes and achieve a level of quality that is 99.99966% defect-free. By following the DMAIC process, organizations can identify the root cause of problems, develop and implement solutions, and monitor the process to ensure ongoing success. The benefits of Six Sigma include improved quality, increased efficiency, and reduced costs, making it a valuable tool for any organization looking to improve its operations.