Your Complete Guide to Six Sigma Methodology

By becoming well-versed in Six Sigma methodology, you can provide significant results for businesses throughout your career. As industries continue to grow in the global market, learning how to produce products and services at maximum efficiency is critical to success. 

In this guide, you'll find everything you need to know about Six Sigma Methodology. At Simplilearn, we also have a significant first step for you that you can start today.

Interested to get skilled in the six sigma methodologies? Check out the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Training Online. Enroll now!

How Six Sigma Methodology Started

The origins of Six Sigma can be traced back to Eli Whitney when he came up with the idea of interchangeable parts during the birth of the United States of America.

The idea of industrial operations and managing defects began to evolve. America became a leader in the industrial revolution, and the world watched and repeated many of the systems they produced. 

In the 1970s, Japan surpassed the US as industrial leaders in quality and efficiency, which spurred Americans to reflect on what contributed to their successes and develop a way to lead once again.

Beginnings at Motorola and General Electric

The resurgence of the lean Six Sigma methodology started in 1986. Motorola Senior Engineer, Bill Smith, was looking for a way to minimize defects in his company's operations. He knew he could do that if he came up with a system to standardize how companies can identify and document defects. So, he teamed up with others at the company to establish modern Six Sigma.

Two years later, Motorola won the Malcolm Aldridge National Quality award from the results that the Six Sigma Methodology produced.

A few years after that, Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric, adopted the Six Sigma methodology and Lean Six Sigma methodology. 

Since then, Six Sigma Methodology has become a universal system for operations. Companies all over the world use Six Sigma as the backbone of their respective quality control, operations, and business strategies.

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What is the Meaning of Six Sigma Methodology?

ASQ defines Six Sigma as "a method that provides organizations tools to improve the capability of their business processes..." This is done through deviations of projected results. 

The definition continues, saying "... increase in performance and decrease in process variation helps lead to defect reduction and improvement in profits, employee morale, and quality of products or services." 

The goal of the Six Sigma methodology is to help a company become more efficient and produce better results.

Six Sigma methodology focuses on the number of defects per million units, while the addition of Lean Six Sigma Methodology emphasizes the speed and cutting waste during production. The first improves quality, and the second improves operation costs.

There are two main concepts to understand the Six Sigma methodology— DMAIC and DMADV. Both are similar but provide unique solutions based on the needs of a company.


This focuses on the manufacturing and production side of a company.


Establish the process you want to investigate—the problem, resources, timeline, and necessary components needed to assess the situation.


Develop a system to record data and other metrics to find areas in need of improvement. Create the parameters to compare and measure new results.


Review the data and develop ideas for improvements and solutions. Develop top hypotheses to test. 


Put your plan and ideas to action to reach the company's goals.


Implement changes that work and develop a system to continually review, measure, and improve the production process.


This is focused on the customer experience and relationship management side of a company.


Establish customer needs when developing the product or service you provide. Determine which areas need improvement or aren't meeting the customer requirements.


Through collecting data, learn about the behavior and satisfaction of customers. Develop metrics to identify areas of improvement, failures, and progress.


Study the data and metrics to find which products and services need improvement and what can be done about it.


Develop a business model and processes that help meet the needs of customers and the goals of the company.


Use new data to confirm if these changes have met customer needs. Continue to improve.

The Methodology

Six Sigma methodology is based on the concept of six standard deviations from the product or process goal. It's the average distribution of variations with a specific data set of your process. 

Each deviation that moves from zero represents production results and possible defects. Three standard deviations going left and right of zero (six) represents about 99.7 percent of the data. Six Sigma Quality means that there should be zero defects out of 99.7 percent. 

When companies improve their process for Six Sigma Quality, they can be confident that they're providing top quality in their industry. This also enables them to continually measure and improve production. As industries, products, customer needs, and other components change, companies will always have to implement Six Sigma Methodology.

PGP in Lean Six Sigma With Modules From UMass

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PGP in Lean Six Sigma With Modules From UMass

Going Lean

When we combine the methodology and data-driven strengths of Six Sigma with Lean principles, we create a strong and effective system called Lean Six Sigma.

Lean Six Sigma methodology looks for the root causes of defects responsible for the waste produced in the process and product. While traditional Six Sigma believes variation causes problems, Lean believes it is due to unneeded steps in the process. Combining both proves to be effective in rooting out different forms of waste.

Professionals who are certified in Six Sigma offer tremendous value to companies. They promise a better process, better results, and an increase in profit. This makes them marketable and high in demand.

Are you skilled with the concepts of Six Sigma and the DMAIC methodology? Try answering these Lean Six Sigma Exam Questions and find out now!

Use Six Sigma Methodology Today

Today, you can begin to use Six Sigma and Lean Methodology by signing up for the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Training by Simplilearn. 

Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a globally recognized quality management certification offered to professionals who qualify for the CSSGB exam.

Develop your skills and become an expert in your field. Our training course is aligned with the IASSC exam. It integrates Lean and DMAIC methodology tools with case studies so you can fully understand the material and resources you need to excel. 

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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