Eight years ago, while I was still in business school, I read a book that changed my perspective forever. It was called : The Machine That Changed The World. The line of work I chose on graduation, did not offer the opportunity to put the principles of Lean Thinking to operational use, in the workshop/production sense of the term. But since that day, I have always cherished the pursuit of ‘Quality’, and strived for minimal wastage, in whatever task I undertook. The pursuit of Excellence has been a continuous journey.
That is why, last week, when I was offered the chance to enrol for a Six Sigma project, I jumped with joy ! For it was the opportunity to cover some more distance on the journey to Quality, and put some of its best practices to good use. It was the opportunity to become a ‘Six Sigma Green Belt’!
Six Sigma is a rigorous and disciplined methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company’s operational performance by identifying and eliminating “defects” in manufacturing and service-related processes.
Commonly defined as 3.4 defects per million opportunities, Six Sigma can be defined and understood at three distinct levels: metric, methodology and philosophy…
We have spent the last 5 days in a Training Room, familiarizing ourselves with the DMAIC methodology. And, it’s been an exhausting 5 days. After all, Six Sigma is nothing if not “rigorous”. But, thanks in part to my taking Statistics at graduate level, I was able to make the most of the theoretical training.
Green Belts (GB) are employees trained in Six Sigma who spend a portion of their time completing projects, but maintain their regular work role and responsibilities. They are also considered to be the ‘Domain Expert’ in the project being undertaken.
As the Six Sigma quality program evolves, employees will begin to include the Six Sigma methodology in their daily activities and it will no longer become a percentage of their time — it will be the way their work is accomplished 100% of the time.
Now that the Training has come to an end, the team is busy preparing up for the project kickoffs that will keep us occupied for the next 4-6 months to come. And, the excitement is evident.
For me, personally, the project will only be a beginning, not an end. After all, the quest for Quality is a never-ending one…
Suggested Reading : iSixSigma.com