What we all should be learning
Creating internal processes that are more efficient and more economical are great tools to guarantee the quality of the service provided by a company and a fundamental aspect for it to remain competitive in the ever more challenging market. Six Sigma is an internationally recognized and widely used tool for identifying, implementing and tracking improvements to a company’s internal processes, guaranteeing lower operational costs, and consequently increasing profits drastically.
Sigma is a letter of the Greek alphabet, and is also used in statistics to measure the degree of variation of input information. When it comes to business, Sigma refers to the frequency a operation uses more than the minimum or unnecessarily more resources required to satisfy the customer´s need. That is, it determines a waste / diversion rate per operation. In that aspect, six sigma can be used to mathematically calculate the performance level of your company’s processes and get a diagnosis for both sides of variation. Let’s imagine a construction company. And that it should use 5kg of concrete to build a wall, in that sense a wall with 4kg of concrete is not strong enough and most probably will break causing extra costs while a wall with 7kg of concrete might be an unnecessary waste of material that could be used in another part of the same construction. Six sigma is there to measure these variations.
The benefits of that sounds obvious, anyone would want to implement such system in their corporations to keep the track of the situation as its best. But how to implement those tools in a startup? Or even better, how to understand the implementation of those tools in a constantly changing environment of a startup? That´s where the help of Six sigma for dummies is a pretty essential tool for understanding this. In the book, they almost adapt it to the reality where anyone could understand the concepts of six sigma and apply that to their businesses.
The main point of the book is understanding that six sigma goes beyond one methodology, or one measuring tool or even one way of improving processes. It is more a philosophy a corporation should have and implement its concepts in all the operational aspects which can include:
- Processes: everything that happens in the company should be a process, things like answering a phone call, writing a report, and all the activities of the company should be processes in order for standardization to be implement and so quality standards. That has a great influence so all the reports on the company have the same style, and every time someone calls, they will answer the same way. Things that can change from the company image to overall perceived quality.
- Sales: whenever the company discovers its formula for selling (found the right market and etc) its sales processes should be standardized somehow, in some cases not losing its flexibility. Recent research shows that selling processes with the implementation of six sigma elements are highly more efficient.
I would recommend the book to anyone looking to improve their quality anyhow. As we all know the best way to create an image of quality is not by marketing good, is by having good products.