The Fundamental Concepts of Six Sigma

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Since Six Sigma originated, both small and large organizations have used Six Sigma as a methodological approach. The fundamental concepts associated with Six Sigma entails quality improvements. System-wide planning and development help to improve products and services.

Dr. Mikel Harry is credited as the primary founder of the Six Sigma Academy (Mohamed, 2010, p. 270). Based on the intended benefits of Six Sigma, large organizations like Motorola adopted Six-Sigma early on. Shortly thereafter, other US corporations including Allied Signal and General Electric began to employ the Six Sigma program.

Six Sigma is utilized to identify variability, which is indicative of just how likely defects seem to occur. The higher the sigma the less likely defects will be produced therefore Six Sigma has a quality level of 3.4 defects per million opportunities (Mohamed, 2010, p. 270). An opportunity is categorized as failing to meet the required specifications (Mohamed, 2010, p. 270). Since Six Sigma's aim is to reduce the product failure rate to virtually zero, a cell phone company that uses Six Sigma will encounter 3.4 unsafe cell phones per million cell phones.

Six Sigma is a widely used continuous performance improvement method. The main objective of this analytical approach is to improve a corporation’s profits by minimizing the rate of defects. This results in “yield improvement,” which enhances performance and heightens customer satisfaction (MGT451 – Module 8, 2013, p. 3). Organizations are continuously seeking process improvements so they are imminent in recognizing and identifying innovations that will provide long-term success toward product and service improvement.

Six-Sigma has been adopted by organizations all over the world. Six Sigma is more than just a mere representation of quality improvement, it’s an efficient way of doing business. By reducing the rate of defects equivalent to 3.4 per million products, organizations have experienced improvements in products and services as well as increased consumer satisfaction.


MGT451 - Module 8: Strategy and innovation. (2013). Business Policy Development and Implementation. Retrieved from

Mohamed, G. A. (2010). Six sigma quality: A structured review and implications for future research. The International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 27(3), 269-318. doi: