Six Sigma was developed by Motorola in the mid-1980s. The essence of Six Sigma is to stop variations in quality at the earliest possible point by attacking variation during design of products and processes and to create a culture that demands perfection.
The concept of Six Sigma is as a much-needed management program that has the highest impact on the bottom-line financials. The key focus of all Six Sigma programs is to optimize overall results at the business, operations, and process level within a company. The Six Sigma Breakthrough Strategy provides the tools to achieve the goal - 3.4 defects per million opportunities, through a highly focused system of problem solving. Six Sigma has a dis ciplined approach covering five phases: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. The work of Six Sigma is led by the right people selected and trained in the Six Sigma methodology and establishes infrastructure - Master Black Belts, Black Belts, and Green Belts. The object of these training efforts is to have every employee make improvements in their work processes. What distinguishes Six Sigma from TQM is that each Six Sigma’s work team with solving a specific problem has a clear goal tied a financial incentive.
When companies embark on Six Sigma quality programs, the object of technical viewpoint is to reduce the process variance and the objective of managerial or customer viewpoint being cost-effective is to adjust the process to the target value such as employee training in statistical problem-solving methods and techniques. That is why the Six Sigma long-term process is allowed to be off centering with 1.5 sigma shift to minimize the number of setups or tool changeovers.
Tsai, Hsien-Tang and Tung, Hui-Ling, "Six Sigma Beyond Quality: A Concept of Management" (2001). ICEB 2001 Proceedings. 26.