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Key MBA Models by Dr. Julian Birkinshaw, Ken Mark

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Six Sigma

‘Six Sigma’ is a data-driven approach for eliminating defects in any process, such as product manufacturing or customer service. The term ‘Six Sigma’ has its roots in statistics – it refers to an error rate of three parts per million.

When to use it

  • To resolve a quality problem in a manufacturing process.
  • To get people thinking systematically about the causes of errors in a system.
  • To make an entire system work more efficiently and with fewer problems.

Origins

The roots of ‘Six Sigma’ as a measurement standard can be traced back to nineteenth-century statistician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who introduced the concept of the normal distribution curve. Sigma is one standard deviation; ‘Six Sigma’ is the area under the curve six standard ...

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