... It also separates the "vital few" from the "trivial many" (the projects that will have the most impact versus those that could stand improvement but are not critical). Measure: The team identifies the key internal processes that influence Cts and measures the defects currently generated relative to those processes. Analyze: The team discovers why identifying the key variables that are most likely to create process variation generates defects.

Improve: The team identifies the maximum acceptable ranges of the key variables and validates a system for measuring deviations of the variables. The team modifies the process to stay within the acceptable range. Control: Tools are put in place to ensure that the key variables remain within the maximum acceptable ranges over time. A very powerful feature of Six Sigma is the creation of an infrastructure to assure that performance improvement activities have the necessary resources.

In this author's opinion, failure to provide this infrastructure is the #1 reason why 80% of all TQM implementations failed in the past. Six Sigma makes improvement and change the full-time job of a small but critical percentage of the organization's personnel. These full time change agents are the catalyst that institutionalizes change. The picture below illustrates the required human resource commitment required by Six Sigma. Master Black Belt This is the highest level of technical and organizational proficiency.

Master Black Belts provide technical leadership of the Six Sigma program. Thus, they must know everything the Black Belts know, as well as understand the mathematical theory on which the statistical methods are based. Master Black Belts must be able to assist Black Belts in applying the methods correctly in unusual situations. Whenever only Master Black Belts should conduct possible, statistical training. Otherwise the familiar "propagation of error" phenomenon will occur, i.

e. , Black Belts pass on errors to green belts, who pass on greater errors to team members. If it becomes necessary for Black Belts and Green Belts to provide training, they should do only so under the guidance of Master Black Belts. For example, Black Belts may be asked to provide assistance to the Master during class discussions and exercises. Because of the nature of the Master's duties, communications and teaching skills are as important as technical competence. Black Belt Candidates for Black Belt status are technically oriented individuals held in high regard by their peers.

They should be actively involved in the process of organizational change and development. Candidates may come from a wide range of disciplines and need not be formally trained statisticians or engineers. However, because they are expected to master a wide variety of technical tools in a relatively short period of time, Black Belt candidates will probably possess a background in college-level mathematics, the basic tool of quantitative analysis. Coursework in statistical methods should be considered a strong plus or even a prerequisite.

As part of their training, Black Belts receive 160 hours of classroom instruction, plus one-on-one project coaching from Master Black Belts or consultants. Successful candidates will be comfortable with computers. At a minimum, they should understand one or more operating systems, spreadsheets, database managers, presentation programs, and word processors. As part of their training they will be required to become proficient in the use of one or more advanced statistical analysis software packages. Six Sigma Black Belts work to extract actionable knowledge from an organization's information warehouse. To assure access to the needed information, Six Sigma activities should be closely integrated with the information systems (IS) of the organization.

Obviously, the skills and training of Six Sigma Black Belts must be enabled by an investment in software and hardware. It makes no sense to hamstring these experts by saving a few dollars on computers or software. Green Belt Green Belts are Six Sigma project leaders capable of forming and facilitating Six Sigma teams and managing Six Sigma projects from concept to completion. Green Belt training consists of five days of classroom training and is conducted in conjunction with Six Sigma projects. Training covers project management, quality management tools, quality control tools, problem solving, and descriptive data analysis. Six Sigma champions should attend Green Belt training.

Usually, Six Sigma Black Belts help Green Belts define their projects prior to the training, attend training with their Green Belts, and assist them with their projects after the training. Comparison and Contrast of Total Quality Management and Six Sigma Total Quality Management (TQM) is a structured system for satisfying internal and external customers and suppliers by integrating the business environment, continuous improvement, and breakthroughs with development, improvement, and maintenance cycles while changing organizational culture. TQM aims for quality principles to be applied broadly throughout an organization or set of business processes. Total Quality Management (TQM) programs focus on improvement in individual operations with unrelated processes; as a consequence, it takes many years before all operations within a given process are improved. Six Sigma focuses on making improvements in all operations within a process that produce results more rapidly and effectively. The Six Sigma's Breakthrough Strategy is a disciplined method of using extremely rigorous data-gathering and statistical analysis to pinpoint sources of errors and ways of eliminating them.

Six Sigma relies on the voice of the consumer to set the standard of acceptable performance. Six Sigma has a systematic approach to both validate data and to focus on the critical few inputs that will have the greatest potential to effect meaningful improvement. Six Sigma focuses on reducing defects in management and clinical process; it uses statistical analysis to find the most defective part of the process, and rigorous control procedures to sustain improvement. While Six Sigma is a long-term strategy, it is designed to generate immediate improvements to profit margins too. Compared to traditional quality management programs such as TQM that project three or more years into the future, Six Sigma focuses on achieving financial targets in twelve-month increments. TQM and Six Sigma have a number of similarities including the following: o A customer orientation and focus A process view of work A continuous improvement mindset o A goal of improving all aspects and functions of the organization so Databased decision-making Benefits depend highly on effective implementation A key difference between TQM and Six Sigma is that Six Sigma focuses on prioritizing and solving specific problems which are selected based on the strategic priorities of the company and the problems which are causing the most defects whereas TQM employs a more broad based application of quality measures to all of the company's business processes.

Another difference is that TQM tends to apply quality initiatives within specific departments whereas Six Sigma is cross-functional meaning that in penetrates every department, which is involved in a particular business process that is subject to a Six Sigma project. Another difference TQM provides less methodology in terms of the deployment process whereas Six Sigma's DMAIC framework provides a stronger platform for deployment and execution. For example, Six Sigma has a much stronger focus on measurement and statistics, which helps the company, define and achieve specific objectives. Six Sigma is complementary to TQM because it can help to prioritize issues within a broader TQM program and provides the DMAIC framework, which can be used to meet TQM objectives. Conclusion Both measurements of quality control within an organization have brought true success to companies who have applied their policies and procedures.

The leaders and management teams of any organization will have to evaluate which quality of control tactic is the most beneficial to the growth and improvements of their business. The one way to analyze your business is to establish your goals and vision for your organization and set plans in place to evaluate if Six Sigma or Total Quality Management falls in the realms of what you are seeking. Both processes have taken the best of the best countries and companies from good to great and I personally feel that as long as you have one of these processes in place, you are setting yourself up for success.