Issue 32 – October 2011
ISO has published a new two-part Standard for Six Sigma* performance-improvement methodology. 'This new international Standard that improves business and quality performance is great news and will help businesses increase customer satisfaction and become more competitive', says Debbie Chin, Standards New Zealand Chief Executive.
Six Sigma is a data-driven method for improving business and quality performance. Although Six Sigma has been around for some years as a methodology, having the ISO brand on it will give it more international recognition and will give people more confidence to use it.
'A Six Sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects,' says Chin. 'The results of using the process include high returns and benefits in the short, medium, and long term; measuring business results with a level of reliance; preparing for uncertainty; and removing waste, defects, and errors.
'It is particularly appropriate that the Six Sigma Standard has been published in a year when the theme for World Standards Day is 'International Standards – creating confidence globally.'
The new Standard Quantitative methods in process improvement – Six Sigma is in two parts (ISO 13053.1:2011 and ISO 13053.2:2011) and can be applied to all sectors and organisations. Six Sigma projects follow a defined sequence of steps with quantified goals and financial targets (cost reduction and/or profit increase), and rely on statistical tools to deal with uncertainty.
*Six Sigma is a trademark of Motorola, Inc.