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Why Six Sigma Metrics are Better

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 6/17/2014

Are Six Sigma Metrics really better than other systems of measuring productivity, profit, and quality? Learn why many companies believe in the superiority of Six Sigma.

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    What are Six Sigma Metrics?

    Six Sigma Metrics allow the project sponsor to monitor carefully project progress and efficiency. They are used to track cycle time, cost, value, labor, how well the company is meeting quality requirements in output, and the quality requirements placed upon company suppliers. This system of tracking how the project is moving along is vital to the company. By utilizing a standard measure to track these things, companies can increase profits, productivity and customer satisfaction.

    Six Sigma standards ask that team members track continuous data rather than discrete data. Continuous data gives more information about the process than simple yes/no, good/bad data. This allows project managers to get a large picture view of how it is the project or process implemented is behaving. If a company is concerned with speed during the ordering process, they may track for a week how fast the customer moves through the line.

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    What are the Standards in Six Sigma Metrics?

    285 2690640 It is important to collect data in an accurate manner. One of the ways to make sure this occurs is to specify exactly what it is you wish to measure. If you wish to measure employee productivity at the hot dog stand, then you may want to time how long it takes for a person, on average to get through the line, order, and receive her order. If you wish to measure profits, you will require another set of specific data, which needs defining by the team members before implementing the Six Sigma metrics. It is understood that Six Sigma requires that data tracked be quantifiable. This is another reason that it is important to be sure your data is continuous rather than discrete. It is more likely that discrete data is not measurable, or that it will not provide the project management team with figures that are complete or accurate.

    By tracking the progress, quality, and efficiency, project team members can see where to take action. If the productivity at a particular hot dog stand is very low (i.e. it takes a long time for customers to get through the line compared with other hot dog stands), then the appropriate action will modify this trend. Likewise, if the profit margin falls, appropriate actions like raising prices or lowering overhead costs correct the problem. Using Six Sigma metrics will allow you to know when to take action and when to sit back and relax.

    Users of the Six Sigma system need to be able to collect the data as needed and only collect the data that pertains to the information needed for action.It would not be useful to track whether the customers wore black shoes or white shoes at our hot dog stand.

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    So, Why are Six Sigma Metrics Better?

    Companies that adopt Six Sigma draw customers to them – because they know these companies carefully monitor the quality of their products. Because of the visibility of Six Sigma in the marketplace, and the rising awareness of the consumer as to what Six Sigma entails, companies utilizing Six Sigma metrics have an advantage. Moreover, Six Sigma allows sales to increase – by tracking what it is customers and clients desire. Finally, Six Sigma metrics allows project managers and their team members to act in a timely manner in order to correct areas where the project is floundering and defects before these molehills become mountains.

    Check out these Six Sigma templates you can download and use.