History of Six Sigma

Several key concepts used in Six Sigma like the normal distributions and statistical process control can be traced back to the early 1800 and 1920s respectively. However, the credit for the term ‘Six Sigma’ goes to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith. Motorola felt Six Sigma helped Motorola realize powerful bottom-line results in their organization - in fact, they documented more than $16 Billion in savings as a result of our Six Sigma efforts. Bill Smith a new standard and created the methodology, by putting some of the best process improvement tools together in a systematic manner, associated with it. The benefit of the Six Sigma methodology to Motorola was tremendous and this led to other organisations wanting to learn how Six Sigma could benefit them. Most notable of these were Allied Signals and General Electric who recorded benefits in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Many of the fortune 500 companies have adopted Six Sigma with some such as IBM, Hewlett Packard, Shell, Ford, Chevron, Alcoa, Fed-Ex, Microsoft, Citibank, BHP Billiton, Boeing, Toyota and even the US Defense Department. Six Sigma is now regarded the world over as a ‘Global Best Practice’ for managing processes. In the last twenty years, Six Sigma has evolved significantly, from its initially application in manufacturing to current application in service, transactions, product design, sales, iinformation technology and virtually every industry. Six Sigma is continually evolving and have also incorporated useful and complementary concepts from Lean, TRIZ and other proven methodologies.