You may have heard of the Six Sigma approach to problem solving if you are a project manager, engineer, or both. Six Sigma online courses will teach you how to use data-driven approaches to problem-solving. You will be able turn practical problems into solutions with only facts and data if you are a Six Sigma Green Belt.

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This approach doesn’t allow for intuition or jumping to conclusions. You are likely still curious about Six Sigma’s approach to problem-solving if you are reading this article.

What is the Six Sigma Approach?

Let’s take a look at the Six Sigma approach. This approach is known as DMAIC, and it’s briefly described in the Six Sigma Green Belt Certification training. Six Sigma’s DMAIC methodology states that all processes can easily be defined, measured, analysed, improved, controlled, and controlled. These are the phases of this approach. It is collectively known as DMAIC. These five stages are part of every Six Sigma project. The Define phase allows for multiple perspectives to assess the problem and determine its scope. The critical few are identified from among all possible inputs. These inputs are measured and analyzed to determine if they are the root cause. Once the root cause is identified, the problem can then be fixed or improved. Once the problem has been identified, it must be managed to ensure that it is fixed over the long-term.

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Every output (y), is a function one or more inputs (x).

Six Sigma covers any process that has inputs (X) and outputs (Y). X could represent an input, cause, or problem, while Y could represent output, effect, or symptom. This means that controlling inputs will result in controlling outputs. Because the inputs X will determine the output Y.

This Six Sigma approach is known as Y=f(X). It is the Six Sigma mechanism. This equation can be applied to any problem situation. Although it may seem difficult, this is a new way to look at the problem.

Remember that the context in which X and Y are referred to one another will vary from one situation to the next. If X is your input then only Y will be your output. If X is your cause, then Y will not be considered the output. If X is your input then Y cannot be considered an effect.

Let’s move on. Let’s go further. Each subordinate Y could flow into its own Y=f(X) relationship, where some of the critical variables may also affect another little Y. Another little variable could be your potential or critical X.

The practical vs. the statistical problem and its solution

Six Sigma defines the practical problem as the problem or area that is causing problems in your production or shop floor. This practical problem must be converted into a statistical problem. A statistical problem is a problem that is solved using facts and data analysis methods. Just to remind you, the Measure and Analyze phase or DMAIC is where measurement and analysis are completed.

This approach will allow the statistical problem to be transformed into a statistical solution. It is the solution that has a known level of confidence or risk, rather than an “I think” solution. This solution is not based solely on gut feelings. This solution is completely data-driven because it was based on the Six Sigs.