Six Sigma is a branding term, given to a structured, disciplined, rigorous approach to process improvement. It is a methodology that provides businesses with the tools to improve the capability of their business processes and/or IT processes. This increase in performance and decrease in process variation leads to defect reduction (Six Sigma literally means only 3.4 Defects per million opportunities occurring) and vast improvement in profits, employee morale and quality of product.
Owner of the copyright: None
Distribution: While its origins lie in the manufacturing industry, Six Sigma is now used in more than ten industry sectors worldwide, among them IT.
Origin/history: The roots of Six Sigma lie with the invention of the normal curve by Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1855). After the rise of Total Quality Management (TQM), in the early 1980s Motorola engineer Bill Smith coined the term ‘Six Sigma’.
When: Early 1980s
Founding fathers: Carl Frederick Gauss, Total Quality Management guru Walter Shewhart, and Bill Smith, among many others.
Certification bodies? Individual training and examination for Yellow Belts, Green Belts, Black Belts, Master Black Belts, Champions and Executives available.
Number of certified organizations: None
More information: see the chapter Six Sigma, by Edgar Giesen and Patrick Teters, in the itSMF endorsed publication 'Frameworks for IT Management'.