Chapter 1Introduction


Visual Six Sigma is about leveraging interactive and dynamic graphical displays to help transform data into sound decisions. It is not an algorithm. It is a creative process that employs visual techniques in the discovery of new and useful knowledge, leading to quicker and better decisions than do the methods in general use today. It signals a new generation of Six Sigma techniques.

At the heart of Six Sigma is the concept of data-driven decision making, that is, of exploiting the data from measurements or simulations at various points in the life cycle of your product or service. Visual Six Sigma aims to produce better alignment between Six Sigma practice and the key idea of discovery, providing benefits for all those who have a stake in solving problems and in making improvements through data.

Visual Six Sigma consists of three main strategies:

  1. Using dynamic visualization to literally see the sources of variation in your data.
  2. Using exploratory data analysis techniques to identify key drivers and models, especially for situations involving many variables.
  3. Using confirmatory statistical methods only when the conclusions are not obvious.

Six Sigma programs often use the so-called DMAIC approach for team-based process improvement or problem-solving efforts. The acronym DMAIC stands for the major phases in a team's project: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. DMAIC provides a structure for a team's efforts, just as ...

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