AUGUST 2007  
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MiC Quality


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:: Specials

Enroll in any course or package by the end of September and receive...
10% DISCOUNT by quoting SE10
in the Promotional Code field of the enrollment form.

:: Six Sigma Primer Launch
The MiC Quality Six Sigma Primer is nearly completed and will be available for enrollment from September 5. There will be a separate announcement before this date with launch specials.

The course is an excellent introduction to Six Sigma for anybody who wants to understand the Six Sigma method. Those who need an in-depth knowledge at the Black Belt or Master Black Belt level can continue with the MiC Quality courses in Design of Experiments, Statistical Process Control, Statistics and MSA/Gage R&R.

The Six Sigma Primer follows the ASQ (American Society for Quality) Six Sigma Black Belt syllabus, including deployment, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) plus an introduction to Lean Methods and Design for Six Sigma.

It takes about 20 hours to complete and will give 2 ASQ Recertification Units.

:: Six Sigma Glossary Topic: Team Tools
Team Tools Overview

One of the precepts of Total Quality Management, and now continued into Six Sigma, is that groups generally make better decisions than individuals, and that the group should be cross-functional. It should include everybody who can contribute, regardless of their position in the hierarchy, rather than just specialized individuals.

This section includes a selection of tools that are best used by groups. They are either graphical methods that promote group input, or ways of capturing the individual inputs and then refining them to discover the best solution, and to achieve 'buy in' to that solution.

Affinity Diagrams

A team-based method of organizing large amounts of data. Typically, brainstormed ideas are written on ‘sticky notes’. These are stuck to a wall and progressively organized into logical groupings by the participants.


A method of encouraging a team to generate creative ideas. All ideas are written down, and no idea, however apparently silly, is criticized. The list can be culled later using other methods e.g. multivoting.

Cause and Effect Diagrams

A graphical tool used to list and categorize possible causes of a problem. It looks like a fish skeleton and is sometimes called a ‘fishbone diagram’.

The main categories are often selected as Methods, Equipment, Personnel, Materials, but this is optional:



CE Diagrams

See Cause and Effect Diagram


Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. This applies when FMEA is carried out at the design stage and looks at ways the item can fail during use. Potential failure modes include failures from the item becoming defective and through the way the item is used.

The failure modes for a step ladder could include potential failure because a component could corrode and fail. They could also include a potential failure because the user's foot could slip on the treads.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

A method for evaluating risk. Each potential failure mode is evaluated for:

S: the severity of the consequences if it does occur
O: the probability of occurrence
D: the probability of detection before shipping.

Each of these is rated on a scale from 1 to 10, and the three values multiplied to find the Risk Priority Number (RPN). If the RPN is above a specified threshold, action is taken to reduce it. The FMEA is often used as the basis for Control.

Fishbone Diagrams

See Cause and Effect Diagrams


See Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Force Field Analysis

A team based method of brainstorming the 'drivers' and 'restraints' that affect progress to a desired goal:

See more Six Sigma definitions in Mic Quality Six Sigma Glossary

:: Six Sigma Primer
:: Statistical Process Control (SPC), Advanced Statistical Process Control
:: Design of Experiments (DOE), Advanced Design Of Experiments
:: Primer in Statistics, Advanced Statistics
:: Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA)/ Gage R&R
:: FREE Excel Primer
:: FREE Sample Module "Introduction to Statistics"
FREE Statistics Reference Booklet
DOWNLOAD Brochure for All Courses


440+ terms Six Sigma Glossary
(includes all terms in the ASQ SSBB Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge)


Sigma Calculator


Book Reviews

:: Reference Tables
:: Next Update

Next update will come out in early November.