ISO 9000 and SIX SIGMA

ISO 9000:

The ISO approach towards quality management concentrates on standardization of the activities of production. The eight quality principles of ISO 9000, along with its twenty-four requirements outline business processes. The emphasis has changed from procedures to methods to collect, analyze and act on data. The requirements have been reorganized and regrouped based on the process model.

ISO 9000 recognizes each process, whose end goals are the same, as an independent entity. Documented quality requirements typically decide, based on set rules, whether or not a particular process adhered to that standard.

ISO 9000 is a series of international standards that identify the minimum activities that a company must have in place in order to control quality. An ISO 9000 Quality Management System is a framework that includes systematic methods, documented processes and defined responsibilities. The system should encompass:

  • A quality system that describes how the company fulfills the requirements for each element of a given standard.
  • Practices consistent with documented quality policies and procedures.
  • Maintenance of quality records.
  • Performance of regular quality audits.

Six Sigma:

Six-sigma is a continual improvement methodology. Six-sigma focuses on designing products so they can be made with fewer defects and on running projects to progressively remove the most costly assignable causes of process variation. Many organizations mistakenly focus their six-sigma efforts on manufacturing before product design.

Six Sigma has a rich and powerful toolbox for nearly every kind of process analysis, process management, process improvement and process design. This toolbox was developed by Six Sigma pioneers looking at the huge variety of tools and approaches developed during the decades when quality debuted as a major corporate issue.

Most Six Sigma companies recognize the different phases of the application of Six Sigma – starting from "enthusiastic support" through "implementation and delivery of results" and finally "now it's done, let's go back to our normal business."

ISO 9000 and Six Sigma can help improve the credibility of the ISO 9000 quality management system and the sustainability of the Six Sigma initiative at the same time. It can save resources and it enriches the way to manage the business.

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