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Six sigma, a mathematical term with a very specific meaning, has been
appropriated by the business community to indicate a high level of
Six sigma is also the designation for a high-IQ society similar to
Mensa but with much more stringent requirements. A six sigma club
today is more likely to be related to some high level of manufacturing
Six sigma?s mathematical meaning is that something measured comes
within + or ? six sigma (standard deviations) of a specified average.
In manufacturing this means about 3.4 defects in one million cases
whether this is customer responses, or manufactured items. Just what
constitutes a defect is always open to interpretation but once that is
established then determining six sigma qualification is simply a
matter of counting.
A standard deviation isn?t a specific number except in a specific
case. It is defined as the square root of the average of the squares
of the amount individual measurements differ from the mean (similar to
You can learn about implementing 6-sigma quality procedures in a
business at www.isixsigma.com/sixsigma/six_sigma.asp
Google search string: six sigma
Google search string: define:standard deviation
So, a six sigma quality control program would result in 99.9997% perfect results.
Members of the six sigma IQ club have an IQ higher than 99.9997% of
the population (for Mensa it is only 98%.)
How do you verify or demonstrate this? Simple, count the number of
mistakes or defects and compare that to the total number of events or
products. If there are fewer than one bad outcome for every 300,000
then you have achieved six sigma quality.
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