Full Title Six Sigma 1 - Introduction to Lean Sigma Quality

Short Title Six Sigma 1 - Lean Sigma

Code QLTY07030
Level 07
Credit 05

Author Coll, Brian
Department Mech. and Electronic Eng.

Subject Area Quality
Attendence N/A%


Six Sigma 1 ‑ Introduction to Lean Sigma Quality aims to provide learners with an understanding of the tools and techniques of quality that are used in the attainment of a six sigma quality environment. The principle goal of Six Sigma is to reduce variation in the process and improve quality. This module is also designed to meet the requirements of the Six Sigma Yellow belt award. 

Through practical examples and exercises learners will becomes proficient in the use of the basic problem solving techniques used to monitor and control processes. Topics include: Six Sigma Quality, DMAIC process, Seven Traditional Tools of Quality, Qualitative Tools, Lean principles and Process Management.

As this is an online course, the majority of students are working in industry. Student blogs will be used to share best practices in Six Sigma across the class. Best practices will be generic use of the six sigma tools rather than any company specific information.

Indicative Syllabus

Overview: Six Sigma and the Organisation

A. Six sigma and organisational goals

•  Value of six sigma

•  Recognize why organisations use six sigma, how they apply its philosophy and goals, and the origins of six sigma (Juran, Deming, Shewhart, etc.). Describe how process inputs, outputs, and feedback impact the larger organization.

• Organisational drivers and metrics

• Recognise key drivers for business (profit, market share, customer satisfaction, efficiency, product differentiation) and how key metrics and scorecards are developed and impact the entire organisation.

•  Organizational goals and six sigma projects

•  Describe the project selection process including knowing when to use six sigma improvement methodology (DMAIC) as opposed to other problem-solving tools, and confirm that the project supports and is linked to organisational goals. Understand the roles and responsibilities of six sigma team members (i.e., individual team members, yellow belt, green belt, black belt, process owner, champion and sponsor.)

 B. Lean principles in the organisation

• Lean concepts and tools

• Define and describe concepts such as value chain, flow, pull, perfection, visual management and tools commonly used to eliminate waste, including kaizen, 5S, error-proofing, value-stream mapping, standardised work and TPM.

• Identify the difference between value-added and non-value-added activities

• Identify the seven wastes in terms of excess inventory, space, test inspection, rework, transportation, storage, and reducing cycle time to improve throughput.

• Describe the Theory of constraints 

C. Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) in the organisation

• Quality function deployment (QFD)

• Describe how QFD fits into the overall DFSS process.

• Define and distinguish between design FMEA (DFMEA) and process (PFMEA) and interpret associated data.

• Road maps for DFSS

• Describe and distinguish between DMADV (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) and identify how it relates to DMAIC and how it helps close the loop on improving the end product/process during the design (DFSS) phase. 

II. Six Sigma - Define

A. Process Management for Projects

• Process elements

• Define and describe process components and boundaries. Recognise how processes cross various functional areas and the challenges that result for process improvement efforts.

• Owners and stakeholders

• Identify process owners, internal and external customers, and other stakeholders in a project.

• Identify customers

• Identify and classify internal and external customers as applicable to a particular project, and show how projects impact customers.

• Collect customer data

• Use various methods to collect customer feedback (e.g., surveys, focus groups, interviews, observation) and identify the key elements that make these tools effective. Review survey questions to eliminate bias, vagueness, etc.

• Analyse customer data

• Use graphical, statistical, and qualitative tools to analyse customer feedback.

• Assist in translating customer feedback into project goals and objectives, including critical to quality (CTQ) attributes and requirements statements. Use voice of the customer analysis tools such as quality function deployment (QFD) to translate customer requirements into performance measures.


C. Management and planning tools

• Define, select, and use the following quality tools:

  1. Brainstorming and affinity diagrams, (5 Why - 1 How analysis)
  2. interrelationship diagraphs,
  3. tree diagrams,
  4. prioritisation matrices,
  5. Force Field Analysis and matrix diagrams,
  6. process decision program (PDPC) charts, and
  7. activity network diagrams
  8. Gantt Charts and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

D. Business results for projects

• Process performance

• Calculate process performance metrics such as defects per unit (DPU), rolled throughput yield (RTY), cost of poor quality (COPQ), defects per million opportunities (DPMO) sigma levels and process capability indices.

• Track process performance measures to drive project decisions.

• Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)

• Define and describe failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). Describe the purpose and use of scale criteria and calculate the risk priority number (RPN).

 III. Six Sigma - Measure

A. Process analysis and documentation

• Process modeling

• Develop and review process maps, written procedures, work instructions, flowcharts, etc.

• Identify process input variables and process output variables. Use (SIPOC) (suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, and customers) to identify and define important elements of a process.

B. Collecting and summarising data

• Types of data and measurement scales. Define and distinguish between qualitative and quantitative types of data.

• Identify and classify continuous (variables) and discrete (attributes) data. Describe and define nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio measurement scales.

• Data collection methods

• Define and apply methods for collecting data such as check sheets, coded data, etc.

• Techniques for assuring data accuracy and integrity

• Define and apply techniques such as random sampling, stratified sampling, sample homogeneity, etc.

• Descriptive statistics

• Define, compute, and interpret measures of dispersion (Standard deviation, range, variance) and central tendency (mean, median, mode), and construct and interpret frequency distributions and cumulative frequency distributions.

• Graphical methods and charts.

• Depict relationships by constructing, applying and interpreting diagrams and charts such as stem-and-leaf plots, box-and-whisker plots, run charts, scatter diagrams, correlation and regression Analysis and Pareto charts.

• Depict distributions by constructing, applying and interpreting diagrams such as histograms. Describe how the Histogram shape (skewed and bimodal) can affect data interpretation.

• Introduction to SPC and Control Charts

Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to
  1. Describe why organisations use Six Sigma and the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and DMAIC improvement methodology.

  2. Define and describe Lean concepts and tools

  3. Define, select and use the seven quality tools for problems solving, prioritising problems and improving processes. eg. Cause & Effect, Scatter Plots and Pareto charts.

  4. Define, select and use the seven (new) management and planning tools. eg. Affinity diagrams, matrix diagrams and tree diagrams

  5. Generate FMEAs and distinguish between Design and Process FMEAs.

  6. Calculate process performance metrics such as DPU, FTY, DPMO and Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ).

  7. Collect and summarise data using surveys, descriptive and inferential statistics and graphical methods.

Assessment Strategies

Assessment will be through a series of continuous assessments, which will include Quiz's and assignment submissions via our online learning management system Moodle.

Assessment Facilitites

Students will need access to a PC / Laptop and Minitab software for this course.  Minitab software is available for rent at a discounted student rate for the duration of the semester.

Module Dependencies
Pre Requisite Modules
Co Requisite Modules
Incompatible Modules

Coursework Assessment Breakdown %
Course Work / Continuous Assessment 100 %

Coursework Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week
Moodle Online and Offline Assignments and Quiz submissions 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 100 OnGoing

End Exam Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lecture 4 Weekly 4.00

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 4.00 Hours

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload
Independent Learning Not Specified Moodle 4 Weekly 4.00
Lecture Distance Learning Suite Theory 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Distance Learning Suite Tutorial 2 Weekly 2.00

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 4.00 Hours

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Book Resources





Paul A. Keller

Six Sigma Demystified 2nd edition


 McGraw-Hill Professional



Munro et al

The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt handbook

ASQ Quality Press


Quentin Brook

Six Sigma and Minitab: a complete toolbox guide for all six sigma practitioners

OPEX Resources Ltd 2014



Other Resources

Listed on Moodle course page

Url Resources

Listed on Moodle course Page

Additional Info

ISBN BookList

Book Cover Book Details
Quentin Brook 2014 Lean Six Sigma and Minitab (4th Edition): The Complete Toolbox Guide for Business Improvement OPEX Resources Ltd
ISBN-10 095468138X ISBN-13 9780954681388
Paul Keller 2011 Six Sigma Demystified, 2nd Edition McGraw-Hill
ISBN-10 007174679X ISBN-13 9780071746793
Roderick A. 2008 The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook, First Edition ASQ Quality Press
ISBN-10 087389698X ISBN-13 9780873896986