Six Sigma

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DEFINITION of 'Six Sigma'

A quality-control program developed in 1986 by Motorola. Initially, it emphasized cycle-time improvement and reducing manufacturing defects to a level of no more than 3.4 per million. Since then, Six Sigma has evolved into a more general business-management philosophy focused on meeting customer requirements, improving customer retention, and improving and sustaining business products and services. Six Sigma is applicable to all industries.

BREAKING DOWN 'Six Sigma'

A number of vendors, including Motorola itself, offer Six Sigma training. Special certifications include yellow belt, green belt and black belt. According to Motorola, companies that have used Six Sigma include Bank of America, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, American Express and Fidelity, among hundreds of others.

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