This means that a lot of priority is given to the implementation of the Six Sigma methodology. All the objectives that have been defined by Six Sigma are influenced a lot by various efforts, especially the way the policies are formulated and how the company’s organizational structure is managed.
One of the major problems in adopting Six Sigma is that it could take as long as three to four months for the company to see the desired effects. Therefore, in order to keep an account of the changes of the implementation process, Six Sigma auditing is essential.
The Six Sigma Outlook
Proper Six Sigma auditing helps in ensuring that everything works according to the plans framed by the Six Sigma methodology. One of the best things about a Six Sigma audit is that the audit checks done by the experts give high priority to the quality of the processes. The auditing process is very simple as well. It involves a set of survey questions that helps the auditor determine the actual condition of a particular business process.
Once the auditors have determined the situation of all the business processes, they simply compare them with the estimated or the desired results. The estimations are made right from the beginning of the operational phase of the Six Sigma implementation. The audit process is so systematic that it seems quite similar to the audit processes adopted by the ISO 9000 certified organizations.
Many companies have actually profited by using the Six Sigma auditing strategy prescribed by the ISO certified organizations.
Details of Six Sigma Audits
In the process of Six Sigma auditing, many professionals use charts and statistics in order to make sure each and every aspect of the Six Sigma implementation has been looked at. These charts are usually prepared at the beginning of the project and serve as a checklist so that the auditors are assured that every aspect has been adhered to.
Each checklist is prepared specifically for a particular business process, which eliminates any chance of errors at the source. For example, when conducting an audit of the available inventory, the auditors will specifically prepare an inventory checklist for that purpose. The checklist procedure is based on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which is defined at the beginning of the implementation stage.
The checklists are in the format of a questionnaire, which helps the auditor to ascertain whether or not that particular company process is being adhered to or not. The Six Sigma audit also helps the organization to identify the problem in any of the processes and correct them before any damage is done. For instance, if a fault is found in the sales system, or if the sales are less than what was estimated in the beginning, the data collected in the entries by the auditors help them determine where exactly had the fault taken place thereby finding the main cause of the deviation in the figures.
Even though the Six Sigma methodology aims at eliminating the defects bringing about quality control in the business processes, the Six Sigma audit process aims only at the present business goals and its achievement.
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online (http://www.sixsigmaonline.org) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.