November 18, 2006

The Significance of Six Sigma

Why is Six Sigma so important in the improvement process? We talk of Six Sigma level implementations having an accuracy of 99.99966 percent. Do we need to be so accurate? Isn’t it enough to be accurate, say, 99 percent of the time? Well, after reading the following statistics compiled by the American Society for Quality, you will agree that it definitely is not!

Being 99 percent accurate means that:

  • As many as 50 babies are dropped in hospitals every day.
  • There is no electric power for nearly 7 hours every month.
  • Every hour, at least 20,000 letters are lost in the mail.
  • Over 200,000 errors are made in medical prescriptions on an annual basis.
  • Every week, doctors botch up 5,000 surgeries.
  • Major airports report 2 incorrect landings every day.

Now, doesn’t that 0.99966 percent sound worthwhile?

Did you enjoy this post?


Wow - those stats are make a point. Where on the ASQ website did you find them? are they in the members area?

Posted by: Mike | Nov 20, 2006 4:06:56 AM

Heres the link.
Its a members-only area.

Posted by: Pushpa | Nov 20, 2006 10:05:06 PM

This is a good graphic way of showing that 99% accuracy is not enough--never enough. In fact, zero defect is being aimed at these days. :)

Posted by: Meikah Delid | Nov 21, 2006 11:00:41 PM

Bummer - Im not a member and dont feel like joining.

Posted by: Mike | Nov 27, 2006 8:13:48 AM

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