• Six Sigma;
  • Six Sigma training;
  • DMAIC;
  • statistical thinking;
  • quality management;
  • quality engineering


Six Sigma has enjoyed considerable popularity in the industry for about a quarter of a century. While the standard contents of Six Sigma have been described and discussed widely, some little articulated aspects of Six Sigma implementation deserve the attention of serious practitioners. In this paper, a ‘5W+1H’ (What, Why, When Where, Who, How) format is used to elucidate the nature of Six Sigma in a non-mathematical discussion, followed by observations peculiar to the usual mode of development of Six Sigma professionals. It is pointed out that Six Sigma has Statistical Thinking as its foundation; for Six Sigma and its associated frameworks such as Design for Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma to continue to be effective, it is important that users have a clear understanding of the nature of Six Sigma and be able to address the related challenges in practice. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.