The spirit of Six Sigma is to first understand the requirements of the customer. Identify those requirements in particular features that have detailed specifications, which can be measured and then deliver those features to the customer, to meet his needs. That is the spirit of Six Sigma is a nutshell.
Of all the tools of Six Sigma, VOC (Voice of the Customer) is the one universal tool that can be utilized across all industries and all products. All the other tools are dependent on what we need to understand concerning what the customer wants and all the other tools of Six Sigma can be used if appropriate. Each industry, and every product has its own quality features, and they also have unique metrics for determining the performance of those features.
The spirit of Six Sigma is gaining all the information that is available concerning the product or process, then examining this information to a finite level. In short, the practitioner of Six Sigma is trying to become the most knowledgeable person on the planet concerning the product or process, and with this knowledge, then perfecting the product or process.
I have trained many students in the art of Six Sigma. All students have certain responsibilities at their current employment. These responsibilities allow them only access to part of the VOC, they do not have the entire picture. This limitation creates mediocrity in the work place. Employees either, are placed in positions with blinders on, or have placed blinders on themselves. The spirit of Six Sigma requires that the blinders be removed. Every practitioner of Six Sigma must exhibit the skills of an entrepreneur or CEO within their positon. They must be able to see the beginning to the end of the process. And they must use the tools of Six Sigma in the middle.
It behooves every business owner and/or every manager to take the blinders off their employees. Doing this will enable the employees to contribute to their potential. All employees should contribute to the quality and the success of the enterprise. If I knew years ago what I know today, I would have every employee under my responsibility study Six Sigma principles to the Green Belt level; so that they understand that their responsibility is to improve the enterprise, not just fulfil some routine duties.
In conclusion, in the spirit of Six Sigma, all employees should not only be allowed access to the resources they need to do their responsibilities, but also the tools available to improve and perfect their products and processes.