What is ‘Quick Wins’ in Six Sigma?

Quick Wins are the actions/projects that require minimum efforts and would offer a reasonable benefit in a Six Sigma Project.

Six Sigma Framework

  • Six sigma is an investigative problem-solving methodology.
  • It provides a proven framework and sets of tools and techniques to help us solve problems.
  • We call this framework the DMAIC method, depicting five steps of problem-solving. They are Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control.
  • Six sigma also prescribes tools and techniques for application in each phase.
  • It also helps us categorise the business problems based on the complexity of the causes and efforts required to solve them.
  • Black Belt will train people on this progressive model of solving problems.

Quick Wins – Based on Complexity of Projects

Six Sigma Belts & Complexity

Black Belt Projects

Highly complexed problems. Requires higher order statistical tools like Design of Experiments to arrive at solutions.

Green Belt Project

Moderately complex problems. We need to use the DMAIC framework to investigate the root causes and brainstorm, find out or innovate solutions.

Yellow Belt Projects

Less complex problems. The team can find out causes with simple data analysis, without DMAIC, and solutions are obvious. We call the Yellow Belt level projects, which the Project Team can complete within few weeks as Quick Wins or Just-Do-it Projects or as Low Hanging Fruits

Quick Wins – Based on Effort-Benefit Analysis

Sample Effort-Benefit Matrix
  • During Green Belt or Black Belt projects, the teams will do a thorough root cause analysis and are expected to develop multiple potential root causes in the Analyse Phase.
  • Then the root causes will be validated and taken to Improve Phase for Solution Generation. They will generate multiple solutions for all the validated root causes.
  • To make the project viable and make business sense, the project team would analyse each solution for Efforts Required and corresponding Benefits.
  • We all the solutions that require the least efforts while providing less or reasonable benefits as Quick Win Actions.
  • Because they require fewer efforts, probably do not warrant significant changes in the system, the team can implement those solutions quickly, without waiting for management approval.