# The Binomial Distribution And How It’s Used In Six Sigma Projects

In Six Sigma projects, understanding and utilizing statistical distributions is crucial for effective data analysis and decision-making. One such distribution that plays a significant role is the binomial distribution. In this article, we will explore the binomial distribution, its properties, and how it is used in Six Sigma projects to drive process improvement.

## What Is the Binomial Distribution?

The binomial distribution is a discrete probability distribution that models the number of successes in a fixed number of independent Bernoulli trials. Each trial has two possible outcomes, typically referred to as success and failure. The distribution is characterized by two parameters: the probability of success (p) and the number of trials (n).

It is essential to note that for a distribution to follow the binomial distribution, the trials must meet specific criteria:

- The number of trials is fixed.
- Each trial is independent of the others.
- The probability of success (p) remains constant across all trials.
- The outcome of each trial is either a success or a failure.

## Properties of the Binomial Distribution

The binomial distribution has several key properties that make it useful in Six Sigma projects:

- Probability Mass Function (PMF): The PMF of the binomial distribution calculates the probability of obtaining a specific number of successes in a fixed number of trials.
- Mean and Variance: The mean of a binomial distribution is equal to the product of the number of trials and the probability of success. The variance is calculated as the product of the number of trials, the probability of success, and the probability of failure.
- Skewness and Kurtosis: The binomial distribution is negatively skewed if the probability of success (p) is less than 0.5 and positively skewed if p is greater than 0.5. The kurtosis of the distribution depends on the number of trials.
- Central Limit Theorem: When the number of trials is large enough, the binomial distribution approaches a normal distribution. This property is often used in approximating binomial probabilities.

## Using the Binomial Distribution in Six Sigma Projects

The binomial distribution is a valuable tool in Six Sigma projects for various purposes:

- Process Analysis: It helps analyze and model processes with discrete outcomes, such as defect rates, error occurrences, and quality control measurements.
- Probability Calculations: The binomial distribution allows calculating the probability of achieving a specific number of successes or failures in a given number of trials.
- Hypothesis Testing: It is used to test hypotheses and make inferences about the success or failure rates of processes.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making: By understanding the binomial distribution, Six Sigma practitioners can make informed decisions based on the probabilities associated with different outcomes.

## Example: Applying the Binomial Distribution

Let’s consider an example to illustrate the application of the binomial distribution in a Six Sigma project. Suppose a manufacturing company is interested in reducing the defect rate in its production line. They decide to take a sample of 100 products and inspect them for defects. The historical data suggests that the defect rate is 5%. Using the binomial distribution, they can calculate the probabilities of observing different numbers of defective products in the sample and make data-driven decisions to improve the process.

## What Is The Binomial Distribution

Discovered in 1714 by Bernoulli J., the binomial distribution is amongst the first probability distributions discovered. The binomial distribution is a type of probability distribution used for discrete information/data. It encapsulates the chances of a value taking 1 of 2 possible outcomes given a certain set of constraints or presumptions.

Any type of data that is constricted to only having 1 of 2 values, such as passing or failing, going or not going, etc., are related to the binomial distribution. If a Six Sigma team wants to find out more details about the frequency of an occurrence rather than its size, it is highly helpful. Defective data, which refers to non-conformities related to goods, services or products that make them useless, are characterized by the binomial distribution. Simply said, it defines the proportion of things without defects.

## Six Sigma And The Binomial Distribution

The following requirements must be met by binomial data:

Every item must be the outcome of the same circumstances.

There are two potential results for each item

For every item, the likelihood of failure or success is fixed.

The results of the tests are distinct.

A binomial distribution is therefore more appropriate for judging flaws than defectives. It works best when there are fewer than thirty observations and a likelihood of at least 10 percent. The binomial distribution may be used by project team members to determine how challenging it will be to meet a specific goal in light of prior performance.

For any case with only two possible outcomes, the binomial distribution shouldn’t be applied. Think about the scenario when someone wishes to estimate the likelihood of snowfall on a specific day. Since there is less change in the weather in the summertime than there is during the winter, a binomial distribution cannot be used.

### An Example Of Binomial Distribution

A binomial distribution can result from tossing a coin. This is due to the fact that each attempt can only end in 1 of 2 outcomes (tails or heads), each result will have the same chance (flipping a coin to determine whether it is tails or heads has a likelihood of 0.50), and thus the outcomes of one test will not affect those of another.

### The Binomial Distribution Formula

The formula for the Binomial Distribution is as follow:

**P(r) = (n! / r! (n – r)!) pr (1 – p) n – r**

**Legend:**

P = Desired PRobability

p = Actual Probability of Success

r= Number of successes desired

N = Sample size

**This is what each element represents:**

Chances of success are represented by (P.) The intended probability is represented by an uppercase (P) whereas the actual likelihood is represented by a tiny (p).

(r) represents the required amount of victories.

(n) denotes the sample size.

The factorial sign is (!). For instance, the expression (5 Factorial) means that five will be multiplied by four, four will be multiplied by three, three will be multiplied by two, and two will be multiplied by one, etc. 120 is the answer.

The value of (0 Factorial) is always one.

**The Solution To This:**

Let’s go through another example and image. This is the next problem:

We are aware that there are only two possible results when flipping a coin: tails or heads.

Each result has a set likelihood of 0.5 fixed during time.

Furthermore, results are random, and independently variable.

In this case, the crucial query is: What really is the likelihood of receiving five heads after tossing the coin eight times?

Using the binomial distribution formula can help us find the correct answer.

The likelihood of receiving five heads must be determined. As a result, (r) will have a fixed value of five.

We’ll flip the coin eight times. We shall thus use an 8-person sample size.

There is a 0.5 percent chance of receiving heads.

To make it easier to understand the result immediately, the full information is stacked in the image below. Examine the (eight factorial), (five factorial), and (three factorial) values. Regarding the 0.5 part of the formula, note the “superscript five” and “superscript eight minus five”. The result will be 0.2187 after all of the values located within the formula have been substituted. If we flip the coin eight times and we use the binomial distribution formula, that would be the likelihood of receiving five heads.

P(r) = (n! / r! (n – r)!) pr (1 – p) n – r

P(5) = (8 / 5 (8 – 5)!) 0.55 (1 – 0.5) 8 – 5

P(5) = (8*7*6*5*4*3*2*1 / 5*4*3*2*1(3*2*1)) 0.5*0.5*0.5*0.5*0.5 (0.5*0.5*0.5)

The answer is:

0.21875

OR

21.88%

**Sign-up for a 7-day free trial!**

Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works

## Conclusion

The binomial distribution is a powerful statistical tool that plays a significant role in Six Sigma projects. By understanding its properties and applications, Six Sigma practitioners can analyze processes, calculate probabilities, and make data-driven decisions to drive process improvement and achieve organizational goals. Incorporating the binomial distribution into your analytical toolkit will enhance your ability to identify areas for improvement and implement effective solutions.

Have you led projects and are looking to earn a project management certification? You might be interested in learning about how lucrative this can be. Check out these articles.

13 PMP Benefits Once You Get The PMP Certification

No experience leading projects but still want to get into project management? No problem! Check out these articles.

CAPM Certification Eligibility

What is a Certified Project Manager; How do I get PM Certifications