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Project selection and its impact on the successful deployment of Six Sigma

Maneesh Kumar (School of Management and Law, Edinburgh Napier University Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Jiju Antony (Department of Design Manufacture and Engineering Management, Strathclyde Institute for Operations Management, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Byung Rae Cho (Department of Industrial Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 11 September 2009




The purpose of this paper is to focus on the importance of the project selection process and its role in the successful deployment of Six Sigma within organizations.


A review of the literature is presented, highlighting the importance of project selection in Six Sigma deployment, which is an area of extreme importance that has been less researched in the past. The paper, through a real‐life case study, proposes a hybrid methodology, which combines the analytical hierarchy process and the project desirability matrix to select a project for Six Sigma deployment.


The paper demonstrates the efficacy of proposed methodology by its application in a small and medium‐sized enterprise (SME) manufacturing die‐casting product. The example provided is a real‐life case study conducted by the authors in an organization embracing the Six Sigma business strategy within their day‐to‐day functioning.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed methodology is tested only in a case study SME, which is the limitation of the paper. The robustness of the methodology can be tested by conducting several case studies in organizations and comparing the results with other existing methodologies for project selection such as project prioritisation matrix or the failure mode and effect analysis.

Practical implications

The paper accentuates the importance of the project selection process for Six Sigma deployment, which can have a tremendous effect on the business profitability of an organization. The paper is relevant to both industry practitioners and researchers.


The paper presents a methodology linking the project selection process to successful deployment of Six Sigma within organizations, an important topic that has been neglected in the past. The paper will enable managers and practitioners to emphasize the importance of project selection and to identify and focus on the critical success factors in successful deployment of Six Sigma projects.



Kumar, M., Antony, J. and Rae Cho, B. (2009), "Project selection and its impact on the successful deployment of Six Sigma", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 669-686.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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