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Assessment of critical failure factors (CFFs) of Lean Six Sigma in real life scenario: Evidence from manufacturing and service industries

Raja Sreedharan V. (Department of Management, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, India)
Gopikumar V. (Department of Management, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, India)
Smitha Nair (Department of Management, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, India)
Ayon Chakraborty (Department of Operations Management and Quantitative Technique, IIM Tiruchirappalli, Tiruchirappalli, India)
Jiju Antony (Department of Business Management, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 29 November 2018




Many projects focus on the reliable operation of the activities in the project. Any failure in the process activities leads to major problems resulting in waste, defects, equipment damage, which has a direct impact on the consumers. In addition, Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is not new to this issue. LSS projects have faced an interruption in the process flow and unforeseen defects. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to identify the vital failure factors of LSS projects.


Through extant literature review, the researchers found 44 critical failure factors (CFFs) of LSS. Using the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) SIMOS approach, the decision makers’ (DMs) rating and weight for each factor were collected. Moreover, the study was conducted in both the manufacturing and service industries to identify the impact of CFFs in LSS projects.


CFFs and their evaluation have received little attention in the literature. Most of the previous studies deal only with the identification of the success factors in general. Therefore, the study identified 44 CFFs and ranked them through DMs. In addition, the TOPSIS SIMOS approach ranked the vital failure factors enabling the management to avert the LSS project from failures.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on project failures due to CFFs of LSS. Nevertheless, it did not consider other failure factors of project and knowledge management. Further, the sample used to test the approach was considerably small. Therefore, the study can be repeated with significant samples and the vital failure factors compared.

Practical implications

In real-life application, all the parameters in the LSS project need to be understood in a better manner. In such a condition, the practitioner needs to know that the project never fails due to the CFFs and TOPSIS SIMOS approach can prevent the LSS project failures.


The study applied TOPSIS SIMOS approach to rank the CFFs in an LSS project, which is first of its kind and aids the practitioners to make the right decisions in the business environment.



Sreedharan V., R., V., G., Nair, S., Chakraborty, A. and Antony, J. (2018), "Assessment of critical failure factors (CFFs) of Lean Six Sigma in real life scenario: Evidence from manufacturing and service industries", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 3320-3336.



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