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Six sigma project prioritization and selection: a multi-criteria decision making approach in healthcare industry

Fatma Pakdil (Department of Management and Marketing, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut, USA)
Pelin Toktaş (Department of Industrial Engineering, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey)
Gülin Feryal Can (Department of Industrial Engineering, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 9 December 2020

Issue publication date: 16 July 2021

538

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a methodology in which alternate Six Sigma projects are prioritized and selected using appropriate multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods in healthcare organizations. This study addresses a particular gap in implementing a systematic methodology for Six Sigma project prioritization and selection in the healthcare industry.

Design/methodology/approach

This study develops a methodology in which alternate Six Sigma projects are prioritized and selected using a modified Kemeny median indicator rank accordance (KEMIRA-M), an MCDM method based on a case study in healthcare organizations. The case study was hypothetically developed in the healthcare industry and presented to demonstrate the proposed framework’s applicability and validity for future decision-makers who will take place in Six Sigma project selection processes.

Findings

The study reveals that the Six Sigma project prioritized by KEMIRA-M assign the highest ranks to patient satisfaction, revenue enhancement and sigma level benefit criteria, while resource utilization and process cycle time receive the lowest rank.

Practical implications

The methodology developed in this paper proposes an MCDM-based approach for practitioners to prioritize and select Six Sigma projects in the healthcare industry. The findings regarding patient satisfaction and revenue enhancement mesh with the current trends that dominate and regulate the industry. KEMIRA-M provides flexibility for Six Sigma project selection and uses multiple criteria in two-criteria groups, simultaneously. In this study, a more objective KEMIRA-M method was suggested by implementing two different ranking-based weighting approaches.

Originality/value

This is the first study that implements KEMIRA-M in Six Sigma project prioritization and selection process in the healthcare industry. To overcome previous KEMIRA-M shortcomings, two ranking based weighting approaches were proposed to form a weighting procedure of KEMIRA-M. As the first implementation of the KEMIRA-M weighting procedure, the criteria weighting procedure of the KEMIRA-M method was developed using two different weighting methods based on ranking. The study provides decision-makers with a methodology that considers both benefit and cost type criteria for alternates and gives importance to experts’ rankings related to criteria and the performance values of alternates for criteria.

Keywords

Citation

Pakdil, F., Toktaş, P. and Can, G.F. (2021), "Six sigma project prioritization and selection: a multi-criteria decision making approach in healthcare industry", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 553-578. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-04-2020-0054

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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