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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Gurwinder Singh and Davinder Singh

The success or failure of any Six Sigma program/project depends on some critical factors. The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore critical success factors…

Abstract

Purpose

The success or failure of any Six Sigma program/project depends on some critical factors. The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore critical success factors (CSFs) of Six Sigma from an extensive literature review of research articles published in the context of Six Sigma and propose a categorized list of vital CSFs.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used is the systematic analysis of 64 different research publications and case studies from 34 different journals that are relevant in the context of Six Sigma by filtering, using keywords like Six Sigma and CSFs. This analysis leads to the exploration of a number of CSFs followed by their prioritization by using a Pareto analysis quality tool. These CSFs are then sorted into a proposed list of “vital few” and “useful many” CSFs groups in accordance to their frequency of occurrence.

Findings

The literature revealed 13 vital CSFs: management involvement and commitment, training, cultural change, communication, customer focus and requirements, organizational infrastructure and resources, project management skills, project prioritization and selection, understanding the Six Sigma methodology, tools and techniques, linking Six Sigma to business strategy, linking Six Sigma to customers, customer focus and requirements, quality data and reporting and linking Six Sigma to suppliers. The consideration of these CSFs will increase the success rates of a Six Sigma program/project in an organization.

Research limitations/implications

The CSFs extracted spotlight only small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and do not consider large industries. This paper is confined to those articles that argued that the Six Sigma is beneficial to SMEs and does not consider the failure experience of the industries.

Originality/value

This paper identifies the CSFs for implementing Six Sigma that are comprehensive and potential to address the quality-related issues of industries. This paper also provides an extract of the relevant publishing to both the academicians and practitioners in the field of Six Sigma for implementing Six Sigma framework in an organization. This study is apparently the first of its kind on CSF assessment and categorization.

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Sunil Sharma and Anuradha R. Chetiya

The success of Six Sigma implementation is known to depend on a number of critical factors. The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse Six Sigma critical success…

Abstract

Purpose

The success of Six Sigma implementation is known to depend on a number of critical factors. The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse Six Sigma critical success factors (CSFs) in the context of Indian manufacturing organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Although Six Sigma success factors have been amply researched in the global context, in this paper, a maiden attempt is made to identify, through an extensive literature review, the CSFs for Six Sigma implementation followed by their validation and prioritization using primary data collection from Indian companies. A total of 22 CSFs have thus been compiled through an extensive literature review. These CSFs are then validated through an empirical research of select Indian manufacturing companies at various stages of implementation of the Six Sigma process improvement methodology.

Findings

A factor analysis was used to finally reduce the 22 factors to seven groups of underlying CSFs, the top factors being use of right tools, measurement assurance, innovation and supplier collaboration. Based on the factors extracted, a Six Sigma adoption model has been proposed in the Asian context.

Research limitations/implications

The factor analysis of CSFs of the Indian manufacturing organizations selected in this study demonstrates that the top factor is a composite factor showing combination of the ability of the project teams to use the right tools, measurement assurance, innovation and creativity skills in problem solving, and also the long‐term supplier collaboration of the firm. Perhaps there has been an overemphasis on the role and commitment of the management in the success of a Six Sigma program. Though it is undisputed, certain other factors also play an equally important role in ensuring that the Six Sigma programs are successful.

Originality/value

The CSFs extracted through the factor analysis could provide a basis for manufacturing organizations embarking on the Six Sigma journey to look beyond just management involvement and develop an integrated framework of other factors as outlined and give them appropriate priority and focus. The study could well be extended to service industries.

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2010

Sunil Sharma and Anuradha R. Chetiya

The purpose of this paper is to study the Six Sigma project selection approach and the factors responsible in the Indian manufacturing industry with foreign technical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the Six Sigma project selection approach and the factors responsible in the Indian manufacturing industry with foreign technical collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

First, an extensive overview and literature review of the Six Sigma project selection process is done resulting into identification of 17 key project selection variables. This is followed by an empirical descriptive statistical analysis of the select variables on 13 Indian manufacturing organizations with foreign technical collaboration. Finally, an objective factor analysis has been used to extract six key factors that affect the project selection process.

Findings

Management commitment alone cannot ensure success of the Six Sigma projects unless supported by a good communication system, process and workflow management and availability of good metrics and measurement information systems and resources within the organization, in that order. The identification of critical to quality characteristics and deployment of financial resources and innovative and qualified people comes next.

Research limitations/implications

The factors extracted through the factor analysis could provide a basis for manufacturing organizations embarking on the Six Sigma initiative to focus on key factors of the project selection process and put project deliverables in place. The paper opens up the scope for industry and region‐specific studies.

Originality/value

The identification of factors is based on extensive literature survey supplemented by their extraction based on companies' direct primary responses through a structured questionnaire whose Cronbach alpha for reliability was estimated to be 0.827.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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