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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Jiju Antony, Ronald Snee and Roger Hoerl

The purpose of this paper is to share the experiences and perspectives of three practitioners from two continents on the subject of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) from both academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to share the experiences and perspectives of three practitioners from two continents on the subject of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) from both academic and industrial viewpoints. The authors of the paper have each been working on the topic of LSS over the past 15 years and have contributed over 150 journal and conference papers to the topics of lean and Six Sigma.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to synthesize the practical experiences and research conducted by three authorities on the topic of LSS. In addition, relevant secondary data have also been used in the sections where and when appropriate.

Findings

The authors initially present the history of LSS emphasizing the importance of integration of the two most effective process excellence methodologies over the past 30 years. The authors also report the current trends of LSS in organizations as well as the emerging future trends. They argue that LSS will continue to grow and evolve across the globe for several years.

Practical implications

The paper is intended to be equally useful to both academics and practitioners who are interested on the topic of LSS. From a pure practical standpoint, the paper provides an overview of the past, present and future trends of LSS as a powerful business strategy and problem-solving methodology for all industrial sectors, irrespective of their size and nature. The documentation of the history and recent developments in LSS should be useful to researchers in academia.

Originality/value

In authors’ best knowledge, there are no recent journal articles which cover all the three of these aspects; the past, the present and the future of LSS. This paper presents the above three aspects in a unique manner and addresses the gap between the current state and future directions of LSS.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2021

Jiju Antony, Olivia McDermott, Michael Sony, Elizabeth A. Cudney, Ronald D. Snee and Roger W. Hoerl

This paper aims to present and summarise the arguments for and against the ISO 18404 standard and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of implementing it.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present and summarise the arguments for and against the ISO 18404 standard and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of implementing it.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative interview approach was utilised by interviewing a panel of leading academics and practitioners familiar with Lean Six Sigma.

Findings

The results indicate that Lean Six Sigma professionals have conflicting opinions on ISO 18404. An overwhelming majority of the panel questioned the “quality” of the standard and whether it is “fit for purpose”, while others see the advantages of a common standard in helping continuous improvement deployment.

Research limitations/implications

As the standard has not been widely adopted, there were limited examples on ISO 18404 discussion in the literature. Much of the current literature focuses on the theoretical application of the standard, with sparse practical examples providing case study deployment. Also, the interviews were short and at a high level. There is an opportunity for further study and analysis. It was difficult to find qualified interviewees who were familiar with the standard. A very real constraint when conducting research into ISO 18404 is to obtain a balanced view of the standard from those who have a vested interest in its continuation and evolution, or not.

Originality/value

The paper provides a resource for people to obtain insight into the value or non-value add of a standard in Lean Six Sigma and the appropriate details of such a standard. These results can form the basis of a case for the implementation of the standard for those organisations currently trying to decide whether to implement it or not.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Jiju Antony, Roger Hoerl and Ronald Snee

Abstract

Details

Lean Six Sigma in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-929-8

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2010

Roger W. Hoerl and Martha M. Gardner

Creativity and innovation have recently emerged as the latest focus of the popular business media, replacing established approaches, such as Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Some…

Abstract

Purpose

Creativity and innovation have recently emerged as the latest focus of the popular business media, replacing established approaches, such as Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Some have gone so far as to suggest that LSS inhibits organizations from being creative and innovating. This paper aims to dig beneath the surface of the media reports to examine what creativity and innovation actually are, and how they relate to LSS.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews current literature on creativity and innovation, and based on extensive experience implementing LSS, compare and contrast the approaches, searching for common ground.

Findings

Not surprisingly, the paper finds that the terms creativity and innovation are typically not well defined in the media, and are used more as “buzzwords.” In reality, it argues, LSS clearly stimulates creativity. However, it is not the best method for identifying ideas for breakthrough innovation. Therefore, to have a holistic improvement system, organizations must combine LSS with other methods and approaches that are better suited to breakthrough innovation. It suggests one such approach: via a practical healthcare example, it contrasts this approach with a singular focus on disruptive innovation, which is too often recommended as a panacea in the media.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that organizations should develop holistic improvement approaches that are not based on one methodology, no matter how good that methodology is. The paper provides practical guidance as to how such a holistic approach should be constructed, and identify the critical role that LSS plays in this approach. LSS will clearly still be needed.

Originality/value

The paper provides a balanced viewpoint on continuous improvement and innovation, avoiding a position of advocacy of one versus the other. This proper context should help organizations properly integrate both into a broader improvement system.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2010

Ronald D. Snee

The purpose of this paper is to assess Lean Six Sigma to identify important advances over the last ten to 15 years and discuss emerging trends that suggest how the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess Lean Six Sigma to identify important advances over the last ten to 15 years and discuss emerging trends that suggest how the methodology needs to evolve. The goal is to aid those who want to use the method to improve performance as well as assist those developing improvement methodologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The use and development of Lean Six Sigma is reviewed including the origins of the method, the what, why and benefits of the method, how the approach is different, the integration of Lean and Six Sigma, implementation mistakes made, lessons learned and developments needed in the future.

Findings

It is found that organizations have many different improvement needs that require the objectives and methods contained in the lean and Six Sigma methodologies. It is also found that deployment and sustaining improvements are major issues that can be overcome by building a sustaining infrastructure and making improvement a business process. Critical issues include using Lean Six Sigma to generate cash in difficult economic times, development of data‐based process management systems and the use of working on improvement as a leadership development tool.

Practical implications

These findings suggest that improvement is most effective when approached in an holistic manner addressing improvement in all parts of the organization using a holistic improvement methodology such as Lean Six Sigma. Improvement must address the flow of information and materials thorough processes as well as the enhancement of value‐adding process steps that create the product for the customer. This leads naturally to making improvement a business process that is planned for, operated and reviewed as any other important business process is.

Originality/value

The roadmaps, guiding principles, and deployment pitfalls identified will be of value to those initiating and operating improvement processes in their organizations enabling them to rapidly create useful and sustainable improvements. The discussion of needed enhancements will be of value to those who are working to improve the effectiveness of the approach.

Details

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

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Lean Six Sigma in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-929-8

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Jiju Antony

Although Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has been widely accepted today by more than 70 per cent Fortune 500 companies, its applications in the public sector are not widely observed…

Abstract

Purpose

Although Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has been widely accepted today by more than 70 per cent Fortune 500 companies, its applications in the public sector are not widely observed and reported due to a number of challenges. The purpose of this paper is to present some of the fundamental challenges in the deployment of LSS within the higher education (HE) context.

Design/methodology/approach

The author uses primary data in the form of opinions or viewpoints from leading academics and parishioners around the world. The viewpoints were collected carefully to have a good balance between the leading academics and the LSS practitioners.

Findings

The challenges of LSS implementation in HE can be classified into three categories: organisational, technical and individual challenges. Lack of visionary leadership for LSS journey from top management team in the HE sector makes the deployment a total failure. The difficulty of defining and measuring quality in a HE setting along with collecting relevant and accurate data can be an immense technical challenge in any university sector. Moreover the lack of staff engagement, full academic freedom and autonomy will be a personal challenge for those who are involved in the business process improvement initiative such as LSS.

Research limitations/implications

Due to limited time constraints, the number of people participated in the study was relatively small. However, the author argues that this study can provide a good foundation to various researchers and practitioners in further exploring the challenges in the implementation and deployment of LSS in any HE setting.

Practical implications

The findings of the study can be very useful to those who get involved in the application of LSS principles for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of HE processes.

Originality/value

This paper makes an attempt to reveal some of the rudimentary challenges in the deployment of LSS within the HE setting. These challenges should be taken into account when any HE sector embarks on the LSS initiative.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Jiju Antony

This paper aims to present the viewpoints from a number of leading practitioners and academics on the subject “Can Six Sigma be effectively deployed in small and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the viewpoints from a number of leading practitioners and academics on the subject “Can Six Sigma be effectively deployed in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs)?”.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of academics and practitioners were interviewed by the author to collate their opinions and views on the above subject.

Findings

The results of the study clearly indicate that Six Sigma is equally applicable to both large corporations and small companies. In fact, the results are quicker and much more visible in smaller companies than in larger corporations.

Originality/value

This paper provides an excellent resource for those people who believe that Six Sigma is primarily meant for large companies. It also makes an attempt to remove one of the common myths of Six Sigma.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 57 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Jiju Antony

This paper aims to present the fundamental and critical differences between two of the most powerful philosophies of modern quality management.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the fundamental and critical differences between two of the most powerful philosophies of modern quality management.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken was to form a panel of leading academics and practitioners who are familiar with both the Six Sigma and Total Quality Management (TQM) topics.

Findings

The findings of the panel discussion were quite stimulating in the sense that the paper demystifies the myth that Six Sigma is an old wine in a new bottle or that it is another hot topic or flavour of the month. The author believes that this will be extremely useful to many practitioners and researchers in these fields.

Research limitations/implications

The viewpoints expressed here are based on many practitioners and academics in a few countries such as the USA, Singapore, India, the UK and Korea. It is essential to collect data on this topic from a number of leading researchers and practitioners in the field from other countries and to set out a research agenda in the future.

Originality/value

The paper provides an excellent resource for those people who are currently carrying out research in Six Sigma. Moreover, it is equally useful to practitioners and academics to understand the critical differences between these two powerful approaches to quality management.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Jiju Antony

This paper aims to present the results of a study carried out by the author in the form of a panel discussion on the topic – “Is Six Sigma another management fad or fact?”

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the results of a study carried out by the author in the form of a panel discussion on the topic – “Is Six Sigma another management fad or fact?”

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken for this paper was to form a panel of leading academics and practitioners who are familiar with the six sigma topic as well as general quality management/improvement fields.

Findings

The findings of this panel discussion was quite stimulating and the author believes that this will be extremely useful to both researchers and practitioners of six sigma.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this panel discussion was that majority of the people who participated in this study come from the USA. It would have been better to have different views from other parts of the world such as China, Sweden, Hong Kong, Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, etc.

Originality/value

The paper provides an excellent resource for those people who would like to know whether six sigma is just a management fad or fact. The people who had participated in this panel discussion were carefully chosen by the author.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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