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Article

Bengt Klefsjö, Håkan Wiklund and Rick L. Edgeman

Six sigma programs are raging through corporations worldwide, with some corporations citing savings in the $US billions resulting from six sigma implementation. Six sigma

Abstract

Six sigma programs are raging through corporations worldwide, with some corporations citing savings in the $US billions resulting from six sigma implementation. Six sigma has both proponents and detractors with some arguing that nothing new is involved and others identifying it as revolutionary. The view espoused herein argues for six sigma as a methodology within the larger framework of total quality management – a blend of old and new in the sense that the tools of six sigma are often familiar ones, but are applied with an eye that is more strategically focused than historic use of those tools ordinarily indicates.

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Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article

Robert Holtz and Paul Campbell

If readers have picked up any of a number of business periodicals within the past five years, they have probably heardof Six Sigma. They have read about it or heard…

Abstract

If readers have picked up any of a number of business periodicals within the past five years, they have probably heard of Six Sigma. They have read about it or heard someone talking about the great successes that resulted from applying Six Sigma. The intent of this paper is not to teach the reader all there is to know about Six Sigma. Instead, it aims to provide a brief overview of Six Sigma (for anyone not familiar with it), explain how Ford Motor Company has approached its implementation and how it has been applied in facility management and maintenance activities.

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Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article

Lee Revere, Ken Black and Ahsan Huq

Examines Six Sigma as a strategy for improving service which tries to reduce defects and therefore improve a firm’s marketing position. Looks at how this as been applied…

Abstract

Examines Six Sigma as a strategy for improving service which tries to reduce defects and therefore improve a firm’s marketing position. Looks at how this as been applied in business and then examines its place in healthcare. Concludes that the few healthcare institutions that have implemented Six Sigma have done so in the interest of business and not so much in the area of patient care, where it is proposed that it will improve things dramatically.

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The TQM Magazine, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article

Jiju Antony

The purpose of this paper is to present the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Six Sigma based on the perspectives of leading academics and practitioners.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Six Sigma based on the perspectives of leading academics and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken was to collate opinions from a number of leading academics and practitioners from different countries. It was also important to ensure that all participants in the study had a good knowledge and expertise in the field of Six Sigma.

Findings

The key findings are presented in the paper.

Research limitations/implications

The viewpoints expressed in the paper are based on leading experts from both academic and industrial communities. Due to limited time constraints, the number of people who participated in the study was relatively small.

Originality/value

The paper provides an excellent resource for many researchers and practitioners equally who are engaged in research and applications of the most powerful business process improvement methodology we have witnessed for several years.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 61 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Jung Lang Cheng

The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of implementing Six Sigma system on job satisfaction and employee morale, and how job satisfaction, employee morale and Six

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of implementing Six Sigma system on job satisfaction and employee morale, and how job satisfaction, employee morale and Six Sigma implementation are to support each other.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds a research framework which includes the variables of Six Sigma, job satisfaction, and employee morale. The research methodology is the use of a field survey questionnaire of a Taiwanese company.

Findings

The paper finds that the method of Six Sigma implementation in Taiwanese company was by a top‐down approach, where is the managers received the training and then were expected to pass on the relevant knowledge to their subordinates. It also reveals that one key issue in Six Sigma implementation is which organizational departments should first receive the Six Sigma training. the field study found that the first departments related to logistics management, and then onto production line departments. Implementing Six Sigma training has impact on organizational job satisfaction and employee morale. The performance of Six Sigma training was able to achieve job satisfaction and employee morale, but the employees who participated in Six Sigma training were more positive with regard to job satisfaction and employee morale.

Originality/value

Every organization has their special characteristics in relation to the Six Sigma system, job satisfaction and employee morale. The organization should aim to better understand the relationship and content of job satisfaction and employee morale with regard to successful Six Sigma implementation.

Details

Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

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Article

Prabhakar Kaushik, Dinesh Khanduja, Kapil Mittal and Pawan Jaglan

Six Sigma within small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) is rapidly emerging as the new wave of change in Six Sigma. The purpose of this paper is to review the…

Abstract

Purpose

Six Sigma within small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) is rapidly emerging as the new wave of change in Six Sigma. The purpose of this paper is to review the implications of applying Six Sigma methodology over the SMEs, taking a specific case of a bicycle chain manufacturing unit. The study could be a paradigm initiative towards high quality products and services at low cost for every SME.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature, this paper proposes a process flow chart to present a one‐shot picture of the Six Sigma application in a bicycle chain manufacturing unit which falls in an SME environment. The methodology adopted is DMAIC methodology of Six Sigma, which had been mostly successful so far in large‐scale industries. The methodology has been applied to reduce the bush rejection rate (bush is an important component of a cycle chain) by reducing defects inherent in the processes. The statistical techniques such as two sample t‐test and process capability analysis have been used to establish the process capability before and after the Six Sigma application.

Findings

This paper is an attempt to justify the highly useful role of quality management techniques like Six Sigma for SMEs which are normally presumed to be in the domain of large industries. In this paper, Six Sigma methodology has been applied to a small unit manufacturing bicycles chains with dwindling productivity levels. After applying Six Sigma it was found that the chain manufacturing firm can increase its profit by controlling high rejection rate of cycle chain bush. Application of Six Sigma project recommendation brought up the process sigma level to 5.46 from 1.40 by reduction in bush diameter variation in the process of bicycle chain bush manufacturing. This increase in sigma level is equivalent to monetary saving of Rs 0.288 million per annum, which is a noteworthy figure for an industry of such level. The success of this study paves the way to further extend the Six Sigma application to more such industries working in the SME environment.

Originality/value

This paper provides documented evidence of Six Sigma implementation in a bicycle chain manufacturing unit which has been taken as representative of a small and medium‐size industry. The study will yield a great value to academics, consultants, researchers and practitioners of Six Sigma.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article

Susan Knapp

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between four organizational cultural types defined by the Competing Values Framework and three Lean Six Sigma

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between four organizational cultural types defined by the Competing Values Framework and three Lean Six Sigma implementation components – management involvement, use of Lean Six Sigma methods and Lean Six Sigma infrastructure.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved surveying 446 human resource and quality managers from 223 hospitals located in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument.

Findings

In total, 104 completed responses were received and analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance. Follow-up analysis of variances showed management support was significant, F(3, 100)=4.89, p < 0.01, η2=1.28; infrastructure was not significant, F(3, 100)=1.55, p=0.21, η2=0.05; and using Lean Six Sigma methods was also not significant, F(3, 100)=1.34, p=0.26, η2=0.04. Post hoc analysis identified group and development cultures having significant interactions with management support.

Practical implications

The relationship between organizational culture and Lean Six Sigma in hospitals provides information on how specific cultural characteristics impact the Lean Six Sigma initiative key components. This information assists hospital staff who are considering implementing quality initiatives by providing an understanding of what cultural values correspond to effective Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Originality/value

Managers understanding the quality initiative cultural underpinnings, are attentive to the culture-shared values and norm’s influence can utilize strategies to better implement Lean Six Sigma.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article

Vijaya Sunder M.

The purpose of this paper is to present the corporate views of the commonalities and differences between two of the most powerful methodologies for process improvement in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the corporate views of the commonalities and differences between two of the most powerful methodologies for process improvement in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken was to collate the viewpoints from various corporate professionals. Participants were chosen from different countries across the globe, with a median experience of 10 years as a quality professional with expertise in the field of both Lean and Six Sigma.

Findings

Thirty-one key points have been highlighted as findings, as a summary of viewpoints provided by the participants. Fourteen commonalities and 17 differences between Six Sigma and Lean were identified. Key findings were grouped under four categories – Approach, Customer, Focus and Organisation.

Research limitations/implications

The corporate opinions expressed in the paper are those of a few professionals selected for the study. It is important to capture the viewpoints of more such practitioners to arrive at sound and valid conclusions.

Originality/value

The paper provides an excellent platform for both academicians and working professionals to understand the corporate views of commonalities and differences between the two powerful process improvement methodologies. The paper lays a platform for researchers to understand the applications of Six Sigma and Lean for process excellence.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article

Ricardo Banuelas Coronado and Jiju Antony

Six sigma is a popular approach to drive out variability from processes using powerful statistical tools and techniques. Although originally introduced by Motorola in 1986…

Abstract

Six sigma is a popular approach to drive out variability from processes using powerful statistical tools and techniques. Although originally introduced by Motorola in 1986 as a quality performance measurement, six sigma has evolved into a statistically oriented approach to process and product quality improvement. Many organisations have reported significant benefits as a result of six sigma project implementation, though not all are yet success stories. This paper reviews the literature related to the critical success factors for the effective implementation of six sigma projects in organisations.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article

Jung‐Lang Cheng

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between Six Sigma and business strategy. The Six Sigma approach requires managers to examine processes from the

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between Six Sigma and business strategy. The Six Sigma approach requires managers to examine processes from the customers' perspective, thus ensuring long‐term success.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reviews the literature on the relationship between Six Sigma and business strategy, and examines how integrating business strategy with Six Sigma improvement action planning can produce competitive advantages. Moreover, a preliminary exploratory framework for linking Six Sigma to business strategy is presented, based on an empirical study of a Taiwan firm.

Findings

Six Sigma implementations must be integrated with a company's business strategy. Six Sigma is a structured and disciplined way of solving critical business problems that cannot be addressed using other methods.

Research limitations/implications

The linking of Six Sigma and business strategy framework is an advanced and coherent form of strategic thinking, which extends a strategic vision throughout all units of an organization and to meet core customer requirements.

Originality/value

The paper shows that, as a strategic‐oriented initiative, the context of Six Sigma activities must be adapted and modified to fit a firm's organizational strategy, Consequently, Six Sigma is central to the strategic drive of a company.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

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