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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

V. Raja Sreedharan and R. Raju

The purpose of this paper is to review Lean Six Sigma (LSS) literature and report different definitions, demographics, methodologies and industries.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review Lean Six Sigma (LSS) literature and report different definitions, demographics, methodologies and industries.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper highlights various definitions by different researchers and practitioners. A total of 235 research papers has been reviewed for the LSS theme, research methodology adopted, type of industry, author profile, country of research and year of publication.

Findings

From the review, four significant LSS classifications were identified that deal with the spread of LSS in different industries followed by observation for classification.

Practical implications

LSS is a strategy for success, but it did not examine its presence in various Industries. From this paper, readers can understand the quantum of its spread before implementing LSS. For academicians, it will be a comprehensive list of papers for research.

Originality/value

This paper reviews 235 research papers for their year, author profile, research methodology and type of industry. Various characteristics of LSS definitions and their theme are also reviewed.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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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…

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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

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2019

Ali Ahmed, John Page and John Olsen

In recent times, the idea of taking advantage of the benefits of simulation techniques and Six Sigma discipline altogether has led various organizations towards…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent times, the idea of taking advantage of the benefits of simulation techniques and Six Sigma discipline altogether has led various organizations towards implementation of simulation tools within Six Sigma methodology. The purpose of this study is to provide a more comprehensive literature review on the topic exploring how this amalgamation could work both in theory and practice. This precisely entailed finding dependable studies that shows how Six Sigma (DMAIC) Methodology can be enhanced by the three prevalent simulation techniques; Agent-Based (AB), Discrete-Events (DE), System Dynamics (SD).

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review was considered more fitting in research because it involves rigorous and well-defined approach compared to other forms of literature review. In this case, the literature was comprehensive, well-encompassing and involved finding Six Sigma and Simulations literatures from reputable scholarly databases. The outcome of these reviews was the identification of a set of key finding compiled and classified by topics. The study follows an inductive approach and utilises a meta-synthesis review technique.

Findings

As numerous studies assert, simulation techniques including AB, DE and SD are applicable tools in almost every stage of DMAIC, especially the Analyse, Improve and Control phases, because of their capability to test and identify potential bottlenecks and improvement areas. Findings show that the simulation tools such as CLDs, Group Model Building, Dynamic Balance Scorecards and Cost of poor quality all have the potential to add value to a Six Sigma methodology.

Originality/value

The findings of this study highlight the importance of further inquiry in this area of study. The finding of this study suggests that although the study on the integration of Six Sigma and simulations is increasing, empirical evidence on its effectiveness is still limited. Therefore, this study suggests more roadmaps and investigations aimed at merging Six Sigma methodology and various simulation technique. Moreover, studies that centre on hybrid or multi-method simulations within Six Sigma are also urgently necessitated.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

B.G. Dale, R.T. Williams and T. van der Wiele

This paper makes the point that since the early 1990s there have been signs (e.g. the move from quality and total quality management (TQM) to excellence, and process…

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Abstract

This paper makes the point that since the early 1990s there have been signs (e.g. the move from quality and total quality management (TQM) to excellence, and process control to process management) that quality and TQM are perceived by some commentators to be out‐of‐date and fallen by the wayside. The paper outlines these signs and points out that they can lead to a marginalisation of quality. However, through major trends such as business to business e‐commerce and six sigma there are clear indications that old style quality is coming back into the business arena because of the savings it can bring. These trends and their implications are examined in the paper.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Jiju Antony, Roger Hoerl and Ronald Snee

Abstract

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

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2019

Doraid Dalalah

The purpose of this paper is to assess and benchmark Six Sigma strategies in services sector, namely, the telecom field, by establishing tables of fallouts of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess and benchmark Six Sigma strategies in services sector, namely, the telecom field, by establishing tables of fallouts of non-conforming services and their associated costs along with a custom data envelopment model for benchmarking the different strategic alternatives.

Design/methodology/approach

Under normality assumption, process fallout in Six Sigma is around 0.002/3.4 part per million for a centered/shifted process. By introducing Six Sigma to applications in services sector, normality assumption may no longer be valid; hence, fallouts of non-normal attributes are computed for different one-sided quality levels. The associated costs of strategy deployment, fallout and transaction completion are all considered. Data envelopment analysis model is also established to benchmark the Six Sigma strategic plans. The strategies are detailed down to processes and to quality characteristics which constitute the decision-making units. The efficiency of each service unit is computed using both CCR and super efficiency models.

Findings

The amount of efforts/costs needed to reduce the variation in a service may differ according to the targeted quality level. For the same Six Sigma quality level, services demonstrate different performance/efficiencies and hence different returns. In some scenarios, moderate quality levels could present high efficiencies as compared to services of higher levels. It was also found that the required improvement is less in the case of Log-normal as compared to normal distributions at some quality levels. This observation is also noted across the presented distributions of this study (Normal, Log-normal, Exponential, Gamma and Weibull).

Social implications

The deployment of Six Sigma in services is mostly found in time-related concepts such as timeliness of billing, lifetimes in reliability engineering, queueing theory, healthcare and telecommunication.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the existing research by presenting an assessment model of Six Sigma strategies in services of non-normal distributions. Strategies of different quality levels present diverse efficiencies; hence, higher quality levels may not be the best alternatives in terms of the returns on investment. The computed fallout rates of the different distributions can serve as palm lines for further deployment of Six Sigma in services. Besides, the combination of optimization and Six Sigma analysis provides additional benchmarking tool of strategic plans in both manufacturing and services sector.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Roy Andersson, Per Hilletofth, Peter Manfredsson and Olli-Pekka Hilmola

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate, how the use of a joint-use strategy of Lean and Six Sigma can improve flexibility, robustness, and agility. Telecom…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate, how the use of a joint-use strategy of Lean and Six Sigma can improve flexibility, robustness, and agility. Telecom manufacturing has been under tremendous change after dot.com bubble burst in the early 2000, and new competition has originated from Asia. Being successful requires now more than before, and joint-use of strategies is one option to survive.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study from a Swedish company operating in the telecom manufacturing was conducted. In particular, a Six Sigma project was followed and analyzed during 2002. However, the outcome of the Six Sigma project has been studied in longitudinal manner until 2014.

Findings

The Lean Six Sigma strategy ensures flexible, robust, and efficient processes. However, to make them more agile in order to sustain in today's highly competitive environment, something more is required. This could include staff training, strengthening company culture and collaborating with key partners in the supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to large company that usually has a lot of resources and choices where to put the strategic emphasis as well as has level of control of the supply chain operations. The situation could be very different in small and medium-sized companies and thus it may be more difficult to realize the Lean Six Sigma strategy in such environment. On the other hand, the processes in these companies are often less complex.

Practical implications

This research provides guidance on how to manage the Lean Six Sigma strategy in order to ensure more flexible, robust, and efficient processes as well as how to perform a Six Sigma project in Lean environment, in a proper manner.

Originality/value

This research provides guidance to companies regarding the applicability and properties of the Lean Six Sigma strategy. The paper will also serve as a basis for other companies and industries, on how to survive in difficult times.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 114 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2013

Sameer Kumar, David Choe and Shiv Venkataramani

The purpose of this study is to highlight a key strategic initiative within the former ADC Company (now part of TE Connectivity) called “Lean Pull Replenishment”, designed…

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3916

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to highlight a key strategic initiative within the former ADC Company (now part of TE Connectivity) called “Lean Pull Replenishment”, designed and implemented to achieve Six Sigma customer service excellence. This case study would also help facilitate problem‐based learning pedagogy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study showcases implementation of the Lean Pull Replenishment approach using the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) framework. Key input variables were analyzed that contributed to historically inconsistent and unsatisfactory customer delivery performance. Analysis resulted in improving the allocative efficiency of critical input variables through pilot programs on strategic value streams by deploying dozens of kaizen events, and sustaining the gains through leveraging best practices and effective change management principles.

Findings

The study presents a strong case for the team work and the cultural transformation that occurred during the course of implementing this initiative across ADC supply chain. The paper also summarizes the improvement in customer service metrics and financials of the company.

Originality/value

Through this study, it has been established that with consistency of purpose, using the right tools for solving problems and through teaching Lean principles, remarkable results can be achieved, which can be sustained for the long‐term and become a self‐sustaining business philosophy.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 62 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

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…

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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.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Maneesh Kumar, Jiju Antony, Christian N. Madu, Douglas C. Montgomery and Sung H. Park

Six Sigma has been part of our business lexicon for more than a decade. Debates on its emergence as a strategic initiative have created critics who consider it as an old…

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Abstract

Purpose

Six Sigma has been part of our business lexicon for more than a decade. Debates on its emergence as a strategic initiative have created critics who consider it as an old wine in a new bottle. Is Six Sigma a management fad? This article presents some common myths and realities of Six Sigma business strategy. The paper provides an excellent resource for those people who would like to know whether Six Sigma is just a management fad or fact.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses some common myths and realities of Six Sigma by critically reviewing the existing literature on Six Sigma and also provides a greater insight into the viewpoints of leading academics and practitioners.

Findings

Six Sigma is neither a fad nor just another quality initiative. It relies on factual data coupled with hard work and is a disciplined and structured problem‐solving methodology. The authors strongly argue its integration with other continuous/breakthrough improvement initiatives for sustaining the merits of Six Sigma in the twenty‐first century. The paper also elucidates the role of academia in further developing and establishing the best practices of Six Sigma management strategy. Six Sigma will evolve over time like many other initiatives – however, the key concepts, the principles of statistical thinking, tools and techniques of Six Sigma, will stay for many years, irrespective of whatever the “next big thing” will be.

Practical implications

In the authors' opinion, Six Sigma will continue to grow as a powerful management initiative for achieving and sustaining operational and service excellence. However, what will eventually determine whether Six Sigma is viewed by businesses as just a passing management fad or not, largely depends on the leadership and success of its execution. The authors believe that organisations developing and implementing Six Sigma should not view it as an advertising banner for promotional purposes.

Originality/value

The paper yields a great value to both researchers and practitioners of Six Sigma in dispelling the myths of Six Sigma, which have been quite prevalent in the business fraternity.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 25 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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