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Q. Feng and J. Antony. (2010). Integrating DEA into Six Sigma methodology for measuring health service efficiency. The Journal of the Operational Research Society. 61 (7), 1112-1121.
In this paper, the authors provide a simple outline of how to apply DEA in each phase of the DMAIC process: Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control. Recognising the limitations of Six Sigma when evaluating physicians’ performance in a clinical department, the authors illustrate the integration of DEA into the Six Sigma framework. The utility of DEA can be especially seen when comparing multiple inputs and outputs to measure relative performance of organizational units such as health care regions, hospitals, specific departments and individual physicians or nurses. For this case, the authors considered a one-input (monthly budget) and three-output (new outpatients, consulting, established outpatients) clinical system. This case study was carried out in the Department of Gynecological Oncology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
The implementation of DEA into DMAIC phases is constituted by the following:
Define:
a) Identifying the decision-making units (DMUs)
b) Defining inputs and outputs involved in assessing DMUs efficiency
Measure:
a) Developing a data collection plan
b) Collecting inputs and outputs data
c) Verifying data accuracy and reliability
Analyse:
a) Applying appropriate DEA models to obtain efficiency scores for DMUs
b) Analysing relatively efficient DMUs
c) Analysing relatively inefficient DMUs
Improve:
a) Providing reference sets for inefficient units
b) Setting performance targets for all units
Control:
a) Validating improvement by pilot studies
b) Verifying benefits, cost savings and profit growth
It is important to recall that what is measured is relative efficiency, that is, a “ratio of the weighted sums of the outputs to the weighted sums of the inputs”, and that there may be potential room for improvement of even efficient units.

M. Mitchell, Erin and Jamison V. Kovach. (2016). Improving supply chain information sharing using Design for Six Sigma.
European Research on Management and Business Economics. 22, 147-154.

The amount of participants in supply chain operations makes it difficult to share information within a supply chain. The design of an information technology solution through Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) methodology allowed for effective communication between layers of the supply chain. This effectiveness of communication was deemed successful by the comparative analysis of verification and baseline measurements. The research was conducted at a marine transportation services organization, subsidiary of a major U.S. oil corporation. The research is composed of x phases:
- Define phase in which a project charter was created and the project goals were clearly identified through problem and mission statements.
- Measure phase where the team identified the needs through a series of open-ended interview questions.
- Analyze phase in which a series of metrics were developed based on the main users’ needs.
- Design phase which consisted of the development of design ideas to fulfil those main needs and address the natural constrains of the slate distribution process.
- Verification phase to determine if the new design was effective and fulfilled the users’ needs.
The research though was conducted through a very specific approach for the marine transportation services organization and the paper admits that “the results obtained from this study may not be generalizable to all organizations / DFSS projects . . . other organizations may need to use a somewhat different type of DFSS approach depending on the problem they are trying to solve”. Nevertheless, the case study presented can be a useful example of the implementation of DFSS in the development of value-enabling elements within service processes based on relatively straightforward design methods.

Qun Zhang. (2012). Lean Six Sigma: A Literature Review. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business. Vol. 3, No. 10.
The purpose of this paper is to give an account of 116 papers in English language related to Six Sigma from different perspectives: Implementation, Focus Area, Focus Industry, Focus Country, Year Wise Publications and Year Wise Focus Area and Focus Industry. From that analysis, the paper concludes that Lean Six Sigma is mostly implemented in the Health Industry.
First, the paper broadly defines both Lean Six Sigma as a “combination of well known waste elimination and process improvement techniques”. Spector R. (2006), Ronald D. Snee (2010), and Juran (1989) are used to wrap up the description of LSS. Then, it briefly describes the methodology adopted for this study and the databases consulted (EBSCO host, Emerald, Google scholar, Science direct). For this study, the author found 116 articles highly related to LSS under the following criteria: the publications have LSS or Lean and six sigma combines applied either as a case study or described as a theory, the time frame of the publications goes from 2000 to December 2011, and then the results were sorted out as a case study or theory according to the focus (industry, area) and year and country of publication.
After stating the methodology used for this research, the paper proceeds to describe the results with percentages and charts:
-Process improvement is the main focus area for publications on Lean Six Sigma.
-The United States is the country that writes the most about Lean Six Sigma.
-2011 has seen an increase in publications about Lean Six Sigma.
-Among the clearly defined industries, the Health Industry is the one that most frequently implements Lean Six Sigma.
-In the Health Industry, the focus areas are the following: Process Improvement, Process Innovation, Continuous Improvement, Innovation, Quality, Tools, R&D, Methodology, Integration, Implementation, and Simulation.
-In the USA the focus industries are: E transition, tools, integration, simulation, Quality, Services, Critical Success Factors, Process Improvement, Web Technology, Innovation, Product Life cycle, Emotional Intelligence.
-In the USA the focus areas are: Computer Manufacturing, Manufacturing, Service, Information Technology, Health, and Financial Services.
Finally, the study presents as a conclusion that “The research on lean six sigma is on initial state.” And that “it is quite beneficial for different industries with little modifications as per industry requirement”.

Improvement of Production Processes.
Application of Six-Sigma in Finance: A Case Study
Six Sigma has emerged as a powerful process improvement methodology for companies worldwide. While this process has traditionally been used to enhance companies’ manufacturing processes, recent times have witnessed it being deployed successfully to improve functional areas such as sales and marketing, finance, supply chain management, and accounting. This paper states that Six Sigma can be used comprehensively to streamline the financial reporting process and it relies on a case study to show how this can be done. The benefits of using Six Sigma in the financial realm include reduction in errors, shorter cycle times, removing duplication in data entry, and lowering costs arising from inefficient processes.
The paper describes how Six Sigma was implemented within the finance function of one of the divisions in a US defense contracting company. Specifically, the Six Sigma DMAIC Methodology was deployed to streamline the ‘Continuing Account Reconciliation Enhancement’ procedure. In accordance with the five phases of DMAIC, Six Sigma was implemented and the result was a drastic lowering of errors, cycle times, and costs of preparing financial reports. While the impact of cycle time reduction on customer satisfaction was not measured, this aspect can be incorporated in future studies. The study was successful in demonstrating that Six Sigma can be viably deployed in business functions other than manufacturing and can result in major improvements. It also demonstrated that the maintenance of a single centralized database can be instrumental in reducing costs, eliminating duplication, and lowering cycle times.
The authors also contend that ongoing executive commitment to the Six Sigma program is vital in determining the success that an organization can derive from this methodology. Improvement can only arise from processes and associated metrics being transparent, easily understood, and having approval from all concerned stakeholders.


Empirical analysis of the relationship between Six Sigma management activities and corporate competitiveness; Focusing on Samsung Group in Korea


:Bong Choi ; Jongweon Kim ; Byung-hak Leem ; Chang-Yeol Lee ; Han-kuk Hong

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 2012, Vol.32(5), p.528-550 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

This article is based on a study that tests whether Six Sigma-based management activities improve corporate competitiveness in Samsung Group. The hypotheses tested using structural equation model analysis.

Findings – Empirical results showed that Six Sigma activities do indeed contribute to revitalized process management, improved quality, and, finally, lead to corporate competitiveness.

Role of explicit and tacit knowledge in six sigma projects: An empirical examination of differential project success

Anand, G., Ward, P. T., & Tatikonda, M. V. (2010). Role of explicit and tacit knowledge in six sigma projects: An empirical examination of differential project success.

This research develops a conceptual model for predicting success of process improvement projects as a result of knowledge-creation practices employed in the projects. The model is empirically examined in the context of Six Sigma black belt projects. New scales are developed to measure explicit- and tacit- knowledge-creation practices in process improvement. Data is gathered via a cross-sectional sample, and the hypotheses are tested using hierarchical regression.

The results support the notion that knowledge-creation practices influence the success of process improvement projects. In addition, this research also adds to the body of work on the use of tacit knowledge for process improvements. Specifically, the inclusion of softer, people-oriented practices for capturing tacit knowledge explains a significant amount of variance in project success, as much as the more analytically focused practices that capture explicit knowledge. The main findings indicate that to extract team-member knowledge is valuable for improving project success in team-oriented practices. This research offers practical insights about the influence of practices that project managers use to create new knowledge by capturing explicit and tacit knowledge, and seeks to advance theoretical understanding of process improvement.

Integrating Organization Development and Six Sigma: Six Sigma as a Process Improvement Intervention in Action Research


Jeffery, A. B. (2005). Organization Development Journal, 23(4), 20-31.

Organizations find success by putting the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs at the right time and linking these people with the process and technology. The article talks about the quality improvement of Six Sigma and how it can complement other organizational development techniques when improving operational process.

Six sigma offers several dimensions to improve on organizational development techniques. The dimensions include: A variation reduction approach, a longitudinal data collection approach, integrated evaluation for financial aspects of the company, opportunities for the client to train and be certified as internal six sigma consultants and support the system for other organizational development initiatives. In addition, like organizational development, Six Sigma stresses improved performance through team.

Performance effects of early and late Six Sigma adoptions.

Jacobs, B. W., Swink, M., & Linderman, K. (2015). Performance effects of early and late Six Sigma adoptions. Journal of Operations Management.

Operations managers are often faced with the challenge of when to implement administrative innovations such as Six Sigma, matrix management and zero-base budgeting. Administrative innovations such as Six Sigma typically require major reassignments of tasks and responsibilities across organizations; therefore the concern of early versus late adaptation becomes a crucial concern.

The aim of this research is to examine the operating performance effects of early versus late adaptation of Six Sigma process improvement. It is important to note that organizations that are early adaptors are more likely to adopt for efficiency reasons rather than normative and coercive pressures that often drive late adaptions. On the other hand late adopters face fewer uncertainties about the utility and administrative innovation as they have more knowledge than early adopters. This difference is due to the fact that managers who are equipped with more information regarding innovations such as Six Sigma are likely to make more effective adoption decisions.

The overall finding of this research concludes that late adaptors of Six Sigma fare better. However the benefits of late adaptation can be amplified to disappear depending on the organizational context. Specifically, late Sigma adaptors will be more effective if they are in industries with low technological velocity and or B2B market orientation. Conversely, organizations in the opposite circumstances find no advantage in late adaptation.


Sahno, J., Shevtshenko, E., Karaulova, T., & Tahera, K. (2015). Framework for Continuous Improvement of Production Processes. Engineering Economics, 26(2), 169-180. doi:10.5755/j01.ee.26.2.6969
This article is focused around a new approach of using Six Sigma DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, Improve, and control) methodology. They discuss in detail each of the five steps in regards to the various processes as well as the different aspects being measured and controlled. The authors state that in order to be competitive and successful on the market place and satisfy customers, companies should continuously improve their production processes and product quality. The features of reliable and stable production process: less scrap, less rework, less the consumption of additional recourses, time and money. The focus of this article is to describe the use of Six Sigma DMAIC methodology for the continuous improvement of production processes.
This article is focused around a new approach of using Six Sigma DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, Improve, and control) methodology. The objective of the new framework is to perform continuous improvement of production processes in the way that enables engineers to discover the critical problems that have financial impact on the final product. This framework provides new ways of monitoring and eliminating failures for production processes continuous improvement, by focusing on the KPIs (Key performance indicators) important for business success. In this paper, the background and the key concepts of Six Sigma are described and the proposed Six Sigma DMAIC framework is explained. The implementation of this framework is verified by computational experiment followed by conclusion section.
They conducted a literature review and found that the main goal of FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) and Six Sigma is the continuous improvement of business processes. Although researchers initially used these methods independently to achieve their goals, they later began to combine these methods to achieve more efficient results. The authors conclude by overviewing the detailed processes that occurred during each of Six Sigma’s five steps and explain how this framework enables an engineer to perform daily monitoring of production processes (based on data for the previous day); determine what failure is the most harmful in the process from product quality and cost and point of view; perform continuous improvement of production processes and their indicators that affect the KPIs, this in turn helps to improve customer satisfaction and financial performance of the company.
Atkinson, P. (2014). DMAIC : A methodology for Lean Six Sigma business transformation. Institue of Management Services, 12–18.

This article introduces the Lean Six Sigma Organization Development (LSSOD) that focuses on the core issues in bringing about meaningful change in the service and the public sectors. Effective business transformation can really benefit from traditional Lean Six Sigma (LSS) but in many enterprises, it is perceived as applying overly rigorous and time consuming methodologies, employing advanced statistical techniques – which very few people use today. Therefore, this article discusses DMAIC as a more effective way to bring about change.
‘D’ refers to Define or defining the core issues and winning organizational support, ‘M’ is for Measure or where current performance is assessed and used as a baseline measurement, ‘A’ stands for Analysis or where evidence based rationale to identify the initial root cause of problems that spread and have negative consequences, ‘I’ is for Improvement or the implementation of the needed changes, and finally ‘C’ refers to Control or where measures are set in place to ensure that systems are tracked and performance is measured and maintained within standards.
The DMAIC Process is a set of five phases within a LSSOD (Lean Six Sigma Organization Development) project used by organizations to improve upon the quality of an existing product or service. The difference between a good LSSOD practitioner and a great practitioner is the ability to know which tool or technique can or should be used, and when to use it. This comes with training and extensive experience with LSSOD projects.
The right approach to Six Sigma leadership
Brian J. Galli
Industrial Management May/June 2014
AND HOLLY HANDLEY
The study focusing on leadership development identified that the complexity of change management affected the type of leadership that a team would select for its team environment. As the complexity for change management increased, Six Sigma quality improvement teams relied more on shared leadership approaches. But as the complexity for change
management decreased, the teams adopted a more centralized leadership approach. This implies that Six Sigma teams and their external mentors should be trained in change management techniques and leadership approaches to maximize effectiveness.
Six-sigma for improving Top-Box Customer Satisfaction score for a banking call center.
M., Vijaya Sunder Antony, Jiju (2015) Production Planning & Control. Dec 2015, Vol. 26


Six Sigma process improvement methodology has been accepted globally across the service industry. In past one decade, the application and success of Six Sigma in Services is remarkable across Information Technology organizations, Hospitality firms, Government, Healthcare firms and Banking & Financial Sector. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of Six Sigma within call centers where the metric based environment complements the application of Six Sigma for process improvements. The article establishes the literature for the need for SixSigma in call center environment elaborating on customer facing metrics in addition to internal performance measures and highlighting the advantages of Six Sigma. A case study is presented in the second part of the article to study the DMAIC project management approach of SixSigma for improving the Top Box Customer Satisfaction score of a baaanking call center. The literature identifies the possible opportunities for improving the performance of call center metrics using Six Sigma. The project case study presented as part of the paper delivered a saving of USD 0.27 million to the bank, and is a classic example of how Six Sigma can bring bottom-line impact to an organization. The article is limited to elaborate the advantages of Six Sigma in a call center, emphasizing its need and compatibility to change acceleration and project management processes. Managerial implications and lessons learned are discussed alongside the concluding notes.

Lean Six Sigma: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Quality Management

Arthur, J. (2014). Lean Six Sigma: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Quality Management. Quality Management Journal. 21/4, 6-9

The author takes a fresh look at Lean Six Sigma and questions the scientific basis for the traditional top-down implementation and focus on Green Belt and Black Belt training, claiming that using bodies of knowledge tailored to reducing variation in manufacturing environments may not be applicable to service industries. Challenges such as using improvement projects to justify a manager’s gut feeling or unavailable success metrics may hinder a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma despite the many people attending and getting trained in seminars, consequently, projects may be abandoned before proper execution. He claims that despite managers acknowledging that the concept of Lean Six Sigma being easy and that successful implementation have positive returns for the organization, it is the people that make it difficult. The author raises many questions on how to improve Lean Six Sigma claiming that academic research could provide answers leading to the necessary changes to bring Lean Six Sigma into present time.


Application of Six Sigma Theory in Process Reengineering of Food Safety Monitoring Laboratory

Zhu, S., Liu, Q., Lin, C., Wang, L., & Ma, Y. (2014). Application of Six Sigma Theory in Process Reengineering of Food Safety Monitoring Laboratory. Asian Agricultural Research, 6(3), 53.

The study was based on the survey of customer satisfaction in the food industries in order to provide the process of reengineering laboratory. From the result of survey, the authors found existing problems in inspection process of the food safety monitoring laboratory. In the study, authors defined the food safety monitoring laboratory including the whole process from receiving samples to issues of inspection report. From the reports, there will be process to determine solutions using flow chart supplied by sig sigma theory. In general, authors stated that six sigma management theory is important and new effective management tool for eliminating errors, simplifying process, and meeting requirements of customers to the maximal extent through comparing over effect before and after improvement of the inspection process. The main reason is that the six sigma management method is able to seek and improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.


Role of explicit and tacit knowledge in six sigma projects: An empirical examination of differential project success

Anand, G., Ward, P. T., & Tatikonda, M. V. (2010). Role of explicit and tacit knowledge in six sigma projects: An empirical examination of differential project success.

This research develops a conceptual model for predicting success of process improvement projects as a result of knowledge-creation practices employed in the projects. The model is empirically examined in the context of Six Sigma black belt projects. New scales are developed to measure explicit- and tacit- knowledge-creation practices in process improvement. Data is gathered via a cross-sectional sample, and the hypotheses are tested using hierarchical regression.

The results support the notion that knowledge-creation practices influence the success of process improvement projects. In addition, this research also adds to the body of work on the use of tacit knowledge for process improvements. Specifically, the inclusion of softer, people-oriented practices for capturing tacit knowledge explains a significant amount of variance in project success, as much as the more analytically focused practices that capture explicit knowledge. The main findings indicate that to extract team-member knowledge is valuable for improving project success in team-oriented practices. This research offers practical insights about the influence of practices that project managers use to create new knowledge by capturing explicit and tacit knowledge, and seeks to advance theoretical understanding of process improvement.



Absorbing new Knowledge in small and medium-sized enterprises: A multiple case analysis of Six Sigma.

McAdam, R., Antony, J., Kumar, M., & Hazlett, S. A. (2014). Absorbing new Knowledge in small and medium-sized enterprises: A multiple case analysis of Six Sigma. International Small Business Journal, 32(1), 81-109.

The primary objective of this article is to analyze the development of Six Sigma in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The second objective is the concurrent use of Lean Six Sigma to compensate for the limitations regarding the efficacy of Six Sigma. The essential goal of Six Sigma is to eliminate defects and waste through improving quality and business processes. Six Sigma and Lean have the same goal, they both seek to eliminate waste and create a more efficient system.

Moreover, based on a simplistic definition, Six Sigma uses teams to develop and apply solutions to a problem in the production process through training and employee skill levels. On the other hand, although Lean Six Sigma uses the same approach it compliments it by engaging the entire company in an effort to create a culture of continues learning and improvement, which will result in reducing waste and increasing business quality through the organization.

The overall findings of this article is that Six Sigma is usually the initial focus of business development for SMEs but allots to the fact that training and testing is not sufficient enough to implement the organizational change toward reducing deficit. For the best results organizations should use both Six Sigma and the Lean concurrently.


Six Sigma: a goal-theoretic perspective

Linderman, K., Schroeder, R. G., Zaheer, S., & Choo, A. S. (2003). Six Sigma: a goal-theoretic perspective. Journal of Operations management, 21(2), 193-203.

This article focuses on developing an understanding of the Six Sigma phenomena from a goal theoretic perspective. The authors’ suggests that a deep understanding of Six Sigma requires consideration of the role of goals. Goal theory is well mentioned in the behavioral literature. It explains the conditions under which goals can be easily achieved or can be difficult to attain. Since the goal theory is well explained by the literature, it can have an important role in understanding Six Sigma.

This study begins with a brief introduction explaining the Six Sigma methodology in order to establish a basis of definition. Then it examines the goal theory literature to propose a foundation of how Six Sigma is related to the goal theory. The authors’ then wrap up the paper by providing a conclusion and future research directions. Organizational leaders must understand the a successful implementation of Six Sigma requires more than just a technical understanding of the methodology, but also behavioral insight. The article illustrates the importance of studying Six Sigma phenomena from a goal-theoretic perspective and how this study can provide more opportunities to develop additional insights into goal theory.

The authors’ wrap up by giving directions for future research by suggesting that Six Sigma can be expanded to integrate other management theories. It may be useful to understand Six Sigma from a knowledge management perspective. This can present an interesting study be examining how the goal theory could be integrated with knowledge management to better understand Six Sigma phenomena. As organizational leaders continue to implement Six Sigma, it will be incumbent on academicians to provide theories to explain the phenomena.

Total Quality Management (TQM) Strategy and Organizational Characteristics: Evidence From a Recent WTO Member

Hoang, D. T., Igel, B., & Laosirihongthong, T. (2010). Total quality management (TQM) strategy and organisational characteristics: Evidence from a recent WTO member. Total quality management, 21(9), 931-951.

The authors discuss the details of Total Quality Management. Total Quality Management is a type of management technique that an organization may employ whereby the organization as a whole is always trying to improve its product or service as well as the delivery of its product or service. The authors of this article chose to focus on the country of Vietnam when performing their analysis.

The authors illustrates how various types of organizations with different characteristics in terms of size, type of industry, type of ownership and degree of innovation apply Total Quality Managment techniques (Hoang, D., Igel, B., and Laosirihingthong, T., 2010). The authors of this article primarily used the multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) statistical test procedure. MANOVA is a statistical technique used to analyze data that has two or more dependent variables. It is ideal for answering questions about the relationship between variables in a data set.

The results of the analysis in this article indicate that there is a relationship between certain characteristics that companies have and their level of implementations regarding Total Quality Management techniques. As it turns out, larger organizations show a higher participation in using Total Quality Management techniques. A particular limitation of this article analaysis is the small sample size of service companies that were chosen for evaluation.

إدارة الجودة الشاملة(TQM)تناقش المقالة تفاصيل إدارة الجودة الشاملة، إدارة الجودة الشاملة إسلوب من أساليب الإدارة التي يمكن لشركات تطبيقها لتحسين منتجاتها أو خدماتها. تركز المقالة على فيتنام لتحليل هذا الأسلوب. توضح المقالة أن الكثير من المنظمات ذات الخصائص المختلفة من حيث الحجم ونوع الصناعة ونوع الملكية ودرجة الابتكار تطبق تقنيات إدارة الجودة الشاملة. تستخدم هذه المقالة تحليل التباين المتعدد، تحليل التباين المتعددهو اُسلوب إحصائي لتحليل البيانات التي لديها اثنين او أكثر من المتغيرات. وهذا التحليل مثالي للإجابة على الأسئلة المتعلقة بالعلاقة بين المتغيرات في مجموعة البيانات
وتشير نتائج التحليل في هذه المقالة أن هناك علاقة بين بعض الخصائص لدى الشركات ومستوى التنفيذ فيما يتعلق بتقنيات إدارة الجودة الشاملة. ومن النتائج يمكن الجزم أن الشركات الكبرى تشارك بشكل أكبرفي استخدام تقنيات الجودة الشاملة. ويجدر الأخذ بعين الإعتبار أن هناك قيود بهذه المقالة متعلقة في صغر حجم عينة الشركات التى تم إختيارها للتقيم

What Comes After Six Sigma?

Harrington, H. J. (2002). What Comes After Six Sigma?. In 9th International Conference of Quality Managers.

This article does an excellent job of discussing total quality management (TQM) and how it relates to your organization and does a great job of going beyond TQM and Six Sigma in providing a comprehensive analysis of how a business can improve from the bottom up.

This literature piece effectively articulates how organizations can survive in today’s competitive international environment, there must be improvement efforts in both the continuous and break through improvement methodologies. Management needs to make the correct business decisions so that the right products are available at the time they are needed, while make the best of everyone effort.

This informative article does an effective job of suggesting detailed ways of how an organization can improve such as highlighting management involvement, team problem solving, process improvement, strategic planning, as well as looking into the relevant methodologies that help to make these strategies feasible.

نظرية الحيود السداسي معايير سيغما(Six Sigma and TQM)ما بعد نظرية الحيود السداسيهذه الدراسة تناقش بشكل ممتاز كل ما يتعلق بإدارة الجودة الشاملة ومدى ارتباطها بشركات. وتناقش هذه الدراسة كل ما يتعلق بإدارة الجودة الشاملة ونظرية الحيود السداسي ومدى فوائد هذه المعايير لتطوير الشركات. وتقوم هذه الدراسة بطرح سبل مفصلة لتطوير الشركات وتسلط الضوء على المشاركة في الإدارة، حل المشكلات كفريق، تطوير العمليات والتخطيط الإستراتيجي. وتنظر هذه الدراسة إلى المناهج المتعلقة ذات الصله التى تساعد على تحقيق هذه الإستراتيجيّات

Adoption of Six Sigma DMAIC to reduce cost of poor quality


Prashar, A. (2014). Adoption of Six Sigma DMAIC to reduce cost of poor quality. International Journal Of Productivity & Performance Management, 63(1), 103-126. doi:10.1108/IJPPM-01-2013-0018

Prashar demonstrates, in this article, how to use six sigma to identify and reduce costs. The company was struggling with high cost of production and identified three areas of improvement. The methodology used to identify the areas of improvement was six sigma’s Define-Measure, Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC). This methodology provided a systematic way to obtain the root cause of failure with in a company’s cooling fan assembly failure. The define stage started with the problem and mission statement. The measure phase involved identifying and mapping the process of the cooling fan assembly. The analyze phase examined all the data that was collected in the analyze phase. The improve phase identified all the possible solutions to the problem and then pin pointing the best solution to the problem. The final phase was to create and maintain control measures to maintain the positive impact of the solution.

The cooling fan assembly failure was a chronic problem. By identifying the root cause, the company was able to create improvements which resulted in cost savings. The cost savings was reoccurring because it reduced the rejection of assembly and/or rework of the assembly of the products.

The Right Approach to Six Sigma Leadership

Galli, B. J., & Handley, H. (2014). The Right Approach to Six Sigma Leadership. Industrial Management, 25-30.

This article focuses on leadership development. Teams selected different types of leadership styles due to the complexity of the change management that impacted the team. When change management increased due to complexity, six sigma quality improvement teams relied on shared leadership approaches. Shared leadership helps teams and organizations complete projects on time and make logical, effective decisions. Also, distributing the responsibility to project teams helps the organization adapt to changes.

The teams further adopted a centralized leadership approach when change management decreased. These findings held true for the design and analyze phase even though a share leadership style could have been used it would not have provided additional value to achieve the team goals. Therefore, it is important that six sigma team members and their leadership be trained in different change management techniques, and different leadership approaches to maximize the effectiveness of the team.

Integrating Organization Development and Six Sigma: Six Sigma as a Process Improvement Intervention in Action Research

Jeffery, A. B. (2005). Organization Development Journal, 23(4), 20-31.

Organizations find success by putting the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs at the right time and linking these people with the process and technology. The article talks about the quality improvement of Six Sigma and how it can complement other organizational development techniques when improving operational process.

Six sigma offers several dimensions to improve on organizational development techniques. The dimensions include: A variation reduction approach, a longitudinal data collection approach, integrated evaluation for financial aspects of the company, opportunities for the client to train and be certified as internal six sigma consultants and support the system for other organizational development initiatives. In addition, like organizational development, Six Sigma stresses improved performance through team.

Empirical analysis of the relationship between Six Sigma management activities and corporate competitiveness; Focusing on Samsung Group in Korea

:Bong Choi ; Jongweon Kim ; Byung-hak Leem ; Chang-Yeol Lee ; Han-kuk Hong

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 2012, Vol.32(5), p.528-550 [Peer Reviewed Journal]


This article is based on a study that tests whether Six Sigma-based management activities improve corporate competitiveness in Samsung Group. The hypotheses tested using structural equation model analysis.

Findings – Empirical results showed that Six Sigma activities do indeed contribute to revitalized process management, improved quality, and, finally, lead to corporate competitiveness.


The continuing evolution of Lean Six Sigma

John Maleyeff ; Edward A. Arnheiter ; Venkat Venkateswaran
The TQM Journal, 2012, Vol.24(6), p.542-555
The purpose of this paper is to identify challenges related to the implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles and techniques. Particular emphasis is placed on the changes needed to ensure that LSS continues to support an organization's competitiveness. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology begins with a review of the projections of business experts as they relate to the practice of LSS. Then, the ASQ Six Sigma Body of Knowledge forms the basis of a reconciliation of these changes and the methods currently employed by LSS practitioners: Rigorous value definition, vigorous accounting for risk, global workforce considerations, and international regulatory concerns. specifics are offered that explain how LSS practitioners need to respond.

Developing a Six Sigma framework: Perspectives from financial service companies

Chakraborty, A., & Leyer, M. (2013). International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 30, 256-279.

Six Sigma is considered to be an important management philosophy to obtain satisfied customers, but financial service organisations have been slow to adopt Six Sigma issues so far. Despite the extensive effort that has been invested and benefits that can be obtained, the systematic implementation of Six Sigma in financial service organisations is limited. As a companywide implementation framework is missing so far, the purpose of this paper is to fill this gap. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents a conceptual framework derived from literature and evaluated by experts, with a focus on financial services. Findings – The results show that it is very important to link Six Sigma with the strategic as well as the operations level. Furthermore, although Six Sigma is a very important method for improving quality of processes, others such as Lean Management are also used. This requires a superior project portfolio management to coordinate resources and projects of Six Sigma with the other methods used.

Using Six Sigma tools to improve internal processes in a hospital center through three pilot projects

De la Lama, J. J., Fernandez, J. J., Punzano, J. A., Nicolas, M. M., Nin, S. S., Mengual, R. R., & Ramos, G. G. (2013). International Journal Of Healthcare Management, 6(3), 158-167. doi:10.1179/2047971913Y.0000000044

San Juan de Dios Hospital is a medical center located in Cordoba, Spain. The medical center is accredited by the Health Care Quality Agency of Andalusia. The center holds the advanced level of accreditation and therefore employs a culture of systematic quality improvement. The hospital implemented six sigma methodology to streamline processes and increase efficiency of three problem areas related to quality and healthcare outcomes.

Furthermore, the three problem areas were viewed as separate projects that shared similar characteristics, such as: 1) directly related to patient care, 2) impact quality of care and patient experience, 3) quantifiable, 4) they have metrics that can be established, 5) they involve several departments and at different levels within the hospital, and 5) they have a direct or indirect financial impact.

The objectives of using six sigma methodology were to reduce variability in scheduling consultations, reduce absenteeism, and increase the efficiency of a department. The actions implemented created a 22% reduction in the variability of scheduled consultations, a 45% reduction in absenteeism, and a 32% increase in occupancy rate of the department under investigation.

Barriers and challenges in the application of Six Sigma in the hospitality industry: Some observations and findings

Kokkranikal, J. (2013). International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 62(3), 317–322. doi:10.1108/17410401311309203

Six Sigma has some fundamental barriers and challenges as a business improvement methodology as stated in the article in the hospitality industry. Six Sigma is not a new idea, but instead a natural consequence of the ongoing pursuit of quality improvement. While the term Six Sigma is catchy and fresh, most of the tools and techniques associated with Six Sigma have been in used for many years.

The findings showed that challenges of using Six Sigma in the hospitality industry are data collection, defining projects, and getting group consensus. Issues of time management, resistance, and other factors that can be considered as being specific to the hotel and are need to be addressed by management. Resistance to change can be overcome by convincing employees of the real benefits that lie in the process and this can be accomplished by involving them in the process.

Application of Six Sigma and quality management ideas to the development of business school mission statements: A content analysis

Yeung, S. (2013). International Journal Of Management, 30(2 Part 1), 522-535.

Looking at the application of system thinking and quality management concept into mission visualization Yeung, S. M. (2013) focused on the role of system thinking and quality management concept in mission validation for value creation. Also on the incorporation of academic research findings and accreditation requirements into curriculum design and mission statement thus creating a “Model of Visualizing Mission.” With the use of system thinking of SIPOC of Six Sigma, suppliers (S), inputs (I), processes (P), outputs (O) and customers (C) can guide educators sensibly to monitor and measure elements in curriculum design. Also with the quality management concept of the International Organizational for Standardization (ISO), mission statements can be validated in the following ways:

School management needs to consider suppliers and inputs in determining the mission statement. After considering their suppliers and inputs then management can identify itself to be a teaching/research institute or an institute of balanced approach; a technology/soft skills focused institute. During the process of designing curriculum, internal communication, product realization requirements, customer-related communication, process of validating products and services, and data analysis need to be considered with contextualized inputs of the teaching and research performance. The outputs and customer elements of SIPOC trigger the management team to gather evidence to validate the focal points of their mission statement. The evidence can be the learning outcomes, attributes and employability of students, qualification and teaching or research performance of faculty members; and the image conveyed to the public.

No matter the mission statement, product/ service; research/teaching or becoming a balanced institute, system thinking and quality management concepts can help measure the mission statement thus motivating performance of faculty members and students leading to institutional transparency and accountability for their continual improvement by cultivating a mindset with system thinking and quality management concepts then defining and linking up the key elements of mission statements with strategic plans and communication to relevant process owners and designing relevant control mechanism to measure the performance to fulfill accreditation requirements and to measure the mission statements.


Voices in the organization’s head

Stavrum, P. & Kurtz, J. M. (2013). Industrial Management, 23-26.

Stavrum and Kurtz (2013) illustrate three cases of age discrimination at 3M. During Six Sigma implementation, 3M used age-biased criteria when selecting for black belt and master black belt training. Employees who complete those trainings are often rewarded with promotion and extra pay. The authors report that 3M paid $15millin in monetary relief and have new preventive measures to ensure older employees have equal opportunities. Stavrum and Kurtz explain the purpose of Six Sigma and its role in supporting organizational strategy and leading change. The authors oppose the view that Six Sigma is a tool for developing leadership strategy, as 3M suggested it was. Moreover, Stavrum and Kurtz strongly suggest that Six Sigma tools are suitable for the development of an objective-based selection process and they list several important selection aspects. The authors hope that in the future firms can avoid any illegal employment practices by “listening” to the regulator when implementing Six Sigma.

Table of Contents

The role of quality mangers in contemporary organizations

Elg, M., Gremyr, I., Hellström, A., & Witell, L. (2011). Total Quality Management, 22, 795-806.

The purpose of the current study with 212 quality managers in Swedish organizations was to illustrate how the management of quality is organized and what it does. Elg et al. (2011) developed a 28-item questionnaire examining managers’ experience and perceptions about quality management. Out of 800 surveys sent to Swedish quality managers in manufacturing and service organizations, 212 (32%) were returned. The researchers documented that in most cases the quality managers were responsible for a specific organizational unit, were included in the senior management team, and often acted as supporters in quality matters, internal consultants, analysts, or educators/trainers. Respondents indicated that standardization, cost, product management, customer and development were the main purpose of the quality department. Elg et al. also documented that among the most important quality concepts were those concepts that related to ISO 9000, environmental management system, lean production, six sigma, corporate social responsibility, and quality awards.

Although Lean Production and Six Sigma are emphasized in the contemporary management literature, Elg et al. (2011) found that quality managers rated them as less important when compared to the ratings of ISO 9000 and environmental management system. The researchers question the role of a quality manager in the senior management team pointing out to the fact that quality management rarely works with strategic issues. One explanation, according to Elg et al. (2011), is the fact that ISO 9000 relates to operational matters while most firms want the quality management to be involved with business strategies.

Overall, Elg et al. (2011) question the current understanding and practices of quality management in organizations pointing out that although several scholars within the quality management field have developed multiple versions of quality management, the quality managers are still unable to resolve day-to-day quality issues. The researchers invite scholars to conduct problem analysis before developing or modifying future versions of quality management.


The development of a total quality management system for transforming technology into effective management strategy

Amasaka, K. (2013). International Journal of Management, 30, 610-630.

The focus of this article is to introduce a Total Quality Management System model, called New Just In Time (JIT), which utilizes a hardware system including development, production, and marketing of products along with a software system “Science TQM” to facilitate the expansion from management technology to management strategy.

Amasaka (2013) suggests that the “organically organized” model, which includes new quality management, Information Technology, and Science SQC (Statistical Quality Control), can facilitate the growth of New JIT quality management system.
The researcher proposed three core principles of New JIN. The role of the first principle, Total Development System, is to create technology for sharing information during design processes; the role of the second principle, Total Production System, is to solve production problems; and the role of the third principle, Total Marketing System, is to provide improved service to customers.

Amasaka (2013) provids a summary of case studies of Toyota where Science TQM was employed to reflect the validity of New JIT. Some examples of the new management technology include cooperation throughout the organization as well as between suppliers, designers, production, sales, and purchase; willingness of the top leaders to take on the supervisory role; strengthening the relationship with customers and recognizing the customer’s preferences for goods; and the use of quality assurance to facilitate improved outcome.


Six Sigma tools in integrating internal operations of a retail pharmacy: A case study

Kumar, S., & Kwong, A. M. (2011). Technology and Health Care, 19, 115-133.

Six Sigma tools are considered effective when either improving or creating a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. Using the Six Sigma tools, Kumar and Kwong (2011) examined the pharmacy process flow to identify the sources of prescription error. For the purpose of this case study of the Medical Office Building (MOB) Pharmacy, the researchers identified five groups of customers consisting of walk-in customers (lower-income customers), hospital employees, patients of Children’s Hospital, hospice patients (required delivery of prescribed medication), and specialty clinic patients. Overall, 35 employees and 45 customers participated in this case study. Customers and employees responded to a survey instrument created for this study to measure their perceptions and expectations. This survey instrument was instrumental in the process of identifying the “largest gaps” in the customer service.

The following Six Sigma tools were used: Service Blueprinting – for an inpatient retail pharmacy analysis, Cause-Effect diagram, Gap Analysis – for customer service analysis, and mistake-proofing (poka-yoka) – for preventing service mistakes. Researchers used these tools because they were identified as effective improvement tools in several manufacturing applications.

This case study revealed several causes of prescription error such as incorrect name on the prescription and incorrect prescription given to the patient. The use of the poka-yoke method suggested the need of introducing the following: 1) a checklist for the pharmacy technician, 2) the pharmacist “first-check” activity for validation purposes, 3) the pharmacist “second-check” activity, 4) an improved customer service, and 5) a development of a “demographic check list” with patient’s personal and insurance information to be completed at the drop-off time. The service blueprint identified inefficiencies in the service processes. Several steps were taken in the development of the blueprint including mapping the service from someone else’s perspective, linking interactional activities, and reviewing the draft by key stakeholders. When examining employee satisfaction, researchers applied the Gap Analysis tool and found that employees were mostly satisfied with those people who worked with them on a daily bases, “side-by-side.”

One of the limitations of this study was the use of Six Sigma tools which had been successfully applied by manufacturing but not healthcare systems. Other limitations included a lack of implementation of proposed improvements, the use of less extensive observation, and the application of too simple statistical analysis.


A Japanese factory in Thailand: Seeking acceptance of kaizen activities

Oki, K. (2012). Annals of Business Administrative Science, 11, 55-63.

A field research was conducted to examine changes in a three-year period of kaizen activities from 2007 to 2009 in a Japanese factory in Thailand. The field research was conducted four times. The first visit was a three-hour visit to the factory to gain understanding of the factory. The second visit to the factory was a one-month field research four months after the first visit. The author wore the factory uniform, and borrowed a desk in the office to observe the shop floor, interviewed managers, and examined the documents. The similar research was done the following year, and repeated again the year after.

According to the author’s observation, the factory had a cheerful atmosphere and culture. In order to align with this culture and induce favorable acceptance and commitment, the kaizen activities that were introduced in the first year emphasized the fun elements. Operators were praised for their kaizen activities regardless of the results. The notices and the advertisement of the events for kaizen activities were painted colorfully and decorated around the edges with flowers and stickers. In effects, there was little resistance to the intervention. In the second year, the emphasis of kaizen activities changed from “cheerful” to “cheerful and productive” to strengthen result orientation. The result-oriented kaizen activities were favorably accepted and still regarded to be fun, and did produce stronger results than the previous year.
The author posits that the success in this case is owing to the approach in which the kaizen activities emphasized “fun” to align with the factory’s cheerful culture, and thus, the kaizen was favorably accepted. Also, the Japanese Managing Director was observed to play a major role in introducing and promoting kaizen through active involvement and interaction.


Barriers and challenges in the application of Six Sigma in the hospitality industry: Some observations and findings

Kokkranikal, J., Antony, J., Kosgi, H., & Losekoot, E. (2013). International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 62, 317-322. doi:10.1108/17410401311309203

This paper presented the barriers and challenges for Six Sigma as a business improvement methodology. A case study was conducted in a hotel in Edinburgh. The key informants who participated in Six Sigma participated in interviews. Members of the top management, frontline employees, and specialist trainers were included. The study identified challenges of hospitality industry in collecting quality data, managing time, overcoming resistance to change, defining problem areas, and building group consensus. The authors recommend an effective communication system. It is important to ensure people in the organization understand the benefits of the Six Sigma, have them updated with all information on the Six Sigma through proactive coordination with the black belts and the champions. An effective communication to facilitate the understanding and involvement is essential to the successful Six Sigma practice.


Vital missing link in organizational transformation.

Ramakrishnan, S. (2013). Industrial Management, 55(1), 8-9.

Ramakrishnan discusses how an organization can sustain organizational transformation with lean and Six Sigma. Ramakrishna addresses the most common reasons why organizations fail due to their lack of focus on culture and transformation leadership. The “lean and Six Sigma business transformation initiatives have become imperative for many organizations in just about every sector” (para. 1). This is why it is critical that organizations understand their readiness for change, and they should focus on their transformation leadership team to be successful.

Understanding your organizations readiness for change is by assessing and measuring your operating culture. This assessment can provide valuable insight into your organizations primary behavioral styles that can enable a transformation initiative. There are several methods available that “can measure the “health” of an organization’s culture” (para. 2). Most of these methods consist of surveys to evaluate an organizations “deep-rooted organizational beliefs and values that influence the behaviors of its members (Denison Organizational Culture Model, Organizational Culture Inventory)” (para. 2). With these models it provides you with results that can educate your leadership team and your employees. The author states a skill assessment that focuses on the ration
al and interpersonal skills of employees can provide information about what skills need to be added to reach an organizations transformation’s goals.
Once an organization has conducted a skill assessment and evaluated their operating culture, they should focus on their leadership. According to the author, the leadership team is critical for revamping an organization, because it sets the vision, mission, and strategy, whereas the employees are responsible for implementing the action to reach the vision. This is why it is vital that to involve employees in the transformation. Also, leadership teams provide a lead example to the employees on how should communicate and provide feedback.

Therefore, imparting transformation skills to all employees will result is high performance and a better “platform for learning critical transformation skills that include structured problem solving disciplines (e.g., lean, Six Sigma, agile and PDCA) and interpersonal skills (e.g., team-based decision making and direct/open/sensitive communication)” (para. 5). These skills help organizations to solve business problems in a collaborative environment that can result in a constructive culture that fosters innovation and improvement. Providing these skills ensures transformation from the top-down support and with bottom-up implementations. An organizations success is based on their culture and leadership skills.



The evolution of production systems: Exploring the sources of Toyota’s

competitiveness

Fujimoto, T. (2012). Annals of Business Administrative Science, 11, 25-44.

Fujimoto analyzed the manufacturing process and the origin of Toyota’s competitive systems. The author argues that Toyota’s organizational manufacturing capability emerged as a result of evolutionary process interacting with environmental demands rather than deliberate process.

In the period of Japan’s postwar rapid economic growths, Japan was in chronic shortage of people, materialistic resources, and money. It was an economically reasonable approach to commit to long-term rich relationships with employees and cooperating parties. Such an approach was advantageous in the industry that requires careful product-specific design coordination activities like car manufacturing. It is in contrast to diverse U.S. culture, which has been compelled to do well with modular products for generic use with existing different products (or standardized interface like computer hardware with USB jack).
A number of organizational routines including kaizen, just-in-time, kanban, jidouka, and so on underlie Toyota’s stable manufacturing performance. They are the component of a holistic lean approach evolved to counter the demand Toyota was facing in Japanese situation. Many Western competitors analyze Toyota, and adopt the approach in disjointed ways only to result in non-significant improvements. However, such a complex organizational capability formed by emergent process is more difficult to imitate than a deliberately designed process.

Previous studies on Toyota-style manufacturing system focused on Toyota’s innumerous organizational routines for manufacturing and improvement capabilities. However, those routines were emergent of non-routine efforts that gave Toyota evolutionary capability. The author concludes that this evolutionary capability plays the critical role for Toyota’s steady long-term competitive performance.

The author argues for importance of renewed interests in Toyota-style manufacturing system. He claims that Toyota’s financial crisis in 2009 was not due to its manufacturing system but was due to the strategic overreliance on U.S. economy. Also, he suggests that the recall scandal was owing to mismanagement of the design capability and not the manufacturing quality. The authors also argues that while many turned to Chinese low cost production of modular products from Toyota-style manufacturing system of complex coordinating approach, Toyota-style may come as more important in the current complex environment with limited resources, and the cost margin between Chinese and Japanese is rapidly narrowing.

In closing note, the author emphasizes the importance of organizational culture of preparedness to promote evolutionary learning capability, which was observed in Toyota’s history.

Applying TQM to the construction industry

Harrington, H. J., Voehl, F., & Wiggin, H. (2012). TQM Journal, 24, 352-362. doi:10.1108/17542731211247373

This paper aimed to address the Total Quality Management (TQM) concept in general and its application to the construction industry today. The authors conducted interview and survey as well as literature review related to TQ in the construction industry.

The principles of construction systems must be attended carefully. For example, due to turbulent conditions of the construction industry, application of TQM tools must be flexible. Essential to the implementation of a successful quality system in construction organizations is facilitative leadership and training. Meeting customer requirements must also be paid due focus. Also, a focus on process and measurement would greatly accelerate reductions in cost, defects, and time delays.

The article concluded that “genuine” partnership is helpful to project performance, cost growth, schedule growth, change-order cost, claims cost and value engineering savings for these projects. In addition, the author recommended “Lean” concepts to enhance TQM in construction and to counter high levels of waste.


Measuring What You Manage. Aviation Week & Space Technology [serial online].

Trebilcock B.September 17, 2012;174(33):MRO18. Available from: Business Source Elite, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 14, 2012.

This article discusses metrics for key performance indicators (KPI), which are “critical components to lean MRO or Six Sigma initiative”(para. 1). According to Mark Towell , a partner at IBM Global Business Services specializing in the travel and transportation industries states all “organizations typically use metrics of some kind, whether it is a standard metric such as inventory turns or something specific to the organization such as aircraft-on-ground time for an airline maintenance operation”(para. 2). As organizations measures their key performance indicators they struggle with choosing the right metrics because they often miss the link between the KPIs set by measuring the shop floor verses the executive team and the tactical metrics.

The five Aviation leaders use the metrics to measure their operations and processes. The five Aviation leaders that use the KPI and metrics to improve their operations are JetBlue Airways, AeroSystems, SR Technics Group, Alaska Airlines, and Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services. JetBlue Airways uses the key metric to score their performance of suppliers, which is implemented in their Six Sigma program to reduce their inventory availability and costs. Since they implemented this program, they are running about 20 days for all suppliers, which have reduced turnaround time on repairs. As for AeroSystems they track their turnaround time on repairs with a 15 day window, which decrease their costs as well and make them competitive to other airlines.

SR Technics Groups use the a Six Sigma Black Belt that has created a lean manufacturing from Toyota, Rolls-Royce and MTU Aero Engines. Their systems are monitored by each aspect of their business that is kept on an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of their 50 KPIs. “For each KPI, there is a baseline target for minimum performance and a goal target that defines where the organization hopes to improve. “We have a strategy process for continuous improvement where we define what we want to achieve in the next year and set objectives for each business unit," and "Executives either develop relevant KPIs or use ones they already have that demonstrate they are meeting the objectives” (para. 14). Their process begins with the customers and organization analyzes their current state of performance, sets of KPI target for improvement to outlines how to make improvements by color coding them. “A green KPI indicates that the organization is hitting its goal for that KPI; amber KPI indicates that the organization is ahead of target; and a red KPI indicates that it is running below target. Since the measures are presented chronologically, the organization can see how it is performing over time” (para. 16). SR Technics Group is successful because of their KPIs and metrics system.

Lastly Alaska Airlines and Lufhansa Technick Logistik (LTLS) use the KPIs to monitor their total time out of service as a metric for vendors to reduce their total supply chain of transporting components, and the risk of obsolescence. Therefore, all five of these industries believe the Six Sigma has improved their strategic planning, cost management, and customer services.

Six Sigma at a crossroads

Goh, T. N. (2012). Current Issues Of Business & Law, 7(1), 17-26. doi:10.5200/1822-9530.2012.02.
In this paper, the author examines Six Sigma. Six Sigma is a current trend that organizations are utilizing to help them in improving their organizations’. With this growing trend from the business perspective it offers “proliferation of training and certification schemes related to Six Sigma (for example, Lean Six Sigma); aside from myriad of commercial establishments, such as American Society for Quality and Society for Manufacturing Engineers” (para. 1). The Six-sigma is seen as a quality improvement framework that extends to the design of “Lean Six Sigma”, with problem-solving ranging from manufacturing to service sectors.
The author outlines the merits of Six Sigma by summarizes the cultural change associated with Six Sigma and its derivatives with before Six Sigma, Current Six Sigma and Future Six Sigma in this table:
Background
Before SS
Current SS
Future SS




outlook
Management by fire fighting
Management by analytics
knowledge- based management
Focus
acceptable product
good or optimal process
designed in excellence
People
need to be told "Do things right"
Seen as an asset when trained
Source of creativity and innovation
Analysis
Experienced-based
Statically analysis of internal data
Using both internal and external data
Training
Ad hoc an viewed as a luxury
Conscious investment approved by top
Routine requirement
Quality
Cost burden in business
Expected return on investment
Pre-requisite for competitiveness
Behavior
Reactive
Proactive
Pre-emptive
Problem-solving
Addressing emerged problems
Revealing and dealing with root causes
Eliminating or preventing problems





Based on this table the traditional business ways were “Do things right the first time”, which means that Six Sigma does not depend on slogans and public relations. However, it focuses on hard techniques to rectify poor performance and aims at improvement, in a project by product manner by a trained person. Also, on the current status it mainly focuses on an organizations tactical, which helps organizations in making decisions but their future lies on the crossroads because its strengths do not address new techniques or tools that meet societal needs. Therefore, Six Sigma should pursue interests in smaller organizations and “shed the greed and fear paradigm for adoption of Six Sigma” (para. 9).

Where process-improvement projects go wrong: Six Sigma and other programs typically show early progress. And then things return to the way they were

The Wall St. Journal

The article presents the challenges that many six sigma process faces in maintaining a lasting impact. Although six sigma often starts off well, it often fails to have a lasting effect. Initially, many of those involved in the process adopt the new way with excitement, and pay close attention to the process. However, in the middle stage where the experts leave for a new project, and the top management shift their focus to other groups, the control of the process withers, and people start struggling to keep up with the initial quality despite their efforts. Over time, eventually, team members lose their motivation in despair, and the project fails.

Four recommendations were proposed. First, a six sigma expert must be involved extensively to keep the team members motivated throughout the process. If it is not possible, the expert must be involved on part time basis, and train the manager to take over the role later on. Second, the performance appraisals must be tied to the project. Third, the team should consist of no more than six members, and the project must be launched within six to eight weeks. Fourth, executives must directly participate in the project.


Designing and implementing a learning strategy plan

Neal, B. (2012). T+D, 66(6), 76-77.

This article focuses on the creation and implementation of learning strategy plans. It comments on the creation of a model for a learning strategic plan “ combining the Andragogy (adult learning) principles, Malcolm Baldrige, and SixSigma principles that consists of a five-phase process encompassing learning” (p.76). This model “consists of learning, which includes instructional design models, media, methods, technologies, and learning styles” (p.76). With this strategic plan aligned to those components it will help the organization to achieve their goals. Under each phase of the learning strategy a list of questions must be asked. According to Neal (2012) these questions are:

Approach-how do you select, collect, align and integrate data and information to track operations and overall performance and action plans?

Deployment-how should I develop the strategy, and who is involved?

Learning-how does the learning plan address potential impacts on learners?

Integration-how do you plan to integrate the lessons-learned solution back to your organization?

Results- how does your projected performance indicators compare with the projected performance of your competitors, industry leaders, internal benchmark or comparable organizations?

This learning strategy is important to understand before you decide to implement it to your organizations and audience. It suggests that learning strategy plans need to be focus on the organizational and personal learning in order to achieve the highest level of organizational performance.


Human resources as a strategic partner: Sitting at the table with six sigma.

Fazzari, A., & Levitt, K. (2008). Human Resources Development Quarterly, 19(2), 171-180.

“For nearly three decades, the quality management philosophy known as Six Sigma has brought competitive advantage to organizations implementing it. The typical approach, however, has been to have leaders from operations, engineering, quality, and marketing manage this strategic initiative. Human resource’s role has been to default to the administrative tasks of organizing the required training, keeping records, and assisting in the selection of candidates for the program. Yet for the past two decades human resources has also been struggling to gain a seat at the executive table. This paper gives an overview of Six Sigma and shares insights on how human resources is a natural fit to lead a breakthrough change initiative as strategically focused as Six Sigma in small and midsize organizations. By so doing, HR can be assured value-added status.”


Building human resources strategic planning, process and measurement capability: Using Six Sigma as a foundation

Kleasen, K. (2007).. Organization Development Journal, 25(2), P37-P41.

Establishing a Human Resources department that adds values to an organization is a frequently discussed endeavor by many firms. Kim Kleasen, Director of Human Resources at Johnson and Johnson, delivers an insightful reflection on a 3 year implementation of Six Sigma. She gives practical insight into the overall success of the program as well as detailed and specific, long-term advantages given to Johnson and Johnson through this program. An O.D approach within a global supply chain undertook the challenge through a multi-level approach to strategic planning, process improvement and measurement that can be adapted to a variety of organizations.


Lean six sigma saves lives.

Management Services (2011), 55, 37-39.

“The article describes a case which shows how the use of lean six sigma method saved the lives of warfighters. It states that the mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle is a heavily armored personnel carrier that is being used to protect soldiers and Marines from attacks by homemade bombs known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Demand for MRAP vehicles increased overnight from 200 vehicles in 2006 to a total of over 15,000 vehicles for all services by 2007. The lean six sigma method eliminated waste directly and saved lives of warfighters while simultaneously saving costs” (Abstract retrieved from Business Source Complete).


The fit between business strategies ethics and the approach to total quality management a suggested model

Jebrin, A., & Ajlouni, M. (2012). Journal Of Management Research, 4, 1-30. doi:10.5296/jmr.v4i1.938

The paper examined the extent of influence that can be caused by the fit strategies on business ethics for quality management over the approach to the competitiveness. The objectives of the study are: 1) Identify the trends and qualitative dimensions of the principles of business ethics and the possibility of support and to be assigned in the application process; 2) Diagnosis of ethical principles and qualitative dimensions that influence improving the competitiveness of the fit direction; 3) Propose a model to study “The Fit” between Axis the qualitative and moral.

The study concluded that there is a need to link the central business ethics and the approach to Quality management, or to say that there is a missing link between the two Axis, can be achieved through the Integral framework towards achieving the "The Fit" between the two Axis, which is an important pillar in the work, objectives and plans required to improve the performance and competitiveness. The study proposed the fundamental principles of business ethics of the “Total Quality Management," and based on the proposals, theoretical frameworks to the approaches of selective business ethics and the human rights entry and the theory of distributive justice and the single entry and then the virtue entry and ethics.


A framework for effective Six Sigma implementation

E. C. Jones, M. M. Parast, & S. G. Adams (2010). Total Quality Management, 21, 415-424. doi:10.1080/14783361003606720

"The main purpose of this paper was to develop a framework for effective Six Sigma implementation. Building upon previous studies in Six Sigma, we addressed the need for the utilisation of a structured methodology for Six Sigma implementation. We also asserted the need for addressing contextual variables (e.g. executive commitment) in Six Sigma. With reference to the above findings, we specifically recognised the role of Black Belts in Six Sigma as well as the financial responsibility of the Six Sigma team. That, we believe, is the key in effective Six Sigma implementation. Six Sigma team members need to be empowered while held financially responsible. Our proposed framework can help the executives and managers to look at their Six Sigma initiatives from a broader perspective, linking the organisational variables with the methodological approach to Six Sigma.

Further research is needed to operationalise the constructs we have proposed in this study and test them using empirical data. Evidence from the industry shows that Six Sigma can be implemented to improve the performance of supply chain projects (Yang, Choi, Park, Suh, & Chae, 2007). Therefore, future research needs to address the implementation of Six Sigma in
a supply chain environment" (p. 422).


Six Sigma: Definition and underlying theory

R. G. Schroeder, K. Linderman, C. Liedtke, & A. S. Choo

Do you what exactly Six Sigma is? It is often mistaken that Six Sigma is alias for Total Quality Management (TQM). In fact, Six Sigma process can be similar to number of other quality management processes. TQM is just one of them that most closely resembles Six Sigma. Closely examining, there are considerably distinctive features that separate Six Sigma from TQM. Even the objectives are different from TQM.

Click here to read the full article


Total quality management adoption in a public hospital: Evidence from mauritius

P. Ramseook-Munhurrun, V. Munhurrun, & A. Panchoo

How good is total quality management? How much do people like it? The researchers assessed management and employees’ perceptions on the total quality management and the critical factors for its effective adoptions. The perceptions differed between management and employees.

Click here to read the full article


Total Quality Management and Organizational Performance-Moderating Role of Managerial Competencies

M. A. Khan

This study investigated the effect of total quality management on organizational performance in the service organizations. Total quality management impacts organizational performance more strongly when the managerial competence is high than low. Meaning total quality management provides advantage but it is desirable to boost its effectiveness by enhancing the competence of the management.

Click here to read the full article


Six Sigma vs Lean: Some perspectives from leading academics and practitioners

Jiju Antony

Both Six Sigma and Lean Thinking are quality control methods that help your organization become more efficient. While they share some similarities, there are of course some differences that can provide important insight to figure when to use which. Find out what a panel of academic experts and practitioners say when asked the question “How would you compare Lean with Six Sigma?” The author was able to extract some conclusions that may guide you to the best method for your organization.

Find out more about these insights in the full article here:



Implementing total quality management with a focus on enhancing customer satisfaction

S. Mehra & S. Ranganathan

Mehra and Ranganathan conducted a meta-analysis to investigate relationship as to how total quality management increases customer satisfaction across cultures and industries. The results suggest that total quality management has positive impacts on customer focus. The researchers presented three-step managerial action plan to enhance performance. As well, they proposed a conceptual model and future research suggestion.

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Six Sigma: Insights from organizational innovativeness and market orientation

T. Eng

Six Sigma has gained traction in the corporate world for its excellent ability to allow a business to produce more while maintaining quality standards in the process. With the great increase in Six Sigma utilization, the theoretical groundwork has not been developed to guide its direction in innovative environments, which seems to have a clear link to the process. This article by Teck-Yong Eng allows us to take a step back and understand why Six Sigma is so beneficial for innovative objectives, and why starting with the customers is a great idea to get the most from your Six Sigma strategies.

Find out more on these insights into Six Sigma in the full article here:


Transformational leadership and TQM implementation

C. Rui, M. Emerson, & L. Luis

Rui, Emerson, and Luis present a conceptually work on transformational leadership and total quality management (TQM). Previous research showed positive relationship between them. But how does their relationship work? And how do you empirically test it? The researchers review their concepts, and by exploring the determinants of TQM, identify how transformational leadership is causally related to TQM. A set of four propositions is presented.

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5 Tips to Jump From Partial Quality Management to Total Quality Management

D. Russel

Total Quality Management is idealistic in nature, often more difficult than what comes across in forming the idea to implement it. Some interventions that may seem like drastic improvements to the organization have only made it part of the way to the TQM they strive for. Find out a few tips on how to go the extra distance to assure success in implementing TQM.
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The Relationship Between Total Quality Management Practices and Their Effects on Firm Performance

H. Kaynak

Kaynak investigated the relationships among Total Quality Management (TQM) practices and examined the direct and indirect effects of these practices on various performance dimensions. Cross-sectional mail survey data was collected from firms in the US, and tested through structural equation model. All of the proposed hypotheses were supported. The results show a positive relationship between how much a firm implements TQM and the resulting performance. The findings also show more detailed direct and/or indirect relationships between the relevant components of TQM (e.g., management leadership, employee relations, product design, training, etc.).

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Combining a Human Performance Model and a Six Sigma Model to Assess Performance in a Military Environment

W. Aaberg & C. J. Thompson

Like with any organization improving performance outcomes is an objective and it is an objective in the military environment. The study uses qualitative data assessed from two departments in an effort to create a model of improvement. This model combines the Human Performance Model and the Six Sigma Model. Did the model best fit the intended outcomes or did it fall short?

Please read the article to find out .

Total Quality Management Implementation in the Egyptian Construction Industry

T. Elghamrawy & T. Shibayama

The construction industry has difficulty with quality management when the economy is facing hardship. The paper examines two case studies, one of a local Egyptian contractor and another with a Japanese contractor both assessing the Egyptian construction. A new model of Total Quality Management (TQM) is presented using advantages from the Japanese contractor and implementing them in the Egyptian construction industry. The model consists of steps: 1) commitment to management 2) orientation 3) planning the program 4) training on TQM 4) conducting quality projects and 5) measuring results.
Five features are discussed that can be implemented in the Egyptian construction industry. One of those features is research and development. The Japanese invests heavily into this area of business.
To remaining features are on page 159 of the article by clicking here .

Six sigma: insights from organizational innovativeness and market orientation

T. Eng

The paper examines organizational innovativeness and market orientation in relation to six sigma. Findings state that market orientation enhances customer focus. It is also stated that customer orientation can produce too great a focus on innovation. An over-emphasis in one area can cause a imbalance and may take away from the intended goal; in this case ground breaking innovations.

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Knowledge as a Facilitator for Enhancing Innovation Performance through Total Quality Management

R.Y. Hung, B. Y. Lien, S. Fang and G. N. McLean

One way to increase innovation is by tapping into the organizations inherent pool of talent. Total quality management is a tool designed to pull from all-of-the organizations resources. The authors speak about establishing an organization of continuous commitment by providing otherwise unrelated performance with a common goal tied to the organizational objectives. Read on to witness how the inter-departmental cross-matching creates a synergy that gives birth to the cutting-edge ideas that keep an organization on the forefront of innovation.

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Application of the Six Sigma Process to Service Quality Improvement in Fitness Clubs: A Managerial Perspective

Kuei-Mei Cheng

High quality and customer satisfaction are very important issues that effect the service industry. The Six Sigma process to service quality is explored with regards to fitness clubs. The application of the five steps in the Six Sigma process is used to minimize poor quality and diminished customer satisfaction of fitness clubs. Each customer is important and if one customer is loss the organization needs five times more, additional, inputs to sustain the cost of the loss customer. To find out more interesting results of the literature and results of this study please read the full article.

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A new paradigm of Six Sigma: Knowledge-based Digital Six Sigma

S. H. Park, C. A. Ntuen & E. H. Park

Our familiar Six Sigma has become a paradigm and thus packaged a slightly different way. It's being touted as Knowledge Base Six Sigma (KDSS). What does this new term mean? What is it based on? Can your company even implement it? Find out the answers to these questions and more by reading this article.


Critical Analysis of Six Sigma Implementation

K. Moosa & A. Sajid

Previous research on the topic of Total Quality Management (TQM) supported the notion that this program improved organizational effectiveness. Six Sigma is an improvement in the methodology of TQM and thus should be a better model in determining "breakthrough improvements" within a given organization. However, according to the authors, real life practices and case studies yield better predictors of success and failures regarding the implementation of Six Sigma then thought and previous research suggests. This article goes into detail about what Six Sigma is, the key elements defining the program, critical analysis of models, structures, statistics, misconceptions, and deployment.

To read this very informative article click here .


Effect of the Quality Costing System on Implementation and Execution of Optimum Total Quality Management

By A. jafar

This case study article explores the present research dealing with studying the effect of the quality costing
system and how it helps an organization with regards to identify designing and prevention costs, appraisal costs, internal failure costs and external failure costs.

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Six sigma: from a goal-theoretic perspective to shared-vision development

Leopoldo J. Gutie´rrez Gutie´rrez, F.J. Llore´ns-Montes and O ´scar F. Bustinza Sa´nchez

This article investigates the positive effects of the six sigma initiatives. It highlights the importance of developing a shared-vision within an organization in order to harness the positive effects of the six-sigma process.

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Six Sigma in Communities of Care: Improved Care Via Institutionalised Genius

Dr. Rick L. Edgeman

The author highlights the importance of implementing six sigma in health-care institutions. In areas of critical need such as the field of health-care, rapid development and deployment of breakthrough solutions are a necessity in order to improve patient service.

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Six Sigma comes to New Media

P. Frank,

Six Sigma has been an effective tool in changing an organization’s core competencies to better focus on the voice of the consumer (VOC). Now, the five fundamental steps of Six Sigma, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC), has been applied to online businesses to increase competitiveness.

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An Empirical Study of Performance Management Systems in Quality-oriented Organizations

E. Soltani, J. Gennard, R. Van der Meer & T. Williams

Report findings from a research designed to investigate the main issues of the current HR performance evaluation systems in over 150 UK-based quality-focused organizations. The study identified the main characteristics of HR performance evaluation systems currently conducting in TQM-based organizations.

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A System Dynamics Approach for Improving Efficiency of Total Quality Management(TQM)

S. M. Seyed-Hosseini, A. Bakhsha, & A. E. Taleghani

In implementing TQM (Total Quality Management) in organizations, factors such as information symmetry, advertisement, and cultural values play a role in its success. A system dynamics approach is used to simulate the outcome of decision-making policies.

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In Pursuit of Implementation Patterns: The Context of Lean and Six Sigma

R. Shah, A. Chandrasekaran, & K. Linderman

This study was of 15 implementations of lean practices and six sigma on 2511 plants, or a combination of the two practices. It reveals that a broader implementation leads to better results.

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Integrating Organization Development and Six Sigma: Six Sigma as a Process Improvement Intervention in Action Research

A. B. Jeffery

This article discusses how organization development (OD) consultants can use the Six Sigma approach to help the organization, as a whole, become more effective and productive in their goals. Six Sigma is considered a quality program because it is a systems perspective that deals with planned change. The author discusses that the method requires collaboration because certain aspects effect performance; aspects such as, work dynamics, employee behaviors, the organization’s processes, and performances. Also, feedback and Scientific data analysis is relied on in determining effectiveness of the potential changes of the Six Sigma method.

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The Evolution of Lean Six Sigma

M.P.J. Pepper & T. A. Spedding**

If you wanted to know the origin of Six Sigma and how the lean philosophy was created to benefit organizations this article is a must read. It provides you with tables, charts, graphs, figures and insightful, thought provoking information that is grounded by scientific research. The authors also provide the reader with useful integration of lean culture aspects and data driven six sigma methodologies to fuse together an approach that is sustainable to change and improving organizational processes.

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Application of the Six Sigma Process to Service Quality Improvement in Fitness Clubs: A Managerial Perspective

K. Cheng

The author talks about reducing service failures at fitness clubs in Taiwan by applying the Six Sigma Process. The study implemented five steps of Six Sigma in sequential order. These five steps are discussed and how show how applying these steps minimized service failures and improved the quality of the Fitness Club as well as customer service.

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