Project Implementation

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Key factors for a success of Six Sigma project implementation:

  • The success of Six Sigma is related to a set of cross-functional metrics which lead to significant improvements in customer satisfaction and bottom-line benefits (Antony et al., 2005).
  • Generally, wider applications of Six Sigma principles to the organization are achieved through sustained and visible management commitment and involvement as well as whole organizational commitment and organizational infrastructure; organizational cultural refinement; effective project management; continuous  education and training, and etc. (Kwak & Anbari, 2006).
  • It should be noticed that, these issues are basically performed with the help of statistics, quality and process improvement tools and techniques.
  • There can be positive impact on application of Six Sigma when there is continuous managerial support for implementation process.
  • According to Haikonen et al. (2004), managers should adopt as well as internalize Six Sigma philosophy throughout the organization. Top-management involvement and provision of resources and training activities are inevitable for a successful implementation of Six Sigma (Halliday, 2001).
  • Management involvement and organizational commitment are influential to restructure the business and change the attitudes of the organization toward Six Sigma (Hendricks & Kelbaugh, 1998).Commitment of resources, time, money and effort from entire the organization is essential for Six Sigma project implementation. Organizational infrastructure needs to be established with well-trained individuals.
  • Before introducing Six Sigma concepts and tools, SWOT analysis can be performed in order to identify strengths and weaknesses of organization to ensure long term sustainability of Six Sigma Methodology (Kwak & Anbari, 2006). 

Lean Six Sigma:

  • Lean Six Sigma is a combination of concepts of two productivity improvement programs, which are Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing. Particularly, Six Sigma is a quality management philosophy as well as a methodology that focuses on reducing variation, defects and improving the quality of processes, products, and services.
  • Six Sigma cannot reduce waste or reduce cycle time in processes alone. On the other hand, Lean Manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste and cycle time in processes. Lean cannot reduce variation alone.
  • To sum up, Lean Six Sigma is an approach that focuses on improving quality by reducing variation and defects as in Six Sigma and eliminating waste along with reducing cycle time in an organization as in Lean Manufacturing. 
  • According to George (2002) Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed and invested capital. In order to eliminate waste and reduce variation in any process, Lean Six Sigma can be used. 
  • In fact, Six Sigma differs from Lean Manufacturing because they attack different types of problems. Basically, Six Sigma is concerned with less visible problems in processes such as variation in performance. Six Sigma tools require advanced training and expertise of specialists.
  • However, Lean Manufacturing is concerned with visible problems in processes such as inventory, material flow and safety.  Lean tools are more intuitive and easier to apply. Organizations are recommended to start with basic lean principles and evolve toward more sophisticated Six Sigma tools and techniques.