Six-Sigma methodology has the sole purpose of approaching perfection in a regimented system, and therefore, it has been one of the debatable topics in past and current debates in different business arenas of the globe. It works for the methodical improvement of various business practices focusing more on the supply management with the inclusion of eradicating the many defects. Though the fundamentals of Six Sigma were primarily introduced by Bill Smith at Motorola in the year 1986, Six Sigma reached at its peak in the last six decades through the great advancement in development strategies mainly quality management, TQM and zero defects.
Its efforts behind introducing such techniques and methods for the progression of Quality Performance earned its companies the honor of having the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. (Pyzdek, pp. 26-29) Particularly, to promote the business effectively, the department of Six Sigma has greatly lessened the variation problem encountered during the process results through their incessant hard work. In addition, through examining, studying and determining various business processes, Six Sigma has succeeded in attaining a quality position for different organizations around the world.
The view of including the entire organization to carry out the numerous exercises has accentuated the many employees ranging from the top-level management to the clerk. Troubles and complications in either the production or supply management are usually settled by the implementation of the six-sigma method, which can be referred as a scrutiny and an organized approach accomplished by assembling information, which is an essential component of the six-sigma method.
Furthermore, customers benefit from the main and chief position in the six-sigma method, which is known to be one of the most significant constituent and factor for the prosperous completion of the business process. The business processes have usually optimistic effect from the statistical techniques and methods that are operated during the six-sigma method. (Brue, pp. 23-25) These include the utilization of statistical methods to evaluate functioning, gather data, examine processes, suggest alternatives and regulate the outcomes.
This statistical study comprises of evaluations, information and investigation rather than mere views and plain assumptions. The characteristic attempt of applying statistical methods is considering the real problem as a statistical problem. Such a problem is tackled by analyzing the causes and bringing the solution back to the real world by accommodating it to the process settings and then establishing controls, often referred to as Statistical Process Control to conduct the new settings.
In contradiction, statistical techniques should not be treated as the soul of the Six Sigma method as many of the companies have claimed the Six Sigma methodology as the statistical examination of a business practice, which to a certain extent is unsuitable. The major issues that contributed most to the condemnation of the Six Sigma method are the misapprehension of its systems in terms of using statistical tools. Being intellectual and experienced, Six Sigma deals with its specific problems by appointing professionals to tackle with those particular problems.
These skilled workers are chosen and purposely trained for Six Sigma assignments. They are attributed with names like black belts, process improvement masters, etc. Furthermore, the Six Sigma’s two approaches namely, the DMAIC and the DMADV have provided massive aid to the organizational performance in terms of reaching great heights. These have been agreed upon by many businesses around the globe. In this view, W. Edwards Deming was the first person to initiate and influence others to the two strategies of the six-sigma method, which can be taken as the definition of the Six Sigma method.
However, it is very vague and unclear to acquire the exact definition of the six-sigma method due to enormous debate on this topic, which has continued and still, a number of experts and professionals are debating over the definition of the Six Sigma methodology. In this regard, the discussion related to the approaches, as well as, its significance can result in the better understanding of the Six Sigma and its effect on the organizational performance. When a struggle is done to improve the current business practices, the efforts that are put in under the Six Sigma method come in the category of DMAIC method.
On the contrary, new business processes are obtained through the accomplishment of DMADV technique of the Six Sigma method. Yet, the two methodologies are brought into practice for the attainment of efficient manufacture and supply management without any defects or imperfection, in the business. Throughout the DMAIC method, appeals of the customers, in addition to the policy of various activities are considered in order to study the numerous current business practices with the mere ambition of having massive advancement.
Soon after, appropriate information is assembled that is linked to the current business processes, which in turn assist in the preparation of further scenarios and its improvement in the company. Several issues associated to the causality are checked during the approach that assists in perceiving the connection among various features in business process. This is to make certain that all the issues are mediated all through their relationship with one and other, as evasion any one factor can end in having unsuitable and inefficient outcomes that are not acceptable by the Six Sigma method at any cost. (Dirgo, pp. 7-40)
Moreover, in order to understand the fundamentals of the Six Sigma, a number of experts have provided their distinguishing definitions, some of which have been given in this paper. For instance, processing of demanding industries like manufacturing, production, etc. with the facilitation of a quality management and improvement methodology has been referred as Six-Sigma method. This definition is still unclear, as no definite terms have been given in it. In this regard, it should be understand that the topic is itself very vague and cannot be limited to an exact definite explanation of the method.
Another expert has defined Six Sigma as the utilization of statistical investigation for the measurement and improvement of operational performance of a company with the help of an indistinguishable methodology. In this regard, the paper will try to analyze different effects of Six Sigma on the organizational performance by discussing its different approaches and significance that has been observed in terms of the performance and improvement of organizations’ operations by the implementation of Six-Sigma methodologies in different parts of the world.
Last but not the least, the living business practices including the supply management are enhanced and made better through the consumption of data gathered from the investigation of the previously mentioned issues. The amendment of deviation in the DMAIC method is practiced to secure the business processes from flaws. For this reason, process capability is encouraged in several companies and organizations, which act upon direct analysis for the reliability and steadfastness in the advancement of such processes.
As a result, due to its large range of significance, DMAIC approaches are not only appreciated but also highly practiced in countless companies not restricted to a certain area but around the world and have earned the reputation of achieving results that are have reached almost perfection in terms of production and manufacture and supply management. Throughout the DMADV approach of the Six Sigma method, pleas from the consumers along with the layout of projects are considered as explained in the DMAIC method for the examining of their steadfastness for the scheming of varied business procedures.
Moreover, CTQs are determined and evaluated in the duration of the DMADV technique, which are succeeded by the classification and examining of the product capabilities as well as different threatening judgment that can be linked with this new business activity. In addition, various substitutes are designed and developed during apposite and meticulous investigation for the formation of high-level of designs to have an alternative in case of collapse, or faults in the new business process.
In this view, the appraisal of the design capability during the DMADV method is carried out to obtain the finest and excellent design for the sake of execution of a new business process. (Pyzdek, pp. 40-43) Contributing majorly and significantly, and playing a vital role in the prosperous manufacture of products and its supply, the DMADV approach has stressed widely upon the data of the designs and its details. The optimization of produced designs is done during the technique, which is confirmed during the completion of the Six Sigma method.
This approach usually constitutes the implementation of imitations that offer anticipated outcomes in this stage. The accomplishment of production process after the confirmation of the design during the DMADV approach is essential and fundamental, before giving them to any of the executives. The professionals that are especially hired and trained by the Six Sigma are given chosen and selected projects in order to improve the three metrics namely; first pass yield, capacity, and the cost of poor quality. Capacity is the quantity of manufactured goods that can undergo various processes in a particular time.
Having a specific capacity, each process step possesses the lowest capacity that sets the capacity as a whole. The lowest capacity step is referred to as the process known as bottleneck. Capacity is the highest product per unit of time. For instance, the amount of pieces that can be collected in a storeroom everyday can be referred as capacity of the storeroom. Cost of manufacturing inaccurate parts is referred to as cost of poor quality. Due to improper production, it requires modification, arrangement and organization. The value of scrap is standardized as either the rate and proportion or percentage and is usually stated in dollars.
For instance, the percentage of the inappropriate parts those are to be eliminated for the number of parts received can easily be calculated. The best way of applying the Six Sigma method is to start assembling and organizing the data and information. There is extensive stress laid on the measurement with consideration to the company’s total development program. Quality performance requires a well-created set of metrics that includes first pass yield, capacity, and the cost of poor quality. These should be well expressed, with details on regular and constant bases and consequential to both the employees and the management.
The enhancement of quality supply-management processes is considered one of the major advancements of Six Sigma method. Long before the Six Sigma method was introduced, the conditions of supply management mainly in the quality sector was greatly devalued and affected on the manufacture side. Even in the executive sector, the six-sigma method has given a light of hope and expectation to the employees, which has in turn enhanced the quality production and standard of many companies who have adopted the six-sigma method to carry out their various required functions in different departments.
In this view, a number of responsibilities of the six-sigma method have been recognized and acknowledged. This has resulted in the prosperous attainment and comprehension of this methodology. On one hand where the company encompasses chief executive administrators and employees at decision-making level that majorly contribute to the organization’s achievement on the other hand; the execution of the six-sigma method relies highly on the decision-making of the top management of the companies.
One of the issues of its assurance is that condition of liberty and possessions to the other employees is the sole responsibility of the top management of a company. Therefore, breakthrough developments in the business practices needed authorization and freedom that is offered by the managers, which contribute enormously to the accomplishment of six-sigma methodology. Secondly, an incorporated mode is obtained for the implementation of six-sigma methodology by the many champions across the organization. The upper management is usually selected for the appointment of champions by the executive leadership of a company.
Moreover, black belt holders are taught by the champions. Hence, champions play an important role in the implementation of the six-sigma methodology. Detailed developments are provided to the black belts by the master black belts, which are achieved by the performance of six-sigma method. In this regard, the implementation processes are normally focused by the black belts, whereas classification of development and different business functions is performed by the champions, as well as, the master black belts. Then, implementation of the six-sigma methodology is performed on the employees that have been referred as Green belts.
The accomplishment of overall results is one of the responsibilities of the green belts in the six-sigma methodology. When the black belts provide in-house training, some employees are not ready to achieve a project according to the six-sigma method. These employees have been referred yellow belts that do not provide any noteworthy consequence on the business processes. In a number of current programs, Green Belts and Black Belts are authorized to initiate, increase, and guide developments in their responsible area.
Until now, the paper has differentiated both six-sigma methodology and quality performance; it will now consider the concerns related to the application of Six Sigma in realism. The development of metrics is considered one of the main steps for the improvement of quality performance, and especially the materials management of an organization. The distinctive six-sigma metrics can be described broadly by considering its characteristics of yield, cost of poor quality, and capacity. The utilization of Six Sigma is commenced with the compilation and administration of data, as well as, the information.
As the six-sigma method considers the total improvement of the company, a strong importance has been given to the measurement. In addition, quality performance can be achieved in the company by the application of a well-recognized set of metrics. For instance, the metrics should be well defined, reported frequently, as well as, reported consistently to workers and the management of the specific company. (Yang, pp. 44-47) High aggregation has not been observed in the most important metrics of the Six Sigma.
On the other hand, functions and processes of the organization have been given due importance and significance by the six-sigma methodology. Additionally, a number of other things have been included in the Six Sigma, such as the cost, variance in measurements, business cycle, appropriateness, as well as, defects in the products and services that is considered one of the most imperative matters of Six Sigma. Furthermore, the standards should consider the place of manufacturing, the organization, as well as, all the functions related with an organization, which can play a vital role in the improvement of quality performance of an organization.
In this regard, tracking of the metrics plays a crucial role in the achievement of Six Sigma prospects in a company. A number of experts have given more importance to the performance of supply management, as compared with the intelligent decision-making in the due course of implementation of the Six Sigma. These experts have considered that improvement in the supply performance of a company can lead to the development and enhancement in the quality performance of the organization automatically.
However, this practice has not been accepted by some of the experts, and it has been a reason of argument in different debates related to the Six Sigma’s application in different companies around the world. Most of the businesses around the globe have given significant importance to the measurement of cost, which has not been appreciated in the Six-sigma methodology. Most of the advocates of six sigma have noted that a number of several factors results in the variation of cost of a product or service, such as productivity, time of a business cycle, supply management, etc.
In this regard, it is necessary that all the factors should be considered for the measurement, rather than a single index of cost in an organization, which can result in an immediate improvement in the profit, but not in the quality performance of an organization on long-term basis. As earlier discussed in the paper, the measurement of all the factors should be tracked at different intervals for the significant evaluation of them. (Brue, pp. 61-67) Having recognized procedure and occupational capacities, selection of projects for the improvement of quality performance must be done by the management.
The distinctive assortment criterion engages not only inadequate processes, but also procedures that unswervingly hold up the strategic plan of a company. For instance, if a corporation requires an increment in its capacity, then a good choice will be the projects based on the methodology of Six Sigma meant for the improvement of capacity or yield. A corporation that participates in marketplaces with short-consumer reaction times would be going for the selection of projects that are intended for the improvement of cycle time or yield.
On the other hand, improvement of yield or the cost of poor quality would be selected by the companies that are competing based on cost. Thus, the application and implementation of Six-sigma methodologies in an organization helps in the better understanding of different processes that are considered for the improvement of quality performance in the specific organization, which sometimes end up in the short-term performance of the company, rather than a long-term performance based on the quality. (Tennant, pp. 63-66)
Furthermore, two essential elements should be given due importance after the selection of a project by the organization. The management commitment is one of the fundamental elements, while the skills that are deposited for the better understanding of the process has been considered the second fundamental requirement after the selection of a project by the organization. The advocates of Six Sigma believed the consideration of these elements might result in the improvement of efforts made by different departments of an organization on a long-term basis.
The paper has made a difference between utilities and the organization, distinguishing that management of resources may have functions dispersed in different sectors of the organization. In this regard, it should be known that the proper operation of a function should be the responsibility of a person from the management, which may result in the proper evaluation and tracking of the performance in the future. (Barnard, pp. 77-79) Additionally, the performance of a function is considered by different stakeholders that might be the reason of provision of resources to the company.
In this regard, every function, especially in the supply management should be given due consideration and importance, which may result in the quality performance of the company. Specifically, finance, production, and marketing are some of the stakeholders that are related to the improvement and successful implementation of the functions in the organization. Again, every function in an organization should be employed with its owner, a person responsible from the management.
For instance, if a function will not be evaluated and the responsible person will not be accounted, there is a chance of only five percent that there will be any long-term success in that particular function of the company, which might be one of the fundamental functions of the organization. Therefore, six- sigma methodology has given consideration and importance to every function from the clerical to the managerial level. (Yang, pp. 52-55) The venture meant for the improvement in the quality performance must give due importance to the measurements.
For advancement, the objectives should be planned for the improvement of a function on a long-term basis. It has been observed that less ambitious and short-term goals often end up in the deficiency of success and consequent validation. For instance, an increment of ten percent can be acquired by the application of a project of improvement in an organization on long-term basis, which would have given one percent of improvement on the short-term basis. Similarly, a cycle-time project should be based on longer duration like a month, rather than evaluation for a period of ten days.
In other words, the six-sigma methodology has considered its application on a long-term basis, and statistics have shown that short-term considerations have often ended in lack of success, rather than the quality performance in the company. As earlier discussed in the paper, improvement projects of six-sigma methodology are based on a foundation of experts called black belts, yellow belts, green belts, etc. In this regard, one person is responsible for the implementation and accomplishment of each project meant for achieving the improvement goal.
Moreover, it should be checked that the team should be lead by the selected individual in an effective manner. Since, the statistical tools and data analysis have been considered for the improvement project of six-sigma the requisite skills and practical experience of the individuals at clerical, as well as, managerial and executive positions should be given the due significance by the organization. Six Sigma methodologies are often implemented in the organizations with the manufacturing background, as it have lead efficient consequences in organizations related to the supply and materials management.
In specific, the functions commenced from the production sector to the consumer sector have been referred as the materials management. In this regard, the six-sigma methodology has given significant importance to the materials management, which plays a crucial role in the improvement of quality performance of an organization. However, a number of professionals have condemned the accomplishment of the six-sigma methodology that has provided many complexities at the time of its implementation. Most of the companies, experts, and business analysts have appreciated and encouraged the concepts and theories related to the six-sigma method.
One of the analysts from the Qualpro consulting firm of Holland have noted that six-sigma method is very effective in terms of its theories and roles; however, it shows ineffectiveness at the time of its implementation in the companies. In this regard, implementation of six-sigma method has rarely provided any significant results to a company that has implemented its methodologies. (Dirgo, pp. 20-22) Administration of abovementioned functions related with the development ventures must be chosen with the strategic objectives the company and the operating markets.
The objectives must be forceful to present real advancement; whereas, less aggressive objectives are more suitable for the constant development and performance. However, the advocates of six-sigma method have responded by stating it as the result of misunderstanding and human errors during the implementation. Still, many experts criticize the implementation of six-sigma methodologies in different business processes, especially improvement in the supply management that has been focused significantly by the six-sigma methods.
Lastly, the quality team must have a concrete understanding of the six-sigma methodologies strategies and adequate sensible experience for the application of such techniques in different sectors of an organization. Categorically, the paper has defined, discussed, and analyzed different approaches related to the six-sigma methodology that plays a crucial role in the improvement and advancement of quality performance of business processes in an organization.
Additionally, six-sigma method has put into practice the expressions of martial arts ranking for the explanation of a chain of command that results in the endorsement and support of employees associated with all the business functions. Moreover, most of the companies, experts, and business forecasters have appreciated and encouraged the concepts and theories related to the six-sigma method; however, they have argued the practical implementation of the six-sigma method that has not provided similar efficiency during its implementation.
The paper discussed that six-sigma is a term referred for the carrying out of exercises for the systematic improvement of the business processes, especially the supply management by the elimination of imperfections. It is hoped that the paper will be beneficial in the better understanding of the six-sigma methodology, as well as, its role in the quality performance of an organization.