Six Sigma - the Latest Approach in the Ongoing Development of

Six Sigma - the Latest Approach in the
Ongoing Development of Strategies for
Business Improvement
• Use of analytical methods has grown steadily for over
80 years
– Statistical quality control (origins in 1920, explosive growth
during WW II, 1950s)
– Operations research (1940s)
– Value engineering, zero defects (1950s, 1960s)
– FDA, EPA in the 1970’s
– TQM (Total Quality Management) movement in the 1980’s
– Reengineering of business processes (late 1980’s)
– Six-Sigma (origins at Motorola in 1987, expanded impact
during 1990s to present)
Focus of Six Sigma is on Process Improvement
with an Emphasis on Achieving Significant
Business Impact
• A process is an organized sequence of activities that
produces an output that adds value to the organization
• All work is performed in (interconnected) processes
– Easy to see in some situations (manufacturing)
– Harder in others
• Any process can be improved
• An organized approach to improvement is necessary
• The process focus is essential to six sigma
The original
six sigma
• A disciplined and analytical approach to process and
product improvement
• Specialized roles for people; GBs, BBs, MBBs,
Champions, etc
• Top-down driven (Champions from each business)
• BBs and MBBs have responsibility (project definition,
leadership, training/mentoring, team facilitation)
• Involves a five step process (DMAIC) :
• DMAIC is closely related to
the Shewhart cycle
(variously called the
Deming cycle, or the PDCA
Walter A. Shewhart, 1891 - 1967
What makes it work?
• Successful implementations characterized
– Committed leadership
– Use of top talent
– Supporting infrastructure
• Formal project selection process
• Formal project review process
• Dedicated resources
• Financial system integration
Six Sigma
• Similarities/differences with:
• Largely a failure
• Focus on training without getting business results
• No top management commitment
• Lack of a project focus
– Advice from the “guru’s” of quality
• Deming
• Juran
• Others (lesser gods)
W. Edwards Deming (1900 – 1993)
Taught engineering, physics in the
1920s, finished PhD in 1928
Met Walter Shewhart at Western
Long career in government statistics,
USDA, Bureau of the Census
During WWII he worked with US
defense contractors, deploying
statistical methods
Sent to Japan after WWII to work on
the census
The rest is history
The 14 points, the ‘deadly diseases”
Probably the most influential of the
Deming, about 1980
Joseph M. Juran
• Born in Romania (1904),
immigrated to the US
• Worked at Western Electric,
influenced by Walter Shewhart
• Emphasizes a more strategic
and planning oriented
approach to quality than does
• Juran Institute is still an active
organization promoting the
Juran philosophy and quality
improvement practices
The Juran Trilogy
1. Planning
2. Control
3. Improvement
These three processes are interrelated
Control versus breakthrough
Project-by-project improvement
Statistical Thinking
• Integral aspect of Six-Sigma
• Fundamentally different from statistical
• In the usual context, the definition needs
to be broadened to include:
– Operations research tools
– Discrete event simulation
– Etc.
The Future of Six Sigma
• Three “generations” so far:
– Generation I – focus on defect elimination
(Motorola, 1987-1993)
– Generation II – focus on cost reduction (GE,
Allied Signal/Honeywell, 1994-1999)
– Generation III – focus on value creation
(Dupont, 2000-present)
• What’s next – eight sigma, ten sigma?
• Part of the future is integration of six sigma
into the educational infrastructure
• The ASU six sigma program
• Graduate level program
• Designed by IE and the ASU Committee
on Statistics
• Open to any ASU graduate student that
satisfies the prerequisites:
– calculus-based statistics course
– linear algebra
• Three statistics courses:
– Design of Experiments (IEE 572)
– Statistical Process Monitoring & Control (IEE 570)
– Regression Modeling (IEE 578)
• The Six Sigma Methods Course
– Integration of the statistical tools
– Soft skills (leadership principles, teams, facilitation,
consulting, making presentations)
– Lean methods overview
– Transactional business & six sigma
• Applied Projects – BB project
• Graduates receive two credentials
– The ASU Graduate Certificate in Statistics
– The Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering BB
• All courses may be taken on-line
• Program is open to non-matriculating
• All 15 credits can be applied to the MEng
degree in Quality/Reliability Engineering