Six triumphs and six tragedies of six sigma

  • Goh T
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Abstract

Six Sigma as a quality improvement framework has enjoyed an unprecedented long period of popularity. This article brings out factors that contribute to the uniqueness of Six Sigma, with its extensions and derivatives such as Design for Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma. Those features that have brought about an impetus for quality improvement are regarded as "triumphs" of Six Sigma, whereas some worrying trends in the practice of Six Sigma are labeled as "tragedies". Clearly, industry should leverage on the strengths of Six Sigma and be careful not to become unwitting victims of the weaknesses. A realistic and balanced view is certainly called for at this juncture, and the advantages and pitfalls associated with Six Sigma should be fully recognized if Six Sigma is to continue its "winning streak" of the past quarter of a century.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Design for Six Sigma
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Six Sigma
  • quality engineering
  • quality management
  • statistical thinking

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Authors

  • T. N. Goh

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