The paper 'The Journey of Six Sigma at Motorola" is a good example of a management case study. Six Sigma constitute tools, strategies, and techniques for process improvement. Motorola pioneered Six Sigma in 1981 and popularized by Jack Welch who successfully ran it across the business operations at General Electric in 1995. Many industrial sectors use it today. This study seeks to explore the journey of Six Sigma, especially at Motorola. This ideology seeks to increase the process outputs quality through identification and removal of the causes of the defects (errors). Reducing variability in business processes manufacturing uses a method largely sets of quality management such as statistical methods (Harry, 2008).
It also creates a unique infrastructure of people within the firm such as Champions, Yellow Belts, Black Belts, and Green Belts with greater expertise in the methods. Every Six Sigma project undertaken within the organization takes on a logical sequence of steps and quantified targets of value. These initiatives are geared to reducing pollution, process cycle time, costs, improving customer satisfaction and profits (Huesing, 2008). Process improvement can take any case like the development of a phone, base station, or a modem. Why Companies use Six Sigma In many organizations, Six Sigma is simply a determinant of quality striving to near perfection.
The concept is a data-driven and disciplined methodology and approach that eliminates defects. The methodology drives toward six standard deviations between the nearest specification limit and the mean to every process ranging from transactional, manufacturing, product, and service. The Six Sigma statistical representation explores quantitative process performance (Harry, 2008). Achieving Six Sigma requires a process to limit the production of defects that do not exceed 3.4 per million opportunities. A defect in Six Sigma is anything falling outside the specifications of the customer.
An opportunity in Six Sigma is the total quantity of probability for a defect. A Six Sigma calculator is used to determine process sigma. The basic objective of using Six Sigma methodology is the execution of a metric-based strategy is specific to variation reduction and process improvement when Six Sigma improvement projects are used (Huesing, 2008). This is done using two Six Sigma sub-methodologies namely; DMADV and DMAIC. The DMAIC process of Six Sigma is defined, measure then analyze and improve then finally control.
This is a system for improvement of current processes looking for incremental improvement and appearing below specification. The DMADV process Six Sigma is essentially defined measure then analyze and design then finally verify. It is also a system of improvement that develops new products or processes at quality levels of Six Sigma (Leroy et al, 2006). When the current process demands more than incremental improvement it may still be employed. Six Sigma Black Belts and Six Sigma Green Belts both implement Six Sigma processes and overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts. Black Belts can save the firm an estimated $230,000 per project according to the Six Sigma Academy and completing about four to six projects each year (Harry, 2008).
For instance, in the United States, an average Black Belt salary is $80,000 which is a huge return on investment. One of the most successful firms executing Six Sigma, General Electric, has anticipated benefits in the range of $10 billion within the initial five years of execution. GE initially started Six Sigma in 1995 after Allied Signal and Motorola trail blazed the Six Sigma (Huesing, 2008).
From then, many firms around the globe have engineered far-reaching Six Sigma benefits.
Harry, M J 2008, The Nature of six sigma quality. Rolling Meadows, Illinois: Motorola University Press. p. 25.
Huesing, T 2008, Six Sigma through the years. Motorola Bulletin. New York.
Leroy C R, Carl E, Cordy L R & Coryea T 2006, Champion's Practical Six Sigma Summary. Xlibris Corporation. p. 65.
Paton, S M 2002, Juran: A Lifetime of Quality 22 (8). pp. 19–23
Richardson, K 2007, The 'Six Sigma' Factor for Home Depot, Wall Street Journal Online. New York.