Six Sigma Goals

Six Sigma focuses on developing and delivering near-perfect products & services consistently.  It is a management strategy.

Six Sigma is deployed as an approach to focus on cost savings and customer satisfaction
(CSSGB Primer, Section II – 21, 27/28, and 34. Harry, M. & Schroeder, R. {2000} Six Sigma, New York: Currency, Doubleday.)

Six Sigma: Management support is considered the Most Important Element in six sigma deployment (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 6/8)

Upper Management provides key resources and overall direction to the organization (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 16/18)

Managers must lead the deployment of 6 sigma, validate the training and understand the quality concepts (although they do not necessarily need to understand the concepts better than team members).; thus managers normally have as much (or more) time pressure as other company employees. (CSSGB, Primer, Section II – 6/8)

According to Pande, difficulties in meeting customer requirements is a valid reason to undertake a six sigma effort
(CSSGB Primer, Section II – 34.  Pande, P.S., Newan, P.R., & Cavannaugh, R.R. (2000). The Six Sigma Way.

Benefits of 6 sigma projects include: increased sales, increased profits, reduced defects, reduced scrap, lower warranty claims, improved process capability, increased up-time, reduced spare parts inventories, fewer customer cancellations or returned product.

Other project benefits are worthwhile, but harder to equate to dollars, such as: improved employee morale, increased skill levels through training, lower employee turnover, increased customer satisfaction, more aesthetically appealing product, organization’s reputation enhanced, pride from a job well done, friendships, or political power (CSSGB, Primer, Section II – 4/5 adn 35/36).

Increasing performance, from 3 sigma to 4 sigma,  in a six sigma corporation would reduce defects per million by a factor of (2)
A (+/-)1.5 sigma must be included; moving from the defect rate of 6,210 ppm (4 sigma) to the defect rate of  66,810 ppm (3 sigma), ratio of 1:10.76
(CSSGB Primer, Section II-3)

Short term objectives, most important factor to consider, support organizational objectives.


STRATEGY – (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 31 and 36/37).

The Difference between strategic quality goals and the strategic business plan is the Strategic Business Plan forms the higher level, with Strategic Quality Goals being a part of it; both are determined by top management only and they are each based on priorities given by all levels of the company.  (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 4/5 and 35/37)

Quality goals must be part of the strategic plan or there is a risk of the reduction of the emphasis on the importance of Quality; excluding quality goals from the strategic plan could result in the total quality effort suffering (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 35/37).

SWOT analysis and benchmarking usually precede strategy development

Following the development of a viable corporate strategy the next step is Deployment.

Strategic plan implementation at the functional level requires:

  • Having relatively few strategic objectives or goals
    • Reduces the potential for confusion among employees as to their relative importance
      (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 32/37) (and logic)
  • Long & short term goals (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 37/41)

Tactical objectives contain elements that are quantifiable and measurable. (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 35/37)

Strategic quality goal: (strategic) goal – Commitment to the customer

Tactical objectives: (three detailed -tactical- department goals) – Reducing the scrap rate in the finishing department by 1%; Improved performance inspection checks on work-in-progress; Training 6 green belts in statistical techniques this quarter.


Quality department short-term objectives, the most important factor to consider is that the quality objective support the organizational objectives.  Resources for completion of the departmental objectives would then be easier to obtain, and when completed, the organization will have made progress toward completing it’s objectives.  Well constructed objectives do include completion dates and measures of achievement, but they are not the most important factors in the wording of this question. (CSSGB Primer, Section II-37).

Organizational Steps:

Typically provide feedback to business systems & processes: Outputs & Customers (CSSGB Primer, Section II-9)

Metrics and Goals: Once a set of performance goals and standards have been determined; metrics analysis should then provide effective control feedback for reaching strategic goals.  Organizational performance golas

Metrics: numerical performance measurements are necessary (Besterfirld, 1999)

Metric areas: Profit, Cycle times, Marketplace response, Resources (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 35/36)

Profit: Stockholder value, Capital investment, Personnel costs, Community comparisons, Return on Investment, Sales dollars, Profit margin on sales.

Cycle Times: Existing cycle times, Internal benchmarks, External benchmarks, Reduction in cycle times.

Marketplace Response: Market survey of customers, Analysis of returns, New product development. Customer retention, Customer losses, Courtesy ratings, Facilities ratings.

Resources: Number of improvement projects, Return on improvement projects, Process capability studies, Variation reduction, Cost of poor quality, Percent defects.

Kaplan and Norton have outlined a business planning process that gives consideration to factors others than strictly financial ones.  It provides a greater perspective for stakeholders interests known as  The Balanced Scorecard.

The Balanced Scorecard focuses on the planning process on four (4) perspectives of the vision and strategy: financial, internal business process, learning & growth, and customer perspectives (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 37/38.  Kaplan, R. S., D.P. (1996, January – February). “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System.” Harvard Business Review.

The Five Forces of competitive strategy – Michael Porter

Quality function deployment – House of Quality


Dr. Deming’s 14 points (obligations) for management states, “Cease dependence upon inspection as a way to achieve quality.”
(CSSGB Primer, Section II – 14 adn W. Edwards Deming, (1986). Out of the Crisis
1. Create constancy of purpose for improvement of products and service
2. Adopt anew philosophy; we are in a new economic age

The underlying tenet of this statement is which of the following
for example:
3. Cease dependence upon inspection as a way to achieve quality
(Quality should be built into the product, not inspected in – inspection should be minimized or eliminated)
Harold F. Dodge said, “You cannot inspect quality into a product.

4. End the practice of awarding business based on price tag
5. Constantly improve the process of planning, production, and service – this system includes people
6. Institute training on the job
7. Institute improved supervision (leadership)
8. Drive out fear
9. Break down barriers between departments
10. Eliminate slogans/targets asking for increased productiveity without providing methods
11. Eliminate numerial quotas
12. Remove barriers that stand between workers and their pride of workmanship; the same for all salaried people
13. Institute programs for education adn self-improvement
14. Put all emphasis in the company to work to accomplish the transformation

Seven (7) Deadly Diseases That Management Must Cure:
1. Lack of constancy of purpose to plan a marketable product and service to keep the company in business and provide jobs
2. Emphasis on short-term profits
3. Personal evaluation appraisal, by whatever name, for people in management, the effects of which are devastating
4. Mobility of management; job hunting
5. Use of visible figures for management, with little or no consideration of figures that are unknown or unknowable
6. Excessive medical costs
7. Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers that work on contingency fees

Educational techniques, Deming promoted the parable of the red beads, the PDSA cycle, and the concept of 94% management (system) causes versus 6% special causes.

Dr. Armand V. Feigenbaum – “Total Quality Control” (TQC) – An effective system for integrating the quality development, quality maintenance, and quality improvements. (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 16, 17)

Design of Experiment (DOE): Taguchi, provided the blueprint for Japanese (and later American) engineers to use in the application of DOE.
(CSSGB Primer, Section II – 24/25)

Integrated into other KPIV and KPOV areas, looks at any business enterprise on a main level basis: Technological level, not separately identified (process, operations, and business levels have key input and output variables and are identified as such).


PDCA (Plan – Do – Check – Act) is a problem solving tool, common for team problem solving.

The PDCA cycle is so readily accepted by most American teams and individuals because it is the natural way most people already approach problem solving.
(CSSGB Primer, Section II-27).

An example of a PDCA process within a PDCA process is: using a PDCA process to design a customer survey, while implementing a customer feedback and improvement process.

DMAIC is a problem solving tool most closely associated with 6 sigma. (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 31)

DEFINE: the customer, their critical to quality (CTQ) issues, and the core business process involved.

MEASURE: the performance of the core business process involved.
ANALYZE: the data collected and process map to determine root causes of defects and opportunities for improvements.
IMPROVE: the target process by designing creative solutions to fix and prevent problems.
CONTROL: the improvements to keep the process on the new course.


SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers) – (CSSGB Primer, Section II – 4 and 27/31)