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Project Quality Management Six Sigma

Autor:   •  July 25, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,210 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,712 Views

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Option #1: Service Example of Six Sigma

Jami Boylan

PJM 440-1 Project Quality Management

Dr. Fernando Muniz

July 20, 2019

Option #1: Service Example of Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a management philosophy based on the idea that eliminating defects in products and processes that undermine customer loyalty can better serve as the driver for organizational improvement in growth and performance. Although originally designed for manufacturing, Six Sigma has also found its way into service organizations (Goetsch & Davis, 2016). The structured, data-driven approach of Six Sigma for managing quality improvement provides a roadmap to improve the efficiency and control of processes, products, and services. Its purpose is to improve processes to the point that the defect or error rate is 3.4 defects per million or less. By reducing the number of imperfections to this nearly negligible rate a company can become more competitive, profitable and successful.

Data-Driven Strategies

The primary goal of the Six Sigma methodology is to implement a measurement-based strategy focused on improving processes and reducing variations through the application of Six Sigma tools. Janeska, Zdraveski, Sotiroski, and Janeska (2018) state that the detailed and focused processes help both the company and individuals to develop and deliver nearly flawless products and services. It is an innovative strategy for managers and employees to effectively improve decision-making, solve business problems and improve the overall performance of the organization.

Improving Processes with DMAIC

Goetsch and Davis (2016) explain that products and services today have many inherent opportunities for defects. From the Six Sigma perspective, all work can be looked at as processes that can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled. DMAIC (define measure, analyze, improve, control) is the method Six Sigma defines that begins with defining the problem and ends with implementing solutions that are continual. If processes require inputs and produce outputs, then control of the inputs results in control of the outputs. With input and output in control, defects are reduced, and quality improves. Variation will always exist but by maintaining good process control most defects can be avoided.

After a defect is discovered and defined, a measurement plan is created to collect the data needed to analyze the defect. Once this is complete, the process can be adjusted to improve its functionality. As the adjusted process is mastered, the improvements are institutionalized and become the new standard for the process, thus control is established. The five steps of DMAIC can be summarized as follows:

  • Step 1: Define the problem as it relates to pre-specified goals and customer requirements.
  • Step 2: Measure and assess the current performance of the process.
  • Step 3: Analyze the process to identify the root cause of the variation and defects.
  • Step 4: Improve the performance of the process by implementing a solution to the root causes.
  • Step 5: Control the improved process and future performance (American Society for Quality, 2019).

Redesigning Processes with DMADV

Another method, DMADV (define, measure, analyze, design and verify) is used if a process cannot be improved as it is currently designed. This method facilitates the optimal execution of a new process. However, DMADV can also be used to improve a process that has been optimized with DMAIC but still needs to be worked on to reach the Six Sigma level. The five steps of the DMADV method are as follows:

  • Step 1: Define the problem as it relates to pre-specified goals and customer requirements.
  • Step 2: Measure and assess the current performance of the process.
  • Step 3: Analyze the available viable alternatives to meet the six sigma project goals.
  • Step 4: Design a conceptual model of the new process that will meet the aims detailed in step 3.
  • Step 5: Verify the performance of the implemented model (Samman & Quenniche, 2016)

Six Sigma Performance Levels

Statistically speaking, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An opportunity is the total quantity of chances for a defect to occur and a defect is defined as anything outside of the customer specifications. The higher the sigma level the fewer defects produced by the process. The Six Sigma performance levels define the defects per million opportunities (DPMO) as shown in Table 1. To provide a real-world example, assuming 250,000 opportunities per year for business orders, in a level one sigma company this means 172,924 DPMO; at level 3 sigma this equates to 16, 694 DPMO and at the 6 sigma level, only .9 DPMO. (Terry, n.d.).

Table 1:

Sigma Performance Levels – One to Six Sigma

Sigma Level

Defects (or Errors) Per Million Opportunities (DPMO)

Yield (or Produced or Delivered) Correctly (%)



















Note: Adapted from Terry, K. (n.d.). Sigma Performance Table. Retrieved from:

Reaching Level Six Sigma

In analyzing the data collected from three Social Security offices in reference to the new social security application processes the following sigma levels were determined (see Table 2).


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