Six-sigma quality management refers to a program-oriented management methodology aimed at improving an organization’s merchandise. Concurrently, this system aims at improving operations involved in an organization (Thayer 2012). This occurs through persistent minimization of defects within the entire organization.
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The increasing global competitiveness has increased the demand for application of contemporary and strategic management strategies within organizational and business setting. Perhaps, this explains the reason for the high demand of the approach within present organizations.
The approach refers to a strategy that concentrates on the improvement of clientele needs and preferences (Inglis 2005). It also helps in the comprehension of sufficient operations, business systems as well as productivity processes. Financial performance is another core area of focus of the concept of six-sigma.
Since the period of its invention, the strategy has played significant roles within most firms or corporations. It has potentially enabled most corporations to maintain their competitive edge in the relevant markets. This has occurred through the incorporation of knowledge. It is important to understand various provisions of six-sigma as a quality management process.
The processes have drawn basic knowledge from statistics and project management among other basic business realms. The six-sigma approach has both organizational as well as individual or stakeholder benefits. The benefits of the approach may be realized through persistent minimization of variations. In addition, this has also occurred through placement of various operations within appropriate levels. The six-sigma approach has been known to improve the process flows within any organization or business processes (Kwak & Anbari 2006). Furthermore, the approach has been associated with minimized rates of overall defects notable within basic organizational processes. It is evident that with its application, the system is focused in the reduction of defects and malfunctions within any operational procedure. This has consequently helped in the streamlining of basic processes and coordination of operations.
The approach also offers a collective and uniform language applicable within any system. Therefore, it has remarkably helped in the improvement of basic communication as well as feedback processes. Roles are therefore performed adequately; there is articulation of the collective objective and mission of the company. The approach also helps in the minimization of cycle times. There is a general condition of enhanced capacity of knowledge and awareness.
Moreover, the individuals within an organization also develop the capacity to manage their newly acquired knowledge. This benefit helps to motivate individuals and enhance innovation as well as novelty. Through application of the six-sigma system of operation, an organization is able of attaining an elevated level or capacity of client as well as employee satisfaction (Levine 2006).. This is also realized within other potential external stakeholders involved in the production processes or general operations.
Similarly, there have been indications that the approach enhances high levels of productivity within organizations. There is a general situation of reduced work-in-progress and minimized inventory due to the application of the six-sigma strategy. Other notable benefits include elevated competency and output (Thayer 2012). There is also high level of reliability as well as quality in the goods or services produced by the implementing company.
Customers are more likely to enjoy lowered and affordable prices. This is also realized by the organization since there is generally reduced unit cost. The organization or business company involved in the implementation of the six-sigma approach is able to enjoy the price flexibility.
There is also a spacious room for better designs. This enables the organization to enjoy relatively increased variety of brands. Additionally, the time for market reach is reduced considerably upon establishment and ratification of Six Sigma. Contextually, there is increased delivery time and reduction in the wear of products before sales.
There are notable challenges associated with the six-sigma approach (Thayer 2012). Various problems have been attributed to the statistical variability and reliability of the approach (six-sigma) in its application. It is also viewed that this approach gives more focus on the process’ rigidity factors. This contradicts the novelty and innovation. Therefore, the six-sigma approach kills creativity and innovation amongst workers.
Redundancy has also been associated with the implementation of the six-sigma approach within organizations. There are reiterations that six sigma approaches are generally embraceable. Concurrently, the system has been viewed to encourage outsourcing. This is evident in cases of improvement initiatives. It generally lacks the aspect of accountability. Its execution necessitates very skilled human resources (Levine 2006).
This requirement might impose huge expenses on corporations. Basically, this is because hiring skilled personnel is costly and competitive in the current organizational era. The lack of constant implementation of this approach leads to a reduced capacity to control workers’ commitment and motivation. Observably, most managers have indicated that the application of six-sigma involves huge organizational or company expenditures. The high costs involved might lead to significant company losses.
Evans, James. Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western, 2008. Print.
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