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Title: Six Sigma at a crossroads
Authors: Goh, T.N. 
Keywords: Black belts
Performance improvement
Process control
Quality management
Six Sigma
Statistical thinking
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Goh, T.N. (2011). Six Sigma at a crossroads. 41st International Conference on Computers and Industrial Engineering 2011 : 98-103. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Six Sigma as a quality improvement framework has taken industry by storm for almost a quarter of a century. Its extensions and derivatives such as Design for Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, as well as problem-solving applications ranging from manufacturing to service sectors, have continued to attract widespread interests globally. However, voices from time to time that questioned claims on Six Sigma's efficacy made by its proponents, and academic organizations generally do not embrace Six Sigma as a prescription for excellence. In this paper, a critical examination is made of the nature of Six Sigma, with an Industrial Engineering-oriented and realistic analysis of its potential and limitations in practice. It is pointed out that Six Sigma and its variants are actually at a crossroads at this juncture; whether they will remain relevant in the years to come depends very much on an indepth, objective understanding and rational applications of related tools, with new techniques and applications that respond to tangible societal needs. Some examples are given to illustrate the need for innovative developments. On the other hand, if Six Sigma does morph in time into a label for a self-serving "certification" industry, it would have lost its customer-centric orientation and would inevitably reach the declining phase of a product cycle, sliding into oblivion or at best a footnote in future textbooks.
Source Title: 41st International Conference on Computers and Industrial Engineering 2011
ISBN: 9781627486835
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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