October 20, 2009

Research Proposal on Six Sigma


1.0 Background of the Study

Six sigma stands for six standard deviations (sigma is the Greek letter used to represent standard deviation in statistics). Six sigma methodologies provides the techniques and tools to improve the capability and reduce the

defects in any process. It was started in Motorola, in its manufacturing division,

where millions of parts are made using the same process repeatedly. Eventually

six sigma evolved and applied was to other nonmanufacturing processes. Today six sigma can be applied to many fields such as services, medical and insurance

procedures, and call centers. Six sigma is a long-term, forward-thinking initiative designed to fundamentally change the way corporations do business. It is the first and foremost "business process that enables companies to increase profits dramatically by streamlining operations, improving quality, and eliminating defects or mistakes in everything a company does. While traditional quality programs have focused on detecting and correcting defects, six sigma encompasses something broader: It provides specific methods to re-create the process itself so that defects are never produced in the first place" (Harry & Schroeder, 2000).

Moreover, six sigma is centered on increasing revenue, cutting costs and improving customer satisfaction. This is because six sigma projects are about setting a goal and then meeting it, whether that goal is to find and reduce waste, find and incorporate features that the customer needs into the product or service or improve cycle time of a particular process to greatly increase efficiency and get more done in less time. Any business, small, medium-sized, or large can use six sigma. The right training and consulting professionals are what a business needs to show them how.

2.0 Statement of the Problem

The achievement to provide a basic understanding of six sigma methodology and its benefits in improving business process performance is the main issue here. Can six sigma and business process management coexist? Business process management builds the framework to create strategic alignment, measure business processes using metrics aligned to business goals, while six sigma can be used as the vehicle to implement significant quality improvement, stabilize the processes, and close the gaps--together it can provide an enabled process and a customer focused enterprise.

What is the concept of lean six sigma? Why does a business need to implement six sigma? Is six sigma a useful business continuity aid? Business continuity, security, and emergency management are all process-driven activities (Kirvan, 2002). As such, it makes sense to ensure that those processes are constantly being reviewed and improved and the implementation of the six sigma process is critical.

3.0 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to analyze the several activities or events that jeopardize effective execution of the six sigma process. This research, specifically, purports to determine how these activities affect businesses and to distinguish the role of the people in implementing this kind of business tool that would eventually lead to the make or break of a business. This research takes into account the practices that affect the six sigma process, delving into the factors that direct to the success of a business. The study also seeks to identify opportunities in applying the six sigma methodologies (areas of focus) and evaluate how business process management principles will help in realizing significant opportunities versus the traditional methods of implementing a six sigma program.

4.0 Research Methodology

This study will use the descriptive type of research. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing (Best, 1970).

In this study, primary and secondary research will be both incorporated. The reason for this is to be able to provide adequate discussion for the readers that will help them understand more about the issue and the different variables that involve with it. The primary data for the study will be represented by the survey results that will be acquired from the respondents. On the other hand, the literature reviews to be presented in the second chapter of the study will represent the secondary data of the study.

The research will be presented in written form with the addition of data charts, which will present the project's results. Pie charts and network charts will be needed to illustrate some of the analyzed data. This cannot be confirmed, however, until the research data have been analyzed.

4.0 Reference

Harry, M., & Schroeder, R. (2001). Six sigma and business process management. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Kirvan, P. (2002, January 19). Six sigma as a business continuity aid. CPM Magazine, 17.

Best, J.W. (1970). Research in Education, 2nd Ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc.

Creswell, J.W. 1994. Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

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