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Quality Beyond Six Sigma

Posted by vietnamwcm trên 6 Tháng Tám 2008

Quality Beyond Six Sigma (PDF File)


by Ron Basu and Nevan Wright


Since the early 1980s, in the ‘Western World’ we have been in what I have called a quality revolution. Based on the simple premise that organizations of all kinds exist mainly to serve the needs of the customers of their products or services, good quality management has assumed great importance. Competitive pressures on companies and Government demands on the public sector have driven the need to find more effective and efficient approaches to managing businesses and non-profit making organizations.

In the early days of the realization that improved quality was vital to the survival of many companies, especially in manufacturing, senior managers were made aware, through national campaigns and award programmes, that the basic elements had to be right. They learned through adoption of quality management systems, the involvement of improvement teams and the use of quality tools, that improved business performance could be achieved only through better planning, capable processes and the involvement of people. These are the basic elements of a Total Quality Management ((TQM) approach and this has not changed no matter how many sophisticated approaches and techniques come along.

The development of TQM has seen the introduction and adoption of many dialects and components, including quality circles, international systems and standards, statistical process control (SPC), business process re-engineering (BPR), lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, benchmarking and business excellence.

An approach finding favour in some companies was Six Sigma, most famously used in Motorola, General Electric and Allied Signal. This operationalized TQM into a project-based system, based on delivering tangible business benefits, often directly to the bottom line. Strange combinations of the various approaches have led to Lean Sigma and other company specific acronyms such as ‘Statistically Based Continuous Improvement (SBCI)’.

The authors of this book have looked at the history of what I call TQM and developed another approach – Fit Sigma – which they hope will address some of the failures in the implementation of earlier projects and programmes, particularly in smaller companies and service organizations. In Fit Sigma the authors offer a holistic approach that fits the needs of all types of businesses and sustains improved performance. I wish them well with this book, but readers should recognize that the key element of any successful improvement management scheme is real and total commitment to the approach, alignment with the business strategies and dedicated follow through in the implementation…



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