November 11, 2013

Six Sigma, EFQM and Deming

The concept of Six Sigma was introduced in class today. A method of statistical process improvement, Six Sigma aims through the concept of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) to see 3.4 defects per million opportunities. So far, our understanding of Six Sigma is limited but it is already interesting to draw conclusions and observations when comparing it to Deming's theories and the EFQM Model.

From a journal I have read, Six Sigma projects can on average take from 6 months to one year, clearly different from the long term journey of continuous improvement that Deming and the EFQM Model focuses on. Six Sigma systems can be argued to limit creativity and entrepreneurship amongst staff, sacfiricing growth of people and talent development. Again, this is very different from Deming's theories along with the empowering, innovative environment the EFQM Model aims to create in an organisation.

Furthermore, my readings argue that Six Sigma is more likely to focus on extrinsic motivational tools, as opposed to intrinsic motivatitional tools that EFQM and Deming state as being more beneficial to an organisation and its employees. This may further reitirate the fact that Six Sigma is largely concerend with improving processes and seeing better results (in statistical form).

Although this blog is quite a one sided view of Six Sigma (largely critiquing it), it is interesting to already note some of the differences between the practices. There are obviously benefits to a six sigma organisation (less defects per million opportunities OBVIOUSLY haves beneficial implications for an organisation) that will be explored in future blogs.

Any further views or comments on mine would be much appreciated.

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