March 15, 2013

The Comparing and Contrasting of Six Sigma and EFQM

In terms of similarities, Both EFQM and Six sigma serve as tools for continuous improvement . EFQm is continuously updated with tested best practices for various organisations, while companies try to achieve the six sigma level of 3.4 defects per million, even though many companies haven't achieved it, they continously improve the get to the six sigma level.

Both EFQM and Six Sigma require top management for the successful implementation of both tools because if senior or top management doesn't see the importance of either tool, the implementation would not be successful and money spent on training would be wasted. An Example of this is when motorola first decided to implement quality training and six sigma in their organisation, but they made the mistake of using the bottom up approach by training the workers first before training the managers, their first attempt was unsuccessful because when employees went to ask their bosses questions relating to improvement of quality in the organisation which the bosses could not answer because they had not been trained.

Implementation requires a lot of time and training for both six sigma and EFQM and a result implemetation is quite expensive because of the money that will be spent on training and the long pay back period before the results are seen.

In Terms of differences between six Sigma and EFQM, Six Sigma seeks to reduce the variations in processes by finding out the cause and eliminating it, while EFQM tries to achieve sustainable excellence.

Six Sigma looks at Individual projects in an organisation while EFQm takes a more holistic approach by looking at the entire organisation.

Six sigma tries to reduce scrap and rework and involves fluctuation performance measures for managers, while EFQm tries to improve the overall quality of the management system.

I believe, that EFQM and Six Sigma are very good tools for Quality management and EFQM can best be used in the entire organisation with Six sigma used for the different projects that the organisation to improve the overall quality of the Organisation.

March 12, 2013


EFQM stands for European foundation for quality management. It is basically a tool to help organisations find out where they are on the path to excellence. The foundation continuously updates the model with tested best practices from different organisations.

EFQM focuses on customers because they are the final users of the product and if they are satisfied with the product or service quality they are more likely to become loyal customers. It is also result focused as it aims on satisfying the needs of all the stakeholders. One of the most fundamental concepts of EFQM is that it focused on continuous innovation and improvement, because organisational performance is improved when there is a culture of continuous learning and improvement because continuously improving the business processes, will lead to more satisfied customers and employees which will turn turn increase loyalty and revenue.

The EFQM uses the Radar matrix and the Pathfinder card. The Pathfinder card is basically a self assessment tool, while Radar logic covers the results, approach,deployment, assessment and review. RADAR's logic states that the organisation must determine the results it wants to achieve, then plan and develop a set of approaches to achieve its results, then deploy the approaches and finally assess and review the results achieved.

EFQM model is an excellent model to assess an organisations journey towards excellence, between the Pathfinder card and the Radar Logic, I feel the Radar Logic is a better option because it makes the excellence process a continuous process through assessing and reviewing the results achieved compared to pathfinder card that uses self assessment to identify areas that need improving.

March 10, 2013

Six Sigma

Six sigma focuses on cost savings by improving quality through the reduction of variations. Six sigma means a target of 3.4 defects per million for both products and customer service. Organisations don't immediately reach six sigma but continuously improve their processes to get to six sigma

For example, in Motorola employees record the defects record the defects found in every aspect of the business and statistical technologies were made part of every employees job.

Six Sigma's learning models include PDCA,SEA,SEL.; Six sigma is usually used for existing projects. PDCA is Plan, Do,Check and Act;it involves planning a change aimed at improving the quality of a product or a service, Do involves carrying out the change, while Check is studying the results of the change and Adapting it if suitable.

SEA is Select,Experiment and Adapt, SEL is an improvement on SEA it stands for Select, Experimet and Learn.SEL uses principles that are useful for making predictions and using the feedback to improve quality.

Basically, Six sigma recognises that for a firm to gain a competitive advantage, it has to consistently deliver quality products and by manufacturing efficiently, it will reduce scrap and rework leading to cost savings for the organisation and increased market share.

March 04, 2013

Quality management and Policy deployment

Quality as described by P Crosby, is a conformance to requirements. I agree with this definition because I believe that quality is best described as what we require in a product or service. For instance, a bicycle for a toddler should have the required characteristics for it to be used by a toddler, however the same bicycle or quality of bicycle cannot be used by a professional cyclist. The quality requirements of the toddler are different from that of the cyclist.

Deming says that commission based on volume products is wrong because the employees will focus more on quantity instead of quality. However I'm in support of commission based on the quantity of quality products, because this will give the staff more incentive to focus on quality and quantity rather than just quality or quantity alone.

I believe in continous quality Improvement, because by continually improving the quality, the organisation will exceed its customers expectations and win more market share.

Hoshin Kanri is a method for policy deployment which involes knowing what the customers wants and planning to exceed their expectation. This is usually done by creating a detailed plan and most of all reviewing the plan at each stage.By using the Mission(vision), Objectives, Strategies and tactics and continually reviewing the plan, good quality policy deployment alongside a good quality strategy.

For Hoshin Kanri to be effective, I believe the most important activity is to continually review and look for a way forward to achieve the business goals

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