Six Sigma: A Basic Overview

10 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Robert Landel

Robert Landel

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Alan Zimmerman

City University of New York/College of Staten Island

Abstract

In the nearly 30 years since it was introduced, Six Sigma has evolved to mean different things in different circumstances and in different organizations, so that now it is difficult to identify a single, universally accepted definition. The purpose of this note is to provide a basic overview of Six Sigma by explaining its underlying principles and most commonly utilized methods while providing a brief review of its history. Finally, this note provides a brief summary of a Six Sigma case study illustrating the practical application of Six Sigma.

Excerpt

UVA-OM-1339

Six Sigma: A Basic Overview

In the nearly 30 years since it was first introduced, Six Sigma has evolved to mean different things in different circumstances and in different organizations, so that now it is difficult to identify a single, universally accepted definition. That said, however, Six Sigma always has been and remains a rigorous, data-based approach to improving the performance of an organization.

Motorola, Inc., developed Six Sigma in the early 1980s, but it was over the ensuing years—as other Fortune 500 companies, like General Electric under Jack Welch, adopted Six Sigma and reported on its significant benefits in a variety of settings—that the Six Sigma approach to performance improvement really caught on.

The purpose of this note is to provide a basic overview of Six Sigma by explaining its underlying principles and most commonly utilized methods while providing a brief review of its history. Finally, the note will provide a brief summary of a Six Sigma case study illustrating the practical application of Six Sigma.

What Exactly Is Six Sigma?

. . .

Keywords: Quality improvement, operations management, Six Sigma

Suggested Citation

Landel, Robert and Zimmerman, Alan, Six Sigma: A Basic Overview. Darden Case No. UVA-OM-1339, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1282921

Robert Landel (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/landel.htm

Alan Zimmerman

City University of New York/College of Staten Island ( email )

NY
United States

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