Six Sigma has become very popular throughout the whole world. There are several reasons for this popularity. First, it is regarded as a fresh quality management strategy which can replace TQC, TQM and others.
Many companies, which were not quite successful in implementing previous management strategies such as TQC and TQM, are eager to introduce Six Sigma.
Development process of Six Sigma in quality management
Six Sigma is viewed as a systematic, scientific, statistical and smarter (4S) approach for management innovation which is quite suitable for use in a knowledge-based information society.
Second, Six Sigma provides efficient manpower cultivation and utilization. It employs a “belt system” in which the levels of mastery are classified as green belt, black belt, master black belt and champion. As a person in a company obtains certain
training, he acquires a belt. Usually, a black belt is the leader of a project team and several green belts work together for the project team.
Third, there are many success stories of Six Sigma application in well known world-class companies. As mentioned earlier, Six Sigma was pioneered by Motorola and launched as a strategic initiative in 1987. Since then, and particularly from 1995, an exponentially growing number of prestigious global firms have launched a Six Sigma program. It has been noted that many globally leading companies run Six Sigma programs (see Figure 3), and it has been well known that Motorola, GE, Allied Signal, IBM, DEC, Texas Instruments, Sony, Kodak, Nokia, and Philips Electronics among others have been quite successful in Six Sigma. In Korea, the Samsung, LG, Hyundai groups and Korea Heavy Industries & Construction Company have been quite successful with Six Sigma.
Lastly, Six Sigma provides flexibility in the new millennium of 3Cs, which are:
• Change: Changing society
• Customer: Power is shifted to customer and customer demand is high
• Competition: Competition in quality and productivity
The pace of change during the last decade has been unprecedented, and the speed of change in this new millennium is perhaps faster than ever before. Most notably, the power has shifted from producer to customer. The producer-oriented industrial society is over, and the customer-oriented information society has arrived. The customer has all the rights to order, select and buy goods and services. Especially, in e-business, the customer has all-mighty power.
Six Sigma with its 4S(systematic, scientific, statistical and smarter) approaches provides flexibility in managing a business unit.