Determining Six Sigma Critical Failure Factors

Eyong Eyong Ebot, Walden University

Abstract

In the current economy, many companies use the Six Sigma concept in enhancing performances by reducing process and product variations in the manufacturing and service sectors. Unacceptable process and product variations have led to high costs of production and less customer satisfaction. After examining the related literature, a quantitative research study was conducted to determine if Six Sigma implementation failures are dependent on the critical effective factors (CEF) and whether the failures are predictable. Six Sigma methodology requires a robust implementation specifically designed to achieve the best project objectives. The identified independent variables (organizational management and statistical tools application) and dependent variable (implementation failure) addressed the research questions, which were related to whether the lack of organizational management and statistical tools application could affect Six Sigma implementation failures. A quantitative survey with a sample size of 115 Six Sigma practitioners in the United States was conducted. The obtained data from the survey were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression. The results indicated a relationship between the CEF and Six Sigma implementation failure. However, predicting the causes of Six Sigma implementation failure remains inconclusive. A more rigorous study design with statistically proven data is recommended to enable conclusive arguments in the future. The study advances the need for quality management tools, which will lead to an increased return on investments. Successfully implementing Six Sigma improves human development, creates a stable socioeconomic and cultural environment that leads to positive social change.