Integrating Six Sigma tools using team-learning processes

Hilda Cecilia Martinez Leon, Maria del Carmen Temblador Perez, Jennifer A. Farris, Mario G. Beruvides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose - Many of the benefits of Six Sigma (SS) programs stem from the proper use of tools within team-based improvement projects. However, teams often struggle with selecting and integrating the best tools to use in their projects, compromising not only the project completion but also the solution implementation and sustainability over time. The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic approach to articulate SS tools based on team learning, in order to facilitate tool selection and alignment, team collaboration, solution ownership, and overall solution quality and sustainability. Design/methodology/approach - The action research approach was adopted to explore the link between team learning practices and tool application that combined participation in and reflection upon a successful SS project from the electronic manufacturing industry. Findings - SS tools can be more effectively aligned and integrated with team learning practices. Team discussions and dialogues on SS tool outcomes are pivotal to the development of practical interpretations, allowing the team to create new knowledge, change mental models regarding pre-conceived solutions, and enable team members to collectively select and interpret tools in a coherent way, leading to the buy-in of the final solution and the SS program as a whole. Originality/value - The paper yields value to practitioners and researchers interested in successful SS project execution and program sustainability, by providing a team-learning approach for effective tool integration. In addition, this paper highlights the need for additional research on team learning within SS programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-156
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Lean Six Sigma
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Keywords

  • DMAIC
  • Electronics industry
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Mexico
  • Project execution
  • Six Sigma
  • Team learning
  • Teams
  • Tool usage

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