Formulation of the problem. The Six Sigma concept is an approach to business improvement that seeks to eliminate the causes of errors or defects in business processes by focusing on those output parameters that are critical to the consumer. The Six Sigma concept is a strategic approach that was built on the classical scheme of continuous improvement on the basis of the continuous use of the Schuhtart-Deming cycle: plan – do – check – implement. Subsequently, within the framework of the Six Sigma concept, the Shuhart – Deming cycle transformed into a MAIC cycle: Measure IQ) – Analyze – Improve – Control – Recently, there is a tendency to supplement this cycle with additional stages. The most common DMAIC variant is the stage Define (defined) at the beginning of the cycle. The leaders of the Academy ” Six Sigma “Harry and Schroeder believe that this program consists of eight steps: Recognize – DMAIC – Standardize – Integrate (integrate) (RDMAICSI) 9. Analysis of the results of recent research and publications. For the first time, the Six Sigma approach was first developed by Motorola. Recently, this concept of continuous improvement has been given more and more attention, which is probably due to the significant economic achievements of those companies that claim their commitment to this direction. Among such companies should be noted General Electric, which defines the Six Sigma concept as a vision (quality vision) that has a figure of only 3.4 defects per million of opportunities for any product or service 5. It is worth noting that in Ukraine, the concept of “six sigmas” is only at the stage of study and development. Among the foreign scientists who studied the concept of quality improvement and the problems of using the Six Sigma, it should be noted that K. Levin, I. Adizes, W. Barnett, M. Hammer, J.Champi, P. Drucker, J.Kotter, N.G. Shirokova., V. S. Katko and others. The purpose of the paper is to study the peculiarities and analysis of key stages of the development of the concept of improving the quality of the Six Sigma, justifying the roadmap for the implementation of this concept at the enterprise. Presentation of the main material. The Six Sigma concept includes measurement and analysis of business processes, but this is not just a quality initiative – it’s a system that covers the entire business. To accomplish the tasks posed by the Six Sigma concept, little step-by-step improvements are not enough. In every sphere of activity, we need real “breakthroughs”. Expressing the terms of statistics, achieving the “Six Sigma” means practically getting rid of defects in processes or products. Most leading scientists in the world define this concept as: 1. The statistical indicator of the quality of the process or product. In statistics, the letter of the Greek alphabet “sigma” denotes the standard deviation. The standard deviation is a statistical description method variation values in a dataset, group of products, or process. For example, if you consider a lot of potato chips of different sizes, you will get a higher standard deviation than when weighing chips of the same size. 2. The goal is to improve the activities that strive for perfection. 3. Management system, aimed at achieving sustainable leadership in business and the production of world-class goods. The task of developing the parameters of “sigma” is as follows: 1) to focus on performance indicators for consumers who pay money. Indicators that are commonly used by most companies, such as working hours, costs, sales, are not relevant to what the buyer really is concerned about; 2) create a single method for measuring and comparing different processes. Using the sigma scale, you can evaluate and compare the performance of completely different processes. To learn how to count the level of sigmas or to understand its meaning, you first need to figure out what your customers are waiting for. The Six Sigma language demands and expectations of the consumer are called (and considered) critical (CTQ). In fact, for the Six Sigma concept, it is typical to measure the quality of the process from all CTQ parameters, not just one or two. The “sigma” indicator is used to see how well or poorly the process is performed, as well as to develop a single criterion for process quality. In tabl. 1 shows the level of sigma and the corresponding number of defects per million possibilities (goods and services). Within the framework of this concept, the classification of organizations according to the criterion of competitiveness level in terms of quality is adopted.
It is easy to calculate the level of sigmas for most processes. We will conduct an analysis on the example of a milk processing enterprise. An important stage in the analysis is the definition of clear quality parameters of the product under study (services). The main requirements of the quality of milk produced are: 1) the integrity of the package, 2) the guarantee of transportation, 3) compliance with the storage conditions, 4) the compliance of the container indicated on the package. Let’s suppose that from 500 liters of milk produced, packaging was damaged in 25 liters, resulting in loss of sterility, 10 liters – damaged during transportation, 7 liters – due to improper storage and increased milk temperature prematurely oxidized (until the end of use), 16 l – the actual capacity did not correspond to the one indicated on the package. To calculate the level of sigma, we take the total number of defects and divide by the total number of milk produced, multiplied by the number of requirements: (25 + 10 + 7 +16) / (500.4) = 58: 2000 = 0.029 (1) This indicator of 0.022 is called DPO Defects Per Opportunity) – the number of defects per opportunity. Usually 1 million possibilities for defect appearance are considered. Therefore, the result must be multiplied by 1 million, and we will receive 29,000 defects per million possibilities (DPMO – Defects Per Million Opportunities). Now you just have to look at the table and check which level sigma corresponds to this number. In our case, the dairy business works at 3.3 sigma. 2. Six Sigma as a Goal. When a business ignores important customer requirements, defects, claims and costs arise. More defects – more costs for their correction, not taking into account the risk of loss of customers. Any company wants to avoid all the defects, and consequently the growth of costs, lowering the level of consumer satisfaction. Researches show that when buyers perceive the negative influence of defective products and processes, they do not sit idly by themselves, but act. Below are facts that relate to the wave-like effect that causes processes with low levels of sigma 2, p. 220: – dissatisfied consumer tells about his bad experience to nine or ten other consumers; – the same consumer will tell about the problem only five if it is successfully solved; – 31% of consumers who are faced with service problems never register their complaints, because it’s “too complicated” because there is no simple feedback channel or they think that it does not care anybody; – Of these 31%, only 9% will continue to deal with this company. As consumers become more demanding and impatient, a high level of defects means that the company is at serious risk. To achieve 3-4 defects per million is quite complicated, more real task can be, say, reaching the level of two or three sigma. This is also good: the level of defects from more than 300,000 products per million will decrease to less than 70,000 per million. The purpose of the Six Sigma concept is to help set high goals for the achievement of defective products and services. The notion of “zero defects” does not work here. The Six Sigma concept recognizes that even in faultless processes or high-quality products, there is always some possibility of defects. But if you work at a quality level of 99,9997% (that is, six sigms), defects in many processes and products will be virtually absent. 3. “Six Sigma” as a management system. According to experts, a significant difference between the concept of “Six Sigma” and outwardly similar programs of past years is the degree of involvement of management in the regular monitoring of the results and achievements of the project. The management system includes both performance reports and ongoing analysis to support these results. With reporting and regular analysis, managers can use the Six Sigma as a guide to managing their business. The final result is to make Six Sigma a means of solving critical business issues, as well as a method of integrated proactive management and customer orientation in everyday business practices Panda, HOLPI, 2004, p. 35-36. Route map “Six Sigma”. Concluding an overview of the concept, consider the route plan for “Six Sigma” – the sequence of implementation of this system and the launch of the first improvement projects. The route is five steps in which the set of “key competencies of a successful organization of the XXI century” is represented 6, p. 201: 1) Identification of key processes of consumers. 2) Definition of consumer inquiries. 3) Measurement of current results. 4) Prioritization, analysis and implementation of improvements. 5) Expansion and integration of the Six Sigma system. Let’s take a look at each step in more detail and define the tasks that the company must follow, moving along this route. Step 1. Identification of key processes and clients. With the steady dispersal and globalization of companies, the narrowing of segments of consumer markets and the diversification of the range of goods and services, to see the overall picture of the system is becoming increasingly difficult. By completing Step 1, the company will be able to more accurately identify the priority activities of the company and get a clear idea of the structure of their business system. The information and knowledge that is envisaged in Step 1 is important as a prerequisite for successful work in the next step (Step 2), when the organization begins to form an understanding of customer needs. But even more value of this stage – a new, more clear understanding of the organization as a whole. Step 2. Identification of consumer queries. Many executives of companies and managers, after the first steps towards the Six Sigma, admit that, as one of the directors said: “They do not understand very well what their customers want” 1, p. 65. This is one of the most complex aspects of the concept of “Six Sigma” in implementing the plan – the focus on the consumer with his requests in shaping the company’s needs. In order to find out what customers want right now, at a particular time, there are few occasional polls. The rationale for this step is that if you do not know what your customers want, it’s very difficult to give them something “something.” Moreover, if we approach this issue from the point of view of achieving “defect” or level “Six Sigma”, without the knowledge of clear, specific requirements of the client, it is impossible to create meaningful measurements. Table 2 summarizes the main tasks for identifying consumer inquiries. In the XXI century long-term survival and success can only be expected by those companies that really listen to their consumers.
One of the most well-known tools for creating such a system is Quality Function Deployment (QFD) – a systematic way of deploying the needs and wishes of the consumer through the deployment of functions and operations of the company in order to ensure the quality that would ensure the obtaining of the final result, corresponding to consumer expectations 7, p. 218. Step 3. Measurement of current indicators. If Step 2 identifies customer requests, Step 3 lets you evaluate how accurate the organization is to today’s requests and what results to expect in the foreseeable future. In a broader sense, measurements of consumer performance with its inquiries are the first step towards creating a more efficient measurement system. It should be noted that the measurement systems should also include data on the efficiency of processes: the cost of a unit of finished product, consumption of energy or consumables, etc. After all, the demands of not only consumers, but also producers must be respected. Step 4. Prioritization, analysis and improvement. Now that there are clear facts and indicators, and not just precepts and subjective judgments, you can go to Step 4. The main tasks of Step 4 are given in Table. 3
The key to the success of the Six Sigma system is to not burden the organization with more than the maximum with which it can handle painlessly. Improvement techniques recommended for use at this stage are valuable for covering the best defect reduction technologies and enhancing process efficiency and productivity. Six Sigma technologies and tools can be equally applied to complex large-scale problems and relatively easy opportunities to improve the process. Step 5. Expansion and integration of the Six Sigma system. The true quality at the level of “Six Sigma” can not be achieved without the help of many disparate improvement projects. Tasks of Step 5 are presented in Table. 4. The main meaning of Step 5, from which begins a tumultuous hard work on the formation of the indispensable for the “organization of six sigmas” long-term vision, is to once again weigh all “for” and “against” and timely on something to refuse. Imagine that several years have passed. You see that many customers are starting to go to your new competitor, who claims that he has a Six Sigma system. You conduct research and find out that this young, growing company really has some advantages over your less flexible organization, including: -developed feedback system with efficient channels of information transmission from customers; -integrated “seamless” processes with a smooth transition from one to another and close cooperation along the entire line of the overall process; – Systems of timely measurements to track not only changes in cash flows, but also in defects, in key activities and cost factors (eg, raw materials); – A high level of excellence in problem solving and improvement – either by precisely setting up processes, or by creating completely new processes, products or services in line with changing customer needs. Step 5 should become a key element of the Six Sigma program. Conclusions and perspectives of further research. Based on the research carried out, the following goal of implementing the Six Sigma concept in both domestic and foreign companies can be formulated: – Definition of the number of defects per million possibilities (DMM) as a standard measure for various aspects of the activities of any organization (computerization, programming, production development, administrative management); – introduction of intensive training of brigades implementing improvement projects profitability, reduction of unanticipated losses and reduction of the working cycle;
– concentration of the leadership of the organization to support the work of the brigades: leadership helps brigades overcome resistance, provide them with additional resources and keep brigades within strategic goals of the organization;
– training of highly qualified experts in improving business processes that can use quantitative and qualitative improvement tools on the way to implementing the strategic goals of the organization; – providing, conducting an appropriate assessment before and after improvement processes in order to determine business outcomes and their relevance to strategic goals; – Appointment of experts trained and certified to improve the business process to lead brigades on project implementation for a period of one to three years. In general, the history of development and the results of the implementation of the Six Sigma approach shows a very simple idea: where do you begin to work on improving the organization, as you do not call your approach (“Six Sigma”, TQM, reengineering, etc.), the road leads to the same goal: the prosperity of the organization and its employees on the basis of the concept win-win – “win together”, because you can win only together.