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Implementing Six Sigma Strategy In An Academic Department

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engr. Educ. II

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.639.1 - 7.639.7



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Paper Authors

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Erdogan Sener

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 2121

Implementing Six Sigma Breakthrough Management Strategy in an Academic Department

Erdogan M. Sener Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, IUPUI


The Six Sigma Breakthrough Strategy (SSBS) is one of the successful management strategies that have found a number of important followers in the last 10 years. The strategy has been implemented by work giant companies such as GE, Allied Signal, and Motorola with success leading to achievement of an exceptional level of quality in their work.

The Six Sigma Breakthrough Management Strategy was developed by Mikel Harry and Richard Schroeder and explained in detail in their best selling book (1). They describe the Six Sigma process as “designing and monitoring everyday processes to minimize resources and waste while increasing customer satisfaction”. They advise that “extra ordinary” sense be used to make extra ordinary improvements to an organization and that “common sense” only produces common results. They suggest that “organizations need ways of measuring what they claim to value (i.e . create metrics) and that you cannot change what you cannot measure…. and…..that you should querry what you have taken for granted.”

Peter Pande, et al .. in their book, The Six Sigma Way (2), desribe Six Sigma as “near perfection in meeting customer requirements” … and as …. “TQM (Total quality Management) on steroids.” They advise that we should always think about “How we can make the customer more competitive. Anything we do to make the customer more successful results in financial return for us.”

The SSBS is successful and is a draw for several companies since it focuses on business processes, procedures, and components that encompass those processes and procedures to enhance quality and profitability in critical and selected areas.

In simplified terms, the SSBS relies on breaking down a process/procedure into its elemental components and then finding and correcting the links and variables/parameters that lead to dissatisfaction, errors, problems, and low quality. It relies heavily on identifying the elements/variables of a process, approach, or procedure, benchmarking status in each of these elements, and continuously measuring progress in these elements towards established goals or objectives.

The popularity of and what drives companies to SSBS is more than improvement of profitability and quality. It sets standards different from the conformance to traditional standards defined in terms of products or services that fall within allowed specification limits irrespective of how much corrective effort they may necessitate to fall within those limits. The standard definition of

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Sener, E. (2002, June), Implementing Six Sigma Strategy In An Academic Department Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10970

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