Title

TEACHING CASE INFLUENCES OF SIX SIGMA: NEMBRACEMENT AND ABONDENMENT

Abstract

Six Sigma is a methodology that uses data and statistical analyses on business processes to measure

and improve the conduct and the output of production and service-oriented processes. Derived from a

variety of quality management and industrial engineering approaches, it has emerged into one of the

most popular process re-design methodologies. This paper complements the rich body of knowledge

on Six Sigma methods and techniques with insights into the actual adoption of Six Sigma. Sunstate

Financials

1

is one of Australia's leading financial organizations. Having recognized the advantages of

Six Sigma, Sunstate Financials started their Six Sigma journey in 2001. The peak of Six Sigma

deployment at Sunstate Financials lasted for approximately 2 years. Almost every person in the

company was aware of the Six Sigma methodology, and many projects commenced under the Six

Sigma banner. Although the use of Six Sigma has shown dramatic process improvements and cost

reductions, Six Sigma is no longer in use at Sunstate Financials. This teaching case explores the Six

Sigma experiences of one of Australia’s leading financial service providers, and why this methodology

failed as a sustainable long term approach. It describes the key issues of Six Sigma and provides

valuable lessons learnt.

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