Six Sigma in Education

The marching trend of the new economic order has generated a new capsule of SIX SIGMA as a unified approach to process excellence. The tests reveal that it has transformed some of the most successful companies in the world like Motorola, GE etc. It is activated as an approach to aiming at the target by changing the culture of a company, involving everyone in the company, not just the Black Belts and Green Belts.

The concept of "Six Sigma" is to identify the problem in a process, set up project with the processes, evaluate the process and work through the project in order to improve the process in totality. In the words of Jack Welch, Chairman of GE, the Six Sigma, is 'The only program I've ever seen where customers win, employees are engaged in and satisfied by, shareholders are (rewarded), Everybody who touches it wins.' In education it pertains of improving quality of matter taught, the character generated of the pupils in certain and the quality of study and school life. With the revolutionary usage of audiovisuals devices, like projectors, video conferencing, etc., the students can also be asked to write papers on a particular subject and after the presentation of papers, the discussion shall take place on the respective subject. Under this method of imparting knowledge of literacy with quality, the thinking, writing and presentation skills of the students can be kindled. Not only this, the existing method of quality improvement through SQCC (Students Quality Control Circles) have had the value based concept as a simile for the Six Sigma standards. It infuses a spike of excellence, emotional development, humaneness and self discipline.

Origins of Six Sigma

The concept of Six Sigma originated in the 1980' as Motorola in response of the threat of Japanese counterpart got excited of the zero defects. Further the concept broomed to Allied Signal and General Electric (GE), as a result it became a news in 1996, that GE had made over $1Billion of cost savings. In academics it is dependent on the management gurus for implementation.

Target and Techniques of Six Sigma

The Six Sigma tends to raise customer satisfaction by reducing the number of defective from a process to 3.4 defective per million. The progress towards the target is measured by the sigma rating. If it can not be measured it is bound to have a raise instead. Again in academics, it standardizes the enhancement of the result by percent increase. The defects here symbolizes the failures or the third divisioners.

Culture of Six Sigma

The work environment or the quality of work life suggests the culture with permeates a company in the desire of all staff to achieve that target, to increase customer satisfaction, to increase efficiency, lower costs and improve profitability. This culture provides an important and continuing focus to management. The quality of SIX SIGMA penetrates applying to all of a company's business, whether 'defective' means an out-of-specific time coming off a production line, the amount of 're-work' in a batch of a product, a document with a misprint, or an overlong delivery time. Now, the implementation in the educational arena requires the significance of the teaching fraternity as the employees or the workforce in general. The customers tend to be the parents who pay the fees and want quality in return of the good result of their wards.

Application of Six Sigma

The implementation or application starts with the recognition of a problem, and the defining of a project to cure or alleviate that problem. The dependence of any standard of academic or production is totally dependent on the following format for DMAIC. The project is undertaken by a team using DMAIC, meaning Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. These are defined well as:

The definition of the project/ assignment, using process map, application area, desired improvement, likely benefits etc. The importance lies of having the chance of a high successful delivery of better quality and saving costs in totality. Here in the academic strata, the failures include the definition of the problem in as an identity. The others may include projects like real life problems pertaining to 'Distractions in the Class Room' for example.

This involves the analyses of the process to determine its present state and the future, as obtained. The data collection is a well suited frame for this.

This involves the data analysis for identification of parts of process which affect the quality of the problem.

This adds to the process to find a permanent solution to the problem. This may involve better forecasting, better scheduling, better procedures or better equipment, specifying, teaching techniques, work environment for the teachers and school campus quality life.

Involves the process of closing the problem by putting in the right procedures and management statistics.

Six Sigma Professional

Green Belts
These represent the Six Sigma Practitioners, with a thorough grounding of the approach. The In-charges of the Junior School, Primary School activate as these designators.

Black Belts
They represent the Six Sigma experts with a thorough grounding with the ability to lead the projects, an upper hand over Green Belts. The in-charges of Senior School include in this gentry.

Master Black Belts
These represent people who spend their time on Six Sigma, assist leadership for projection and consultation. The Administration Officer or the Vice-Principal act this position.

Champions or Leaders
They are the senior managers who ensure that resources are available for training and projects and also conduct reviews. The Principal activate this goal, in collaboration of the management.

Implementation of Six Sigma

With the outcome of the implementation of this novel concept, researchers have found that successful deployment of Six Sigma involves focusing on a small number of high-leverage items. The following are the steps needed for the successful implementation of this concept:

  1. 1. The success improvement must start with the principles and the tools needed for the purpose. Simultaneously, the steps are taken to 'soft-wire' the organization and to cultivate an environment for innovation and creativity, at totality. The generation of Quality Improvement Teams at the level of Principals and other members of the management.

  2. The module is developed for establishing close communication with customers, employees and suppliers. This involves developing rigorous methods of obtaining and evaluating customer, employee and supplier input. The teachers act as these database for reporting and conduct of study.

  3. The assessing is made of training as an indispensability. The remedial basic skills education is also provided to ensure that adequate levels of literacy and numeracy are processed by all employees/ teachers.

  4. A standardized framework for continuous improvement is developed with a system of indicators for monitoring progress and success.

  5. The six sigma projects are conducted by individual employees and teams lead by Green Belts and assisted by Black Belts.


With the above mode of conduct of implementation of the Six Sigma, the research proves that firms that successfully implement Six Sigma perform better in virtually every business category, including return on sales, return on Investment, employment growth and share price increase to the level of production within an organization. With the above as an essential tool of productivity and enhancement of quality, as an everlasting strategy has been the need of the day. What strategy has to be applied in today's educational arena is a thoughtful concern on the part of the management to dwell into. The above management technique is a proved methodology of success by one and all and pertains to Kaizen or the continuous improvement philosophy.  


More by :  Dr. Dheeraj Malhotra

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Views: 3327      Comments: 1

Comment KIND ATTN: Dr. Dheeraj Malthota

Dear Sir,

Greetings from PACE Institute of Technologies and Sciences, Ongole, A.P., India.

I take this opportunity to request you for a soft or hard copy of your book titled: SIX SIGMA IN EDUCATION" . I sincerely believe this book will be very useful to all our faculty in preparing the syllabus in the six sigma methodology DMAIC as we have recently achieved autonomous status by UGC. I found AMAZON delivery charges are very high than the book cost.


23-Feb-2019 03:46 AM

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