Keywords: business strategy, six sigma, quality improvement, innovation, process improvement, business excellence, continuous improvement
Six Sigma: a strategy for supporting innovation in pursuit of business excellence – invited paper
Six Sigma has proven to be one of the most emerging business strategies in the 21st Century for accelerating innovation and continuous improvement activities in both manufacturing and service environments for achieving both operational and business excellence. Although we have witnessed various quality management initiatives in organisations, none of them placed an unprecedented importance on the integration of tools and techniques into a systematic and organised problem solving framework. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how Six Sigma is different from the previous quality management and improvement initiatives. The paper also addresses the future directions of Six Sigma and the role of academic community for enhancement of existing Six Sigma methodology and for the development of theory underpinning the principles of Six Sigma. The author firmly believes that Six Sigma will continue to grow and evolve to match the needs of the modern business in the 21st Century.