Six Sigma is being accepted widely in industries today. The major reason for this being its basic tenet that states that goals are customer-specific. This has led to many success stories that has delighted the customers and companies are embracing this quality process in a big way. It would be interesting to look in to the various ways in which the ideology stated in Goals Theory is being used in this quality process called Six Sigma. This paper highlights the various ways in which goal plays the central role in almost each and every state of Six Sigma like define, measure, control, etc. An intrinsic relationship between Six Sigma and Goal theory, therefore, can be concluded.
Six Sigma and Goal Theory
Six Sigma is a data driven approach to eliminate defects from deliverables in an organization. Its customer-centric approach is what makes it highly efficient where the needs of the customer are the basis for any goal setting. This quality process is being implemented in many organizations across the verticals. GEC, which identifies its culture with Six Sigma, plays a big role in identifying and defining different aspects of this theory. This paper would actively take the example of various such organizations to explain the concepts better.
Goals play a very important role in Six Sigma theory. “A clear goal is the center piece of Six Sigma. It is an extremely challenging goal, but still believe, unlike past campaigns of zero defects” (Pande et al., 2000). This paper seeks to find the various places in its theory where it actively follows the tenets of goal theory.
Goal and Goal Statement
Six Sigma theory, as mentioned earlier, thrives on goals. This is evident from the very beginning when the organization has to be preparing the Project Charter for the six sigma project that is being taken up. A Project Charter is one of the deliverables of the Define phase in the DMAIC approach to a defect. A Project Charter includes the problem statement, Goal statement, scope, etc. The very fact that the first document prepared in a Six Sigma project contains the Goal statement speaks volumes of its Goal-centric approach. The Goal Statement would contain the goal, usually a difficult and complex one, which the project team is set about to meet through Six Sigma quality process. This is quite in line with the Goal theory that preaches the importance of having tough and complex goals. According to Edwin A. Locke, performance is low when easy to achieve goals are set. Rather he believes that it is the hard-hitting goals that increase performance. The goal theory also stresses on the importance of avoiding having vague goals. In Six Sigma, special care is taken to see that the goal being set in the goal theory is not vague. Rather, Six Sigma theory makes sure that the goal being set is clearly defined to avoid any kind of ambiguity in the minds of the employee. A vague goal creates confusion for the ones set to achieve them. It becomes extremely difficult to measure the performance and the work needed to achieve the so-called goals. The very fact that Six Sigma stands for 3.4 defects per million opportunities shows the importance of clearly defined tough goals that is the core of the Goal theory.