Strategic Six Sigma: Best Practices from the Executive Suite / Edition 1

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Six Sigma is more popular than ever as an operational quality improvement technique for cutting costs, improving processes, and reducing business cycle times. But Six Sigma can also be employed as a powerful leadership philosophy and methodology. Today, more and more companies are realizing the full potential of Six Sigma as a strategic tool for developing and accelerating corporate strategy and for spurring organizational change.

Strategic Six Sigma: Best Practices from the Executive Suite outlines the key elements of Strategic Six Sigma leadership in successful companies and provides readers with the guidance necessary to apply these same practices and approaches in their own companies. Expert advice from Six Sigma specialists at PwC Consulting, interviews with leading CEOs, and case studies offer readers the chance to see Strategic Six Sigma in action and study the proven benefits of successful implementation.

This book clearly demonstrates how the principles and approaches of Six Sigma-when applied systematically and strategically-can have a tremendous impact both on a company's bottom-line business performance and on its potential for continued growth. Six Sigma principles provide companies with a common vehicle and language with which to frame business goals, align people and processes, focus organizational energy, and drive results. Because the methodology relies on factual data and real-world feedback to drive decision-making, it's able to unify top leadership teams under a common banner and make strategic planning and execution more efficient and successful. Strategic Six Sigma highlights these benefits and guides leaders in making this proven methodology the starting point for company-wide strategy.

Three distinct sections offer business leaders everything they need to understand and implement Strategic Six Sigma in their organizations. Part One focuses on how implementing the methodology helps companies survive in the marketplace, build customer loyalty, and provide high-quality products and services. Part Two guides leaders in implementation and profiles companies that have achieved stunning success with Strategic Six Sigma-GE, Dow Chemical, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and many more. Part Three examines the future of the methodology and provides best practices for developing leaders with strong Strategic Six Sigma expertise, as well as needed technical skills, people skills, and change management skills.

Strategic Six Sigma isn't just about improving business process performance-it's about fundamentally transforming the relationships companies maintain with their employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, analysts, and even competitors. It lets you view your business from your customer's perspective so you can exceed customer expectations and marketplace requirements. More than just a technique for streamlining your operations, Strategic Six Sigma is the glue that holds your organization together and aligns everyone behind your mission.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471232940
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/10/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

DICK SMITH is the Partner-in-Charge of the Center of Excellence for Six Sigma Services at PwC Consulting. He is a well-known speaker on the topics of business strategy, organizational change, and Six Sigma deployment.

JERRY BLAKESLEE is a Global Partner at the Center of Excellence for Six Sigma Services and a primary architect of PwC Consulting's global Strategic Six Sigma approach.

RICHARD KOONCE is a writer, interviewer, business consultant, and a well-known expert on job and workplace trends.

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Read an Excerpt
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Table of Contents


Introduction: From Factory Floor to Executive Suite: The Emergence of Strategic Six Sigma as a Business and Leadership Imperative.

Chapter 1 Strategic Six Sigma: Current and Emerging Applications.

Chapter 2 Rocky Road or Trajectory of Transformation? What Makes Strategic Six Sigma Efforts Successful?

Chapter 3 Develop a Committed Team of Leaders to Drive Strategic Six Sigma Initiatives.

Chapter 4 Incorporate Strategic Six Sigma Thinking and Best Practices into Your Company's Strategy Planning and Deployment Process.

Chapter 5 Be in Touch with Customers and the Marketplace.

Chapter 6 Build a Business Process Framework to Sustain Strategic Six Sigma Efforts.

Chapter 7 Demand Quantifiable Results.

Chapter 8 Develop Incentives and Create Accountability.

Chapter 9 Success with Strategic Six Sigma Projects Requires Full-Time,Well-Trained Six Sigma Leaders.

Chapter 10 Why Training Is Critical to Making Strategic Six Sigma Initiatives Work.

Chapter 11 Sustaining Gains with Strategic Six Sigma over Time.

Afterword: Some Parting Thoughts.



Bibliography and Recommended Reading.

About the Authors.


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2003

    Practical Six Sigma, Not Just Theoretical

    Finally, a book on six sigma that shows the true practice of it rather than just the theory...and the authors make a strong case for their success factors by providing solid examples of how these factors contribute to an organization's success with six sigma. Every executive who is thinking about six sigma should read this book. And for those executives who view it as another program of the month, wake up and read how others have applied it at the strategic level to transform their companies. An absolutely wonderful read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2002

    Packed with Knowledge!

    Thanks to endorsements from managerial heavyweights like Jack Welch, most people in business are by now familiar with Six Sigma as a process for measuring and reducing product defects. In Strategic Six Sigma, however, Dick Smith, Jerry Blakeslee and Richard Koonce demonstrate that the Six Sigma methodology can and should be applied to the highest levels of strategic planning. Simply put, the authors illustrate how the rigors of Six Sigma can improve your performance in terms of overall strategy, growth and customer satisfaction in the same way that it streamlines operations on a production floor. We from getAbstract strongly recommend this book to business leaders, executives and managers, all of whom will benefit from its hands-on advice for integrating the tenets of Six Sigma into corporate strategy.

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