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Case Study on Impact of Six Sigma in Human Resource

Deployment of Six Sigma Methodology in Human Resources Function A Case Study

Jun, 20th 17

The main aim of the study is to analyze the Six Sigma credentials and its impact on the strategic decision. Six Sigma as a business process is now allowing in the different organization to improve their performance by identifying and eliminating the flaws. Many companies attempted to implement this methodology for the business improvement and got backward in the middle or the beginning of the process due to the challenge in implementing six sigma in HRM (Human Resources Management). HR is the main element of any corporate business improvement strategy. Six Sigma has been deployed by HR team to accentuate the improvement in HR function and to achieve the objective:


“Right People in the right place at a right time at the right cost.”


The results of the six sigma practices are better, faster, and more cost-effective HR services to the business.


Need for Improvement in HR


Earlier to the introduction of six sigma initiatives, the HR function is not considered as the major line function in any organization. It has been noticed that HR function was uncoordinated, unprofessional, delivering poor, and less cost-effective.


The feedbacks of the HR process were not clearly defined. Most of the organization not considered HR as human capital and their work were not appreciated in the business. HR must assure that there is a good return on investment in human capital. 


Many research studies that the human resources management (HRM) has a huge effect on any business performance.


Why should you choose Six Sigma?


The purpose of all companies is to remain error-free and have no space for any defects to achieve the highest level of performances and quality output. In 1986, the Motorola Company implemented a Six Sigma theory and introduced a methodology that met with a success to remove the defects to just 3.4 per million. Motorola started imparting Six Sigma training, Six Sigma course, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma certification to its employees. However today many companies such as Sprintzeal can be consulted and provide training and certification facilities at affordable prices in the industry.


Here are some important features make Six Sigma important:-


  1. Improved in quality- After the successful implementation of six sigma and it is associated with prevention of defects which result in better quality of products.
  2. Improved in customer satisfaction- With the six sigma credentials owns the skills to identify the flaws or errors and by eliminating them, produce the better results within the time that attract the good customer.  
  3. Improved in business performance- Production of best quality products consumable by the companies that help in increasing their reputation and growth. Six Sigma assures that the defects will remove and overall performance of the company touches the peak.
  4. Helps you to reduce the cycle time –When you use Six Sigma techniques you are able to assign a task to each individual from every level within the company. The team is assigned with the task that has the chances to reduce the time and complete the work within deadline.


What is Six Sigma?


Six Sigma is an important methodology or tools in business that many organizations are using this tool to strive perfection. Six Sigma enables the organization to improve its work and process. Motorola introduced Six Sigma in the late 1980s. The concept of Six Sigma applied at many organizations to improve the quality of the output of the process by identifying and removing the defects. It’s a quality strategy which mainly based on customer focus. It is a systematic methodology that reduces defect rate, reduces process cycle time, reduce costs, increases in productivity, and increase in profit. Six Sigma programs define a structured way of business to solve problems.


An objective of six sigma is to eliminate the waste that can be found in a business process. A target on achieving measurable and quantitative financial return from any six sigma project. Six Sigma helps an organization acquiring these objectives when aligned with other initiatives as part of our business strategy.

The Six Sigma model of change is based on Deming’s plan-do-check-act model:


Prioritize: Which Processes have the highest priority for improvement i.e. the key process that will enable maximum advantage and customer satisfaction.


Measure: What is the capability of the process?


Analyze: When and where do defects occur?


Control: What controls will we put in place to sustain the gain?




In the HR Department, the six sigma HR team was introduced, involving HR officers, Assistant (Six Sigma Black Belt), and mentor (HR Director). Internal customers were recognized as crucial stakeholders and their contribution was secured through their direct/indirect representation or through feedback.




1. To develop and implement HR processes and measures of performance with continuous improvement, owned by HR process participants that would deliver defined strategy, which target on complete customer satisfaction.


2. To increase the employment of HR professionals, promote six sigma in HRM, and promote the success of empowered, high-performance team.

DMAIC Methodology of Six Sigma:


1. DEFINE- Define the problems and thereby solves the problem. Defining the team to work on improvement, defining the customer of the process their needs and requirements. Define the project boundaries, the start and the end of the process.


2. MEASURE- Measure the improvement of the process. Identifying the key efficiency, effectiveness and translating them in a concept of six sigma. Develop a data collection plan for the process.
Measures of performance were selected that have an impact on cost, quality, time and/or human reaction. To identify and analyze measure of performance the quality function deployed was used that are aligned with customer requirements and HR strategy objectives.

The criteria for measures of performance selection (MOPS) were agreed by the team, with the main objectives:


To ensure alignment of HR and business strategic objectives;
To define critical-to-quality measures (CTQ);
To define critical-to-cost measures (CTX);
To define critical-to-throughout time Sigma (CTT);
Valuable to organization;
Valuable to individual;
Easy to understand and remember.


3. ANALYSE- Through analysis, the HR team can determine what are the cause and types of defects that need for improvement. All the data were evaluated against the CHART (Complete-Honest-Accurate-relevant-timely) data test i.e. no data could enter into the analyze stage unless they gratified the CHART test. In Analyze phase test causes were identified, verified and quantified. The six sigma tools were deployed to monitor and analyze the performance processes.


Analyze phase contains a cause and effect diagram that was applied to identify all possible elements that have an input into the communication process, and to take out the important few parameters that have a leverage over feedback return type. An Analysis of recruitment process was held by process owners to recognize the few factors that have an impact on recruitment time (e.g. position type, the geographical proximity of recruits, timing of advertisement, etc).


4. IMPROVE- Improve the performance by addressing and eliminating the root cause. The sum of activities that relate to generating, selecting Developing and implementing improvement solutions followed identification of important input factors that affect selected process measures of performances selection (MOPS). Monitoring of improvement actions was recognized through HR database.


5. CONTROL- A key control objective is to sustain over time and to get a continuous improvement process embedded into HR process. It included process analysis results (control charts, histograms, trend and other monitoring charts), conclusions, observations and improvement activities to be completed by Six Sigma score charts.




• The cost of HR function per employee was decreased by 34% in 18 months, with the same or better services provided, an over headed cost reduction of pound 25000 has been achieved.


• Resultant of improvement activities are better, faster and cost-effective HR services to the businesses.


• The organization has been achieved turnover with 15% fewer people and for the first time annual employee bonus.


• HR employees have started experiencing greater customer satisfaction and commitment.


• HR employees have developed a number of improvement ideas, for example, the idea to utilize the intranet to improved efficiency of structured communication.


• By improving the process, there is a reduction in time, defects, and rework among many elements that contribute to big real cost savings.


• The value and benefits of continuous learning and the six sigma way of thinking have become familiar and convincing.



• This active move has changed the pattern in the organization of HR, now that HR has developed the model, and assumed the role of coach, for the deployment of six sigma in the business.




After the deployment of six sigma in HR processes validated what we already observed in the last 5 years of implementation of six sigma in various manufacturing processes: the strength, the quality of the methodology, and tremendous benefits for all business stakeholders from suppliers, employees, and management to customer and shareholders.


An amount of similar issues in the implementation of six sigma in HR and manufacturing process have been recognized, for example:


Need to involve suppliers and customer;


Benefits of clear definition of the process;


Effectiveness and quality of six sigma tools;
The Importance of criteria for MOPS selection.


But above all, that successful implementation of six sigma depends on leadership.
There is ample of opportunity and financial benefits from applying six sigma methodologies in HR activities.


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