Michael Carew

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wunsch, Daniel R.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Operations Management and Information Systems


Six Sigma is a process for reduction of variation in processes to a level of 3.4 errors per one million opportunities. The paper analyzes whether or not Six Sigma is worth the hype using several angles. The background and history of Six Sigma along with its beginnings at Motorola and General Electric are examined to establish a foundation for argument. A thorough analysis of Six Sigma usage currently is conducted, and four keys to success are discussed including ability to handle a large capital outlay, commitment, follow through, and a change-based culture. In addition, factors that cause Six Sigma to fail are mentioned and include focusing too much on the bottom line, little management support, bad employee talent allocation, and poor project supply, selection, and scope. With these points recognized, it was found that there are several misconceptions of Six Sigma including Six Sigma's negative affect on stock price and the notion that Six Sigma is a "magic bullet" that solves all problems easily. To conclude, it is argued that, based on findings, Six Sigma is absolutely worth the hype. These findings are based on the need for quality, cost savings, and process streamlining in business operations.


Includes bibliographical references.


41 pages




Northern Illinois University

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