Home > Store

Six Sigma Beyond the Factory Floor: Deployment Strategies for Financial Services, Health Care, and the Rest of the Real Economy

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Six Sigma Beyond the Factory Floor: Deployment Strategies for Financial Services, Health Care, and the Rest of the Real Economy

Alternate Binding

  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2005
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 352
  • Edition: 1st
  • Alternate Binding
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-714535-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-714535-5

"This book dispels the myth that Six Sigma is limited to the manufacturing process by providing compelling examples of transactional successes combined with a guide to practical deployment."

–Paul J. Norris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, W. R. Grace & Co.

"Ronald D. Snee and Roger W. Hoerl provide a compelling, fact-based, example-supported argument on the importance of improvement of nonmanufacturing processes within a manufacturing company. This valuable book completes the authors' "trilogy" of books on improving business performance via statistical thinking and Six Sigma, and is a welcome addition to the library of any individual or company engaged in this pursuit of excellence."

–Dr. Steven P. Bailey, principal consultant and Master Black Belt, DuPont Engineering, Past President American Society for Quality

"As interest in Six Sigma continues to flourish, this book will be of interest to newcomers and veterans alike. Snee and Hoerl address the case for Six Sigma, ensuring successful deployment and project success through a detailed yet easily understood style. Their use of case studies rounds out their assertion that Six Sigma can and should be used to improve performance in all types of businesses, from finance to health care."

–Jean Cherry, Executive Vice-President, Commonwealth Health Corporation

The first comprehensive, step-by-step Six Sigma implementation guide for nonmanufacturing organizations

  • For finance, health care, retail, logistics/supply chains, R&D, education, nonprofits... every nonmanufacturing organization and function
  • Expert deployment planning strategies, proven execution tactics
  • Statistical methods, tools, and best practices–customized for nonmanufacturing organizations
  • Something for every Six Sigma implementer–from beginners to leaders, champions, green belts, black belts, and master black belts
  • Coauthored by Roger W. Hoerl, a leader in implementing Six Sigma at GE, including in corporate finance

Nonmanufacturing organizations are rapidly discovering Six Sigma's immense potential to reduce costs, improve performance, grow revenue, strengthen focus, and empower people. To achieve these results in your organization, start right here.

Drawing on new case studies, renowned practitioners Ron Snee and Roger Hoerl cover up-front planning and strategy... team building and executive sponsorship... project execution... methods, statistical tools, and metrics... overcoming obstacles... and much more. Their advice and best practices can guide you through any stage of the process, whether you're just starting out or extending an existing initiative. With their help, scores of world-class enterprises have delivered on the promise of Six Sigma. With this book, you can, too.

Dr. Ronald D. Snee is principal in Tunnell Consulting's Performance Excellence Practice, which offers Six Sigma consulting, training, facilitation, and implementation, in addition to other process improvement approaches. Dr. Snee is a winner of the American Society for Quality's highest honor, the Shewhart Medal, and has served as a member of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria Team. He designed DuPont's first company-wide continuous improvement curriculum.

Dr. Roger W. Hoerl is a long-time leader of GE's renowned Six Sigma initiative. As manager of GE's Applied Statistics Lab, he partners on R&D with GE businesses ranging from NBC and GE Capital to GE Aircraft Engines. He has implemented Six Sigma in a wide range of GE processes, ranging from corporate audit to delinquent credit card tracking. He recently won the American Society of Quality's 2002 Brumbaugh Award.

Snee and Hoerl are coauthors of Leading Six Sigma (Financial Times-Prentice Hall, 2003), the best-selling executive's guide to Six Sigma. They also cowrote Statistical Thinking: Improving Business Performance (Duxbury Thomson Learning, 2002), an innovative guide to the strategic use of data and statistics in solving business problems.

There are dozens of books on implementing Six Sigma in manufacturing. But what if you're in finance? Or health care? Or e-commerce? Or supply chain management? Or R&D? Or the nonprofit sector? This book focuses on your needs: Six Sigma Beyond the Factory Floor, the start-to-finish Six Sigma guide for the rest of the real economy.

Ronald D. Snee and Roger W. Hoerl cover every level of Six Sigma implementation in nonmanufacturing environments: deployment planning and strategy, project execution, methods, statistical tools, and more. Throughout, they illuminate key concepts with case studies from a wide range of businesses and functions. Drawing on their unsurpassed consulting experience, they systematically identify hurdles to success–and best practices for overcoming them.

Whatever your Six Sigma goals, this book will help you achieve them faster–with less pain, cost, or risk.

  • Using a proven Six Sigma deployment roadmap for nonmanufacturing organizations
  • Planning strategies, execution tactics, customized methods and tools
  • Leveraging the immense value of Six Sigma in your environment
  • Realistically assessing the benefits of Six Sigma in nonmanufacturing organizations
  • Driving ongoing success: lessons from real-world case studies
  • Best practices for driving project-by-project improvement
  • Aligning the entire organization behind Six Sigma
  • From leadership commitment to team building–and beyond

Sample Content

Table of Contents



1. A Holistic View of Six Sigma.

    The Impact of Six Sigma Beyond the Factory Floor.

Intangible Impact.

    Integration of Process Design, Process Improvement, and Process Control.

    The Essence of Six Sigma.

Deployment Aspects.

Improvement Projects.

Six Sigma Methods and Tools.

    Roles of Six Sigma Leaders.

    The Rest of the Story.



2. Addressing the Fundamental Barrier: "We’re Different!"

    Why Six Sigma Hasn't Been Deployed Holistically.

Some Potential Root Causes.

The Fundamental Barrier. 

    What’s Different? 

Conceptual Differences. 

Technical Differences. 

    What’s Similar? 

What Is Process Thinking? 




3. Deployment Case Studies.

    The Bank of America Story.

Deployment Strategy.

Next Steps.

    Commonwealth Health Corporation.

Getting Started.

Deployment Strategy and Initial Results.

Expansion of the Effort and Current Status.

    Motorola Finance.

Deployment Within the Audit Staff.

Broader Deployment Within Finance.

    GE Research and Development.

Corporate Research Gets Into the Act.

A Strategy Takes Form.

Design for Six Sigma.

Some Unique Challenges.

    Key Deployment Lessons Learned.



4. A Proven Deployment Road Map.

    Keys to Success.

Committed and Involved Leadership.

Top Talent.

Supporting Infrastructure.

    Road Map for Leading Six Sigma.

Launching the Initiative.

Managing the Effort. 

Sustaining Momentum and Growing.

The Way We Work.

    Tailoring the Road Map for Your Organization.

    Deployment Plan Elements.

Strategy and Goals.

Process Performance Measures.

Project Selection Criteria.

Project Identification and Prioritization System.

Deployment Processes for Leaders.

Roles of Leadership and Others.

Curricula and Training System.

Project and Six Sigma Initiative Review Schedule.

Project Reporting and Tracking System.

Audit System for Previously Closed Projects.

Reward and Recognition Plan.

Communication Plan.

    Application to Specific Businesses and Functions.

Specific Business Application Areas.

Specific Functions.

    Pitfalls to Avoid.

    “Begin with the End in Mind”—Take a Systems View.




5. Project Case Studies.

    A Six Sigma Approach to Predicting Corporate Defaults.







    An Application to Legal Litigation.








    The Batch Records Case.









6. Improvement Happens Project by Project.

    Keys to Completing Successful Projects.

Selecting Good Six Sigma Projects.

Selecting the Right People.

Using the Right Methodology.

Management Project Reviews. 

Guidance from MBBs.

Right Involvement by Functional Groups.

Project Closure—Moving On to the Next Project.

    How Projects Can Fail.

Failures in Specific Project Phases.

    A Holistic Model for Improvement.

Integrating Process Improvement and Control.

    Creating the Improvement System.

Using the DMADV and DMAIC Improvement Models.

DMAIC Process Improvement Model.

    Solution-Known Projects.

    Training for Project Improvement.

    Training Beyond the Factory Floor.




7. Unique Technical Challenges in Applying the Methods and Tools.

    How to Think About the Tools.

    Additional Guidance for Real Economy Applications.

    Key Tools Beyond the Factory Floor.

Tool Integration.

Individual Tools.

Some Additional Tools Particularly Useful Beyond the Factory Floor.

    Unique Technical Challenges Beyond the Factory Floor.

Non-Normal Data Distributions.

The Truth About the Normal Distribution and the Normality Assumption.

Strategies For Handling Non-Normal Data.

What About Discrete Data? 

Lean Services? 



8. Making Six Sigma Your Strategic Signature.

    The Strategic Signature.

    New Ways of Thinking.

Use Six Sigma as a Leadership Development Tool.

Not Only a Methodology, but Also an Infrastructure.  

Use Six Sigma Across All Functions, Including Customers and Suppliers.

Use Six Sigma to Create a Common Corporate Culture.

Manage Six Sigma Projects As a Portfolio.

Think Improvement, Not Training.

Putting a Stamp on the Organization. 



Appendix - List of Acronyms.


Submit Errata

More Information

Unlimited one-month access with your purchase
Free Safari Membership