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

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


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


  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-143988-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-143988-7

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.

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

Online Sample Chapter

A Holistic View of Six Sigma

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.



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