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Description ‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬ ‫وزارة التعليم‬ ‫ر‬ ‫اإللكتونية‬ ‫الجامعة السعودية‬ Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education Saudi


‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬
‫وزارة التعليم‬
‫الجامعة السعودية‬
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of Education
Saudi Electronic University
College of Administrative and Financial Sciences
Assignment 3
Quality Management (MGT 424)
Due Date: 04/05/2024 @ 23:59
Course Name: Quality Management
Student’s Name:
Course Code: MGT 424
Student’s ID Number:
Semester: Second
Academic Year: 2023/24
For Instructor’s Use only
Instructor’s Name:
Students’ Grade:
/Out of 10
Level of Marks: High/Middle/Low

The Assignment must be submitted on Blackboard (WORD format only) via allocated folder.

Assignments submitted through email will not be accepted.

Students are advised to make their work clear and well presented; marks may be reduced for poor
presentation. This includes filling your information on the cover page.

Students must mention question number clearly in their answer.

Late submission will NOT be accepted.

Avoid plagiarism, the work should be in your own words, copying from students or other resources
without proper referencing will result in ZERO marks. No exceptions.

All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font. No pictures
containing text will be accepted and will be considered plagiarism).

Submissions without this cover page will NOT be accepted.
● The Assignment`s learning Outcomes:
In the 3rd assignment, the students are required to read thoughtfully the Using Six Sigma DMAIC to
improve the quality of the production process: case study, and answer the related questions, upon
successful completion of the assignment the student should be able to:
1. Recognize the importance of quality management theory, principles, and practices applied
in businesses on national and international levels.(CLO1)
2. Use quality improvement tools and practices for continuous improvement to achieve the
organizational change and transformation ( CLO3)
3. Develop analytical skills of identifying pitfalls, or quality concerns through assimilated and
strategic planning.(CLO4)
Instructions to access the case study:
● Using Six Sigma DMAIC to improve the quality of The production process: a case study ,
Monika Smętkowska, Beata Mrugalska*Instructions to read the case study’
Access the below link to download directly the case study PDF:

Through SDL
Using Six Sigma DMAIC to improve the quality of the production process: a case study
This case study discusses the application of six sigma as one of the common tools to improve the
quality and practice continues improvements. The paper is supported by practical example of
the DMAIC implementation ( one of the Six sigma methods), which presents the efficiency of such
practice on the processes quality level. Read the case, by using your critical thinking skills answer
the following questions:
1- Using your own words, explain in brief the idea behind six-sigma concept, and how it does
benefit the business? ( 2.5 Mark) ( 100 -150 words)
2- Describe the main stages of DMAIC as indicated in the case study. ( 2.5) ( 100 – 150 words)
3- From your point of view, which one of these stage is more critical, and Why? ( 2.5 Mark).
( 100 – 150 words)
4- Assess the application of DMAIC on the company ( production process) in term of its
implementation and results efficiency ( 2.5 mark ) ( 100 – 150 words)
Important Notes: ● For each question, you need to answer not more than 150 Words.
● Support your answers with course material concepts, principles, and theories from the
textbook and scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles etc.
● Use APA style for writing references.
1. ……
2. …….
3. ……
4. ……
Available online at
Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 238 (2018) 590 – 596
SIM 2017 / 14th International Symposium in Management
Using Six Sigma DMAIC to improve the quality of
the production process: a case study
Monika Smętkowska, Beata Mrugalska*
Poznan University of Technology, Faculty of Engineering Management,ul. Strzelecka 11, 60-965 Poznan, Poland
Over the last two decades there has been a growing awareness of the need to improve quality in the industrial sector. This paper
presents how to implement the DMAIC cycle as an element of continuous improvement in practice. In order to achieve it, the
problem of quality and quality improvement is widely discussed. Based on the recognized problem in the organization, an
analysis with the application of DMAIC is done. The propositions of improvements, which can be implemented in the
organization in order to increase the effectiveness of production process, are also presented.
by Elsevier
Ltd. This
is an openLtd.
access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
© 2018
The Authors.
by Elsevier
Peer-review under responsibility of SIM 2017 / 14th International Symposium in Management.
Peer-review under responsibility of SIM 2017 / 14th International Symposium in Management.
Keywords: DMAIC; quality; improvement; Six Sigma
1. Introduction
Nowadays, there is a huge pressure on organizations to improve the customer satisfaction and quality in the
organization, and at the same time to decrease ineffectiveness and reduce the number of errors. The organizations
have to solicit to gain and keep customers, because now, they are the key elements that drive economy. There are
many different conceptions, methods and tools that may be used to maintain the good quality level and help in
continuous development in the company (Zu, et al., 2008; Bendoly, 2016; Gołaś, et al., 2016). For example, it can
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +48-61-665-3364; fax: +48-61- 665-3375.
E-mail address: [email protected]
1877-0428 © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of SIM 2017 / 14th International Symposium in Management.
Monika Sme˛tkowska and Beata Mrugalska / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 238 (2018) 590 – 596
be Six Sigma which is an innovative method of quality management introduced in Motorola by Bob Galvin and Bill
Smith in the middle of the eighties (Schroeder et al., 2008; Evans & Lindsay, 2014).
“Sigma” is a notion taken from statistics. It means any standard deviation of the random variable around the
mean value. Therefore, Six Sigma means six times the distance of standard deviation. To achieve Six Sigma a
process cannot produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A defect is defined as anything outside the
customer specifications (Moosa, & Sajid, 2010; Lei, 2015). It is inseparably connected with the principles of TQM.
Due to its dynamic character it has become one of the most effective tools in continuous development and pursuit of
excellence. Six Sigma has developed and systematized many statistical and business tools while reducing costs,
defects and cycle time of production, and at the time increasing market share, maintaining customers, product
development. Its program can be used at every stage of the production and administrative process (Zu, et al., 2008;
Glasgow et al., 2010).
Six Sigma is perceived as a philosophy or concept of a broad sense. Using it as a philosophy helps with changing
the world and transformation of an enterprise. Treating it as a strategy ensures development and increases the
position of the company. It is based on six main principles which should be implemented in companies that want to
develop and increase their position on the market. The very first point is concentration on the customer. Every
action, which is taken, should be in agreement with customers’ specifications and requirements. Six Sigma is also
based on real data and facts which are used to perform a detailed analysis. It is based on continuous improvement of
all aspects of functioning development in the organization as well as proactive management and cooperation without
boundaries at every level in enterprise. It should be underlined that it is not only an approach for solving the
problems with manufacturing but also business processes (Taborski, 2010).
2. DMAIC cycle
Among many different tools of quality management which may be considered as methods of quality
improvement, there are two main ones used in Six Sigma concept: DMAIC and DMADV (Kumar & Sosnoski,
2009; Jones, et al., 2010). DMAIC is an acronym from the words Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control. This
method is based on process improvement according to Deming cycle. It is a process improvement of many different
areas in the enterprise. DMAIC cycle consists of five stages which are connected with each other (Sokovic, et al.,
2010; Sin, et al., 2015):
Defining the goal and its requirements:
9 defining needed resources and responsibilities,
9 defining organization structure which is favorable to achieve the goals,
9 identification of the elements and setting the estimated date of the end of project,
9 obtaining support from management.
The main purpose of this stage is to verify if the actions, which should be taken in order to solve the problems, are
connected with the priorities in the organization and that there is support from management and availability of
required resources. It starts with identifying the problem which needs a solution and ends with understanding this
issues as well as a clear evidence of management supervision. There are a lot of ways how to identify a project for
improvement. Firstly, it is better to focus on external factors, which create the cost for organization and take the
actions to eliminate them and after that solve the internal-costs problems. A useful tool which helps to narrow the
problem can be Pareto diagram (Shankar, 2009).
Measuring the current process:
9 identification of valid and reliable metrics,
9 checking if there is enough data to measure,
9 documentation of current performance and effectiveness,
9 performing comparative tests.
The measure stage concerns gathering information about processes which are going to be improved. It focuses on
Monika Sme˛tkowska and Beata Mrugalska / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 238 (2018) 590 – 596
information which is needed in order to better understand all the processes in organization, customers’ expectations,
suppliers’ specifications and identification of the possible places where a problem may occur. It may be done by
creating a process map of the actual situation and performing failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) which will
indicate the places of possible risk. The main issue of the measure phase is to collect and analyze the data which will
be needed in the control phase to show the differences and assess the progress which will be presented to the
management. It is also essential to assess the measurement system and to ensure that all data are veritable and
collected in a proper way (Shankar, 2009).
Analyzing the results of measurements, determining the causes of process imperfections and possible
solutions for them:
9 identification of key reasons for problems,
9 identification of the differences between current and target performance,
9 estimation of resources required to achieve target,
9 identification of possible obstacles.
In the analyze stage different tools and methods are used to find root causes, assess the risk and analyze data. To
confirm the analysis some samples should be performed and potential problems have to be proven to be real
problems. In this phase it is needed to define process capability, clarify the goals based on real data gained in the
measure phase and start root cause analysis which has impact on process variability. By calculating process
capability which is defined as “sigma” of the process, ability of the process to meet customers’ requirement is
measured. Process capability will be a key point for planned improvements.
Improving the process, implementing the changes, which eliminates the imperfections:
9 preparing the structure of work division,
9 developing and testing possible solutions, selecting the best one,
9 designing the implementation plan.
The goal of this stage is to take necessary information to create and develop an action plan in order to improve the
functioning of the organization, financial aspects and customer relationship issues. The possible solutions for the
action plan should be presented and performed. Some kind of pilot solutions, confirming the validity and accuracy
of analytical work which allows to make any corrections before applying the solutions on a large scale, are carried
Controlling of the improved process, monitoring the results in a continuous way:
9 documentation of the plan of standardization and process monitoring improvements,
9 confirmation of the improved procedures,
9 transferring the ownership of the relevant teams after the completion of the project.
The control stage is about confirmation if changes implemented at the improve stage are sufficient and continuous
by verifying the quality of the improved process. It also controls the future state of the process in order to minimize
deviation from the objectives and ensure that the correction is implemented before it would have bad influence on
the result in the process. Control systems such as statistical process control should be implemented. The process has
to be continuously monitored. In the control phase control charts are used to identify if the process is controllable or
Six Sigma allows to implement scientific methods in the organization to deliver the best value to the customers.
There are also some additional steps that should be taken in DMAIC cycle:
observation of important issues of the business and external environment,
development of a hypothesis based on this observation,
making predictions upon hypothesis,
testing the predictions and further observation, conducting experiments and using statistical methods,
Monika Sme˛tkowska and Beata Mrugalska / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 238 (2018) 590 – 596
repeating two last steps and comparing the hypothesis to the results for observation and experiments
(Pyzdek, 2014).
3. Case Study
3.1. Defining the problem
The research study started with a meeting in the company to discuss its problems. A deep analysis of the whole
production process was carried out. As a result of it some bottlenecks connected with visible downtime in the
production process were observed. They referred to performing the process of connecting blocks and covers on the
machine Kolbus BF 511. There were also others machines, which were used for this kind of activities, but only this
one had low effectiveness. The first issue to deal with, was to eliminate all the external factors which resulted in the
lower effectiveness of the process and then focusing on the internal ones.
At the meeting with the managing director and production director it was established that in a case of any needed
support the management would be ready to help. Every person involved in this project had to declare that he
understood his own position and responsibilities in performing and focusing on continuous improvement of quality
in the whole organization. The roles for performing this project mainly involved: Managing Director, Production
Director, Production Manager, the representative of financial aspects and Quality Controller. The needed resources
were defined as internal documentation of the company as well as own an observation of the processes on a
production line. The deadline of the project was set up for the end of April 2016.
As one of the main issues of the whole Six Sigma project is to focus on a customer, his needs and requirements
for the process had to be defined. The investigated company had only B2B (business-to-business) customers which
meant that it did not cooperate with individual clients. The main customers for this enterprise were the biggest
publishing houses from Poland and abroad, and their main requirement was to have orders on time. In order to
provide them high quality products and services it was essential that the production process run smoothly with the
greatest effectiveness and without any unnecessary downtimes.
3.2. Measuring data
After the problem was defined the next step was to collect historical data to get the information about processes
which were to be improved, check if there was enough data, documentation of the current situation and also perform
the comparative tests. However, the main assumption was to collect and measure data which would be needed at the
control stage in order to show the differences and asses the progress. The obtained data are shown on Figure 1.
Fig. 1. Efficiency on the machine BF 511
Monika Sme˛tkowska and Beata Mrugalska / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 238 (2018) 590 – 596
As it can be seen the effectiveness in year 2016 was lower than in 2015. The biggest difference appeared in October
and November, which were the most productive months connected with a calendar season. In October the difference
was 86 464 pieces and in November 86 246 pieces in comparison to the previous year. It resulted from the fact that
there was an increase in orders from the customers, but decrease in their edition (number of printed volumes in one
order) what led to the increased number of changeovers on this machine .
3.3. Analyzing the main issue
In order to analyze the effectiveness of the machine Kolbus BF 511 brainstorming was performed. At first it was
organized in a form of an individual brainstorming and then there was a discussion about different ideas and
propositions. Every person involved had to present their own ideas in the form of a list on a Flipchart. On the basis
of these data it was possible to determine four main groups:
work organization
In a case of work organization the implemented control system was not sufficient enough to control the work
organization of every employee. Moreover, bad organization resulted from too long time spent on changeovers on
the machine due to too many customer’s orders. Till then the orders performed on this machine were selected by the
earliest date of delivery of materials what influenced negatively the production cycle to a large degree.
The technical state, age, construction of the machine and unexpected breakdowns also decreased the
effectiveness of the analyzed production processes. As the years were passing by, the machine was getting older. Its
maintenance was time-consuming and required engagement of employees from the company. However, the cost of a
new machine was really high and not adequate to benefits.
Another group of causes referred to methods of work. They were divided into: lack of instructions and
procedures, old technology and specification of production. The lack of procedures and clear instructions was an
impediment especially for new machine’s operators. They had to be informed how to choose formats of orders to
make the process much more effective. Although, this company developed quickly and tried to follow new trends
there was still old technology which slowed the production process and influenced its effectiveness.
Low effectiveness of the production process also resulted from the lack of experience, qualification and
knowledge of the employees, their predisposition, culture and motivation for work. In the company there were not
organized any trainings except obligatory health and safety training. The workers were not aware that their daily
actions contribute on a large scale to the functioning of the whole organization. As there was no bonus system the
lack of motivation for work was clearly visible. The predisposition of employees was also very important as some
people were more willing to work in specific conditions than others. It can be connected with their psychophysical
conditions which should be checked before hiring a new employee.
4.4 Improvement proposition
The first improvement proposition was to perform Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) on the machine
Kolbus BF 511 to reduce the time needed for changeovers and set-ups during production time. In order to achieve it,
it was proposed to:
gather parts and tools at spot,
eliminate internal operations,
simplify set-up to reduce adjustments,
replace only necessary parts and make all others as universal as possible,
measure time.
Monika Sme˛tkowska and Beata Mrugalska / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 238 (2018) 590 – 596
It was suggested to develop and complete the external set-up checklist to define the needed tools, materials and
gauges and their storage location. Moreover, it was proposed to develop and fill in a set-up observation form on the
basis of video of the process. As its results there should be done a classification of activities into internal or external
groups. Internal activities concern actions that can be only performed while the machine is shut down, whereas,
external activities can be performed while the machine is running. Thus, this division should lead to the conversion
of all possible internal actions to external set-up. For this aim, the employees, who perform the changeover or setup, should be invited and they should participate in brainstorming. In the next step, if it is possible, standardization
of tools and “one-touch” fasteners could be introduced. Furthermore, the possibility of performing operations
simultaneously could be taken into consideration. The introduced propositions should be measured in time to
evaluate their effectiveness.
Another proposition how to increase the quality of production process on the machine Kolbus BF 511 was to
perform trainings for the employees to make them aware how their actions contribute to productivity on this
machine and the whole production process. There is also a need to introduce clear instructions and procedures at
workplace. Each employee should know how to perform their tasks correctly. It is necessary to ensure that the
workers know how to collect orders for the process of connecting blocks with the covers. This issue does not only
concern machines’ operators and workers at the production line, but mainly employees working with production
planning and control.
The last proposed improvement concerns the implementation of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) which is a
maintenance of machines and equipment performed by operators and workers inside the organization. It is based on
the elimination of breakdowns, changeovers, downtimes, decrease of speed of work, errors and corrections. It
requires involvement of machines’ operators for daily routine activities, not only employees from maintenance
department as it is in traditional methods.
4.5 Continuous control
After implementing the changes they should be controlled to check if they influence the production process
positively and bring any profits to the company. It can be performed by creating a control plan where it should be
exactly define what data, how, how often and who should control. If any non-conformance is detected, instructions
regarding needed actions to undertaken, should be also included. Over time, such a plan should be updated
depending on the evaluations after its implementation.
4. Conclusions
Nowadays, Six Sigma is getting more and more popular among organizations from various industries. It focuses
mostly on improving production processes what leads to the increase of profitability of the company. Achieving Six
Sigma level requires from organizations understanding the reasons of processes variability, performing their analysis
of cause and effect and the assessment of their costs. The application of DMAIC, which is one of the methods of
quality improvement used in Six Sigma concept, can increase the effectiveness while adequate reacting for the
appearing problems. As it was shown on the example of the machine Kolbus BF 511, it can be achieved by
implementing SMED, trainings for employees, work standardization and Total Productive Maintenance and after
that, it is necessary to introduce continuous control on the efficiency of the processes performed on that machine.
The proposed solutions may bring many different profits not only for the company, but also for other entities
involved in their functioning. Benefits of this implementation can be as follows:
company – avoiding penalties for non-compliance with the agreement, lower costs of production, increased
productivity, and consequently reduced amount of work in progress,
customers – increased customer satisfaction due to increased timeliness,
employees – increased comfort and better organization, lack of overtime,
other – the possibility of taking more orders during the „calendar season”.
Monika Sme˛tkowska and Beata Mrugalska / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 238 (2018) 590 – 596
Zu, X., Fredendall, L. D., & Douglas, T. J. (2008). The evolving theory of quality management: the role of Six Sigma. Journal of Operations
Management, 26(5), 630-650.
Bendoly, E. (2016). Fit, bias, and enacted sensemaking in data visualization: frameworks for continuous development in operations and supply
chain management analytics. Journal of Business Logistics, 37(1), 6-17.
Gołaś, H., Mazur, A., & Mrugalska, B. (2016). Application of risk analysis and quality control methods for improvement of lead molding process.
Metalurgija, 55(4), 811-814.
Schroeder, R. G., Linderman, K., Liedtke, C., & Choo, A. S. (2008). Six Sigma: Definition and underlying theory. Journal of Operations
Management, 26(4), 536-554.
Evans, J. R., & Lindsay, W. M. (2014). An introduction to Six Sigma and process improvement. Stamfort: Cengage Learning.
Moosa, K., & Sajid, A. (2010). Critical analysis of Six Sigma implementation. Total Quality Management, 21(7), 745-759.
Lei, G., Wang, T., Zhu, J., Guo, Y., & Wang, S. (2015). System-level design optimization method for electrical drive systems—Robust approach.
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 62(8), 4702-4713.
Glasgow, J. M., Scott-Caziewell, J. R., & Kaboli, P. J. (2010). Guiding inpatient quality improvement: a systematic review of Lean and Six
Sigma. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 36(12), 533-AP5.
Taborski, D. (2010). Czy wzdrożenie inicjatywy Six Sigma to idealny sposób na poprawę efektywności organizacji? In M. Salerno-Kochana (ed.),
Wybrane aspekty zarządzania jakością II, Kraków: Wydawnictwo AG.
Kumar, S., & Sosnoski, M. (2009). Using DMAIC Six Sigma to systematically improve shopfloor production quality and costs,
International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 58(3), 254-273.
Jones, E. C., Parast, M. M., & Adams, S. G. (2010). A framework for effective Six Sigma implementation. Total Quality Management, 21(4),
Sokovic, M., Pavletic, D., & Pipan, K. K. (2010). Quality improvement methodologies – PDCA cycle, RADAR matrix, DMAIC and DFSS.
Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, 43(1), 476-483.
Sin, A. B., Zailani, S., Iranmanesh, M., & Ramayah, T. (2015). Structural equation modelling on knowledge creation in Six Sigma DMAIC
project and its impact on organizational performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 168, 105-117.
Shankar, R. (2009). Process improvement. Using Six Sigma. A DMAIC guide, Wisconsin: ASQ Quality Press.
Pyzdek, T. (2014). The Six Sigma handbook, New York: The McGraw-Hill, Inc.

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