A multivariate analysis of success factors for Six Sigma deployment : the South African mining industry as a case

20 Mar 2013

The Six Sigma continuous improvement methodology has been successfully deployed in many organisations on a global basis. This has resulted in significant reduction in cost and increases in revenue as a result of the improvement in operational excellence associated with improved business practices, the removal of variance in systems and processes and the reduction in waste generation and poor product quality. By virtue of the financial meltdown in 2007/2008 Lonmin PLC, which operates within the South African Mining Environment, embarked on a restructuring and reorganisation initiative and decided to transform its Six Sigma deployment from a centralised centre of excellence approach to one where the core competencies and drive behind the deployment programme (black belts and master black belts) are re-integrated into the line functions of the organisation. This transformation has provided the opportunity to analyse the differences between the two approaches and to explore the factors which are critical to a successful deployment. The empirical results have identified twelve success factors within the operational context of the Six Sigma deployment undertaken by Lonmin PLC. Practical recommendations are made regarding the approach to be followed based on these factors during a Six Sigma deployment.