Effectively Applying System Analysis and System Thinking in Six Sigma Environments

Effectively Applying System Analysis and System Thinking in Six Sigma Environments

Brian J. Galli (Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director, Master of Science in Engineering Management Industrial Engineering, Hofstra University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJoSE.2019070102
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This article provides data on how system analysis and system thinking are applied in Six Sigma. We incorporated different approaches developed by systematically analyzing various literature focused on filling the voids in Six Sigma with system analysis. The article looks at the necessities of project managers, Black Belts, and Green Belts with regards to pursuing and fulfilling projects. The key purpose is providing Six Sigma with an extensive understanding of systems thinking. Improvements will be more focused and the results broader spread in any organization employing Six Sigma. The research applied to this topic will add to previous works and have some valuable input for success in Six Sigma.
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System Thinking

Systems thinking is a technique developed to push the abilities of project managers. These techniques increase the project manager’s perspective. Some of the perspectives include: structures and system similarities. This technique differentiates itself by allowing the project manager to view the entire system instead of a singular event (Salah, Rahim & Carretero, 2010). With the new techniques, a project manager can promptly identify all issues associated with the project to better and precisely attack the real problems (Noori & Latifi, 2017). Systems thinking itself is a major tool to the new way of managing a project, but it also creates many tools and principles for working with new systems (Noori & Latifi, 2017).

System Analysis

The act, process, or profession of studying an activity (such as a procedure, a business, or a physiological function) is achieved typically by mathematical means. This is done to define its goals or purposes and to discover operations and procedures for accomplishing them most efficiently.

Systems analysis professionals are often called upon to look critically at systems and redesign or recommend changes. Inside and outside of the business world, systems analysts help to evaluate whether a system is viable or efficient within the context of its overall architecture. They also help to uncover various options available to the employing business or other party (Noori & Latifi, 2017).

Six Sigma

Six Sigma represents the level of errors in a process; a project manager would implement Six Sigma when trying to quantify the errors in the corporation’s process. Six Sigma encompasses the methods used to understand how to fix all the errors in a process. The focus is to improve the process through rounds of variation approaches. A project manager with a Green or Black Belt would achieve Six Sigma by using certain methods such as DMAIC and SIPOC.

DMAIC is a process that involves defining the problem, measuring, analyzing, controlling, and improving it. DMADV is a process that can be defined as defining the problem, analyzing, measuring, designing a solution, and verifying the problem. The only individuals qualified to carry out a Six Sigma project are green and Black Belts. A Master Black Belt would oversee everything. The great thing about Six Sigma is that it can be tweaked by each project manager to fit the demographics or setting (Salah et al., 2010).

Research Objective

Implementing systems thinking and systems analysis during the define phase will identify all possible outcomes of optimizing the plan. By utilizing this valuable technique, the team of project managers can come up with a skillfully designed approach to eliminate or come close to eliminating all negative outcomes. It also provides a track for prospective leaders, reduced costs, and the overall quality of customer experience.


The article assumed that in the project environment, system thinking and system analysis, whether in major or small corporations, should involve multi-dimensional strategic planning. The only way to properly carry out the plan would require all variables be identified and thought through so that all possible strategies are efficiently designed and utilized for specific situations. Therefore, it is paramount that corporations/organizations focus on the situational challenge when considering the design and implementation of projects. It should encompass training of project personnel so as to effectively enable successful completion of a project.

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