Six Sigma, ISO 9000, and Baldrige are all quality measurement systems used by different organizations trying to achieve excellence to increase customer satisfaction through improved performance. These three are some of the most popular approaches used today and offer different emphasis but there are some similarities that can be observed between them. This makes them compatible with each other and some organizations use all, part or some of the approaches together (SRI Quality System Registrar).
Six Sigma uses a set of strategies developed by Motorola in 1985 to achieve work process improvement in organizations. The approach does this by identifying and eliminating the causes of business process variations and is usually used by big organizations. Six Sigma follows defined steps and develops a clear understanding of the quantified value targets within an enterprise. The two methodologies employed by the approach include DMAIC and DMADV. DMAIC involves design, analyze, measure, improve and control while DMADV involves design, analyze, measure, design and verify (Subramaniyam, Srinivasan, and Prabaharan).
ISO 9000 is a standard developed by the International Standard Organization to guarantee equity in the market. The quality assurance system objective is to ensure a product or service conforms to certain quality standards expected by customers. ISO 9000 involves a set of practices that includes the best techniques for efficient running and performance of an organization.
Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence
This is a Total Quality Management system that provides quality management principles that are vastly applied in organizations that change the organization’s culture increasing performance, integrity and ethical organization (NIST). Baldrige’s main areas of concern include leadership, workforce, strategy, customer and market, information and data, business results, and process management.
Similarities between the Approaches
The first similarity between all the three approaches is that they are process-focused in that they contain detailed steps to be followed. Six Sigma follows the DMAIC and DMADV methodologies that include different procedures to improve the performance of organizations. ISO 9000 has, at least, seven steps that include obtaining full management commitment, creating an ISO 9000 implementation team, training, evaluation of existing quality systems, formulation of an implementation tool, implementing the quality standard, and conducting an internal quality audit (Wahab, Abdullah, and Razak). The processes employed by Baldrige include enhancing leadership, developing strategies, market and customer analysis, measuring and analyzing organization’s information, improving work systems and improving key business indices.
The three quality measurement systems also share the fact that they are all management-led processes. Organizations that deploy the Six Sigma require excellent leadership from the management-level support, to assigning champions and selecting the right projects for the project to be successful (Loethen). In ISO 9001, the first and most important step is getting the executive to fully commit to the quality system. Also, one of the Baldrige approaches core criteria is to enhance leadership.
The final similarity between the Six Sigma, ISO 9000 and Baldrige is that they all rely heavily on information and data. This can be seen from their processes where every one of them has, at least, one step in their procedures that involves analysis of an organization.
Differences between the Approaches
Although all the three approaches main focus is to organizations improve their performance and increase customer satisfaction, they each offer different ways of doing this. Baldrige identifies and tracks critical outcomes and concentrates on performance excellence for the whole organization. The Baldrige criteria pose questions to analyze how the organization is going doing in a vast range of Total Quality Management topics but does not prescribe any particular requirements. The organization then becomes proactive and chooses the areas that need improvement based on the criteria.
Six Sigma focuses on measuring the quality of a product and facilitate process improvement and cost savings in the entire organizations. The approach provides a prescriptive methodology that offers an efficient statistical tool that can be used for corrective action and can be used for constant change but does not specify the procedure to be followed.
ISO 9000 is more concerned with customer requirements and satisfaction and ensuring overall product and services conformity in the market. It serves as the base of all other Quality Management Services where one can opt to apply the Total Quality Management espoused by in Baldrige philosophies or use the Six Sigma process. The quality measure provides more specific guidance on product and process control than both Baldrige and Six Sigma.
Six Sigma, Baldrige and ISO 9000 are all compatible despite the fact that employ different emphasis and can all have a place in the management of an organization. The use of the three approaches either together or in parts will significantly improve the performance of an organization and increase customer satisfaction since this is the overall goal of all the three quality systems.
Loethen, Lori. “Six Sigma and Leadership.” Quaity Digest 18 Jan. 2016: n.pag. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
NIST. “Baldrige Homepage.” National Institute of Standards and Technology. 25 Mar. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
SRI Quality System Registrar. “Six Sigma, ISO 9001 and Baldrige.” SRI Quality System Registrar. 2008. Print. 11 Feb. 2016.
Subramaniyam, Palanivel, Karthick Srinivasan, and Muni Prabaharan. “An Innovative Lean Six Sigma Approach for Engineering Design.” International Journal of Innova tion, Management and Technology 2.2 (Apr. 2011): n.pag. Print.
Wahab, Muhammad, Shardy Abdullah, and Arman Razak. “Implementing the ISO 9000 Steps at the Local Level: A Survey of Malaysian Local Authorities.” Malaysian Journal of Society and Space 10.2 (2011): n.pag. Print.