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Teaching case

Selecting Critical Processes for a Six Sigma Project: Experiences from an Automotive Bank

Shared by: by Florian Johannsen on September 02, 2016: 12:23 CEST
Authored by:


In the automotive business, financial services have gained in importance over the last few years. Apart
from sales promotion, customer retention is a primary concern. As a consequence quality management
which had so far been regarded as a discipline of the manufacturing sector, has been taking a central
role in the service sector. Therefore the Six Sigma methodology attracts a lot of attention in literature
and is applied in many process improvement projects. In the beginning of a Six Sigma project the
critical process must be selected. This selection is crucial to the success of the improvement project,
and thus the success of the enterprise.
The paper focuses the selection of critical processes for a Six Sigma project in a teaching case. It
presents an approach established during the prototypical implementation of Six Sigma at an
automotive bank (financial service provider). Additionally, individual steps of the selection process
are more closely examined.

Recommended use for teaching

This teaching case is designed for further discussion after an introductory lecture on Six Sigma. By the end of the discussion of the teaching case the students should:

·         have a deeper understanding of why the selection of critical processes is an important starting point for each Six Sigma initiative,

·         understand what factors are important to select the critical processes,

·         be able to identify critical processes with the help of the proposed procedure,

·         know how to start a Six Sigma initiative and be able to ask the right questions.