A critical evaluation of the application of Six Sigma as a business transformation methodology at Lonmin South African Operations.
One of the major challenges for organisations operating in today's global business environment is to improve productivity, reduce costs and enhance customer service. Six Sigma methodology has become a popular approach in a number of organisations as a business improvement tool. This research presented Six Sigma as a business transformation methodology within Lonmin operations. The purpose of this research was to identify the primary factors in the Six Sigma framework, and to evaluate the relationship between these factors in the framework and their contribution towards transformation in terms of business improvement. This research critically evaluated the application of Six Sigma within Lonmin in the South African context. Quantitative data was obtained from questionnaires distributed to the different Six Sigma role players within Lonmin. A probability sample was used; sixty five (65) Six Sigma candidates were drawn from Lonmin with a Six Sigma population size of one hundred and twenty (120) employees listed in the Six Sigma database. Data was collected using an e-mail based questionnaire developed by the researcher. The main contributions of this study showed that communication and organisational culture were the most important factors to transform business performance when Six Sigma was integrated with business principles. The study revealed that project selection was a vital element in the process that determined the value towards business improvement. Six Sigma must be supplemented by other programmes (Theory of Constraints, Design For Six Sigma) in order to be more effective in attaining business performance. This research will benefit management to evaluate and structure an aligned methodology for transformation. Employees will be motivated to attain greater knowledge and skill. Research will prove beneficial to organisations that need to transform their organisation.