University of Oulu

Improving employee performance through quality improvement initiatives : DMAIC analysis of Wartsila Zambia

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Author: Issah, Mubarak1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Issah, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-06-02
Thesis type: Master's thesis (tech)
Tutor: Haapasalo, Harri
Kauppila, Osmo
Reviewer: Haapasalo, Harri
Kauppila, Osmo
Organizations in recent times have experienced a period of massive change in their ways of operation due to the trend of increasing competition both at the local and international level. To succeed in the competing markets of today means that an organization should have good quality performance and quality improvement systems in place. Companies are beginning to realize that employee involvement is critical to quality performance and quality improvement making them essential to the total quality management strategy. This research focuses on investigating the main causes of the employee performance problems at the operations department of Wartsila Zambia using DMAIC analysis for quality improvement. The study involved the use of SIX SIGMA to conduct a quality and continuous improvement assessment by assessing people, process, equipment, environment and management processes that contribute to the causes of slow progress of employees’ performance. The key areas under investigation were categorized into five sections to identify which aspect needs to be improved in order to ensure an increase in employee and organizational performance. Primary data for the study were collected through a survey by distributing questionnaires to the employees working at the operations department of Wartsila Zambia. Secondary data from the company’s internal documentation- performance charts and reports, meeting minutes and company profile document were utilized to describe the research environment, case company operations and other background data for the DMAIC analysis. Questionnaires were designed based on previous literature, problems identified in root cause analysis and brainstorming. Results from the questionnaire were analyzed, the implication of the responses from the study were explained and an overview of the areas which needs more attention were addressed based on the results from the study. The results were prioritized according to the mean score of responses and the most important findings were labelled high under each category. The DMAIC analysis results indicate that there are several issues related to people, work process, machine and equipment, environment and managements at the target company. It also provided a platform for the improvement, monitoring and sustaining suggested improvements that leads to better performance. This study proposed that quality and performance improvement team needs to be put in place to monitor and sustain improvements. It also proposed that management should invest in the use of people and process-related dashboards to measure performance as an essential element in creating a SIX SIGMA culture of continuous improvement. Further research should be carried to find out how successful this improvement project has been for the case company. Also, studies can be done to find the strength of relationships between continuous improvement initiatives like SIX SIGMA and employee performance as relationship with process optimization.
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