Portsmouth FC is a professional football club that was founded in April 1898 in the city of Portsmouth, UK (Semke, 2013). The club has had many achievements, such as being English champions twice and winning the FA Cup on two occasions. The club was remarkably successful from the period 2000 to 2008. However, since 2008 until now the club has been suffering from major financial and performance crises, which have resulted in the club being relegated from the Premier League to League Two. Currently, the club’s top management team is trying to come up with changes in order to overcome the crises. (Mundie, 2013). See Appendix (1)
This paper will discuss in detail the challenges that Portsmouth FC faces and will introduce the Six Sigma approach in relation to an improvement project for Portsmouth FC.
Six Sigma was chosen for this project because Portsmouth FC needs to move beyond regular problem solving towards taking a more proactive needs analysis approach, and Six Sigma will help the club to achieve this target. Six Sigma has been implemented in many organisations that need to dramatically change (as Portsmouth FC does), such as Allied Signal and United Technologies Automotive (UTA), whose results were impressively positive and who achieved their goals. (Harris, 2013)
Theory Analysis: Six Sigma
“Six Sigma is a set of strategies, techniques and tools for process improvement” (Motorola, 2005). It is an initiative for both medium- and long-term future thinking, created to help companies to make changes and improvements. Basically, it is business processes that qualify businesses to raise income by simplifying operations, enhancing quality and removing defects and errors in all processes of a company (Geoff, 2001). Traditional quality programmes focus only on defects such as total quality management (TQM). However, Six Sigma offers a wider process, such as creating a better process for businesses to remove defects and errors (Breyfogle, 1999).
In addition, Six Sigma uses a series of quality management methods, statistical methods and a specific structure of people within companies (Champions, Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts and Yellow Belts) (Peterka, 2008).
Six Sigma Organisational Structure
1. Champions: mainly responsible for Six Sigma (CEO, top management).
2. Full-time, responsible trainer and monitor of other people involved in the Six Sigma process.
3. The main task is involved within the Six Sigma process.
4. Involved in the Six Sigma process and training.
5. Receive basic training and a very small contribution to Six Sigma.
The Six Sigma Approach (DMAIC)
Six Sigma Approach (Mind Map)
Define stage: this stage is the foundation of the project which selects the people from the areas and by the skills that need to be represented in the project. The stage defines the problem by identifying customer requirements, providing a cost-benefit analysis and searching the low-performance activities within the company to identify the problem. A Six Sigma tool that can be used to identify the problem is the cause and effect (fishbone) diagram (McGraw Hill, 2003).
Measure stage: this stage is when the final process has been issued and documented, according to the collected data. Input, output and measurement are identified, as required by the Champions. The dilemma has been specified according to the previous steps. (Berardinelli, 2012)
Analyse stage: the core inputs (drivers of the performance) are identified, which are mainly linked to the output, and the root causes are determined using Six Sigma tools such as fishbone or trend chart tools.
Improve stage: the solutions have been found, evaluated, measured and are ready to be implemented. Process reliability and project financials are predicted. This is the stage