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Six Sigma Design and Innovation

This course is open for applications from May 1 – May 31

Course aims
Six Sigma has developed largely in parallel with and complementary to Lean Enterprise theory and methods. This is often referred to as ‘Lean Six Sigma’, where innovation in design of products, production processes and services are addressed through a ‘lean lens’, which is highly resource sensitive, or a ‘lean and green’ lens, which, additionally, embeds social and ecological considerations and where ‘algorithms’ are used e.g. relying on the DMAIC process (define, measure, analyse, improve, control).

Integrated design, innovation and lean approaches provide highly structured and complementary strategies for acquiring, assessing and activating customer, competitor and enterprise intelligence that lead to superior product/services, systems or enterprise innovation and designs that are intended to meet and surpass stakeholder expectations, thus driving an enterprise’s quest for a sustainable competitive advantage. This is accomplished through strategic linkage of customer-driven, highly resource-efficient approaches that yield nearly perfectly performing processes and products.

Main issues
Six Sigma integrates strategies and techniques from statistics, quality management, business management and engineering and has added billions of dollars/euros to enterprise bottom lines across financial, healthcare, military, manufacturing and other economic sectors. Its focus divides into two significant branches – innovation and design – which share a number of tools, techniques and objectives, but which often apply the tools and techniques differently owing to their differing objectives. The innovation branch of Six Sigma focuses on significant innovation/redesign in or of existing products, processes and systems while the second branch, referred to as ‘Design for Six Sigma’, is directed at the design of new products and processes.

This course provides an overview of the most commonly used Six Sigma approach called DMAIC, along with integrated consideration of a limited selection of supporting techniques. In general, we approach the subject as one dealing with a value continuum that spans the range from recovery of value sacrificed to poor practices, poor processes, poor partnerships, ad infinitum to the creation of new value.

The course content will mainly be presented in discussion format with the expectation that course participants will practice some methods in small groups.

Exam info and full course description

Exam info and full course description can be found in the course catalogue.

Admission Requirements

Course specific:
A Bachelor's degree in Technology Based Business Development, Economics, Business Administration or a related degree.

Sigma approaches are commonly applied in team projects to improve the experience of working in a team. Similarly, Six Sigma integrates knowledge and strategies from quality management, engineering, business management and statistics so that it is helpful to possess a basic vocabulary from each of these areas. Much of Six Sigma methodology and practice is statistically oriented for which reason knowledge of basic statistics is assumed (materials will be provided for self-study for the benefit of those who may need a brush-up). A brush-up of basic statistics tools and software for Six Sigma will be part of the course.

The course is also directed at MSc in International Business Development students (cand.merc.). Students from this study programme must apply via the AU Summer University online application system. They must upload a transcript of results (instead of the pre-approval that the system asks for).


Exchange Students: nomination from your home university

Freemovers: documentation for English Language proficiency

You can read more about the admission here.


Marco Ferreira Rodrigues Nogueira Santos 


Marco Santos is an Assistant Professor at the School of Engineering at Jönköping University in Sweden.