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  This article was downloaded by: [Indian Statistical Institute - Kolkata]On: 03 October 2014, At: 01:08Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Quality Engineering Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: A “Six Sigma” ©   Black Belt Case Study: G.E.P. Box'sPaper Helicopter Experiment Part A J. Adam Johnson a  , Scott Widener b  , Howard Gitlow c  & Edward Popovich da  Sunrise, Florida, USA b  Coral Gables, Florida, USA c  Professor of Management Science , School of Business Administration, University of Miami ,Coral Gables, Florida, USA d  President of Sterling Enterprise International, Inc. , Boca Raton, Florida, USAPublished online: 15 Feb 2007. To cite this article:  J. Adam Johnson , Scott Widener , Howard Gitlow & Edward Popovich (2006) A “Six Sigma” © Black Belt Case Study: G.E.P. Box's Paper Helicopter Experiment Part A, Quality Engineering, 18:4, 413-430, DOI:10.1080/08982110600875894 To link to this article: PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the “Content”) containedin the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of theContent. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon andshould be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable forany losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoeveror howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at  A ‘‘Six Sigma’’ # Black Belt Case Study: G.E.P. Box’s Paper HelicopterExperiment Part A J. Adam Johnson Sunrise, Florida, USA Scott Widener Coral Gables, Florida, USA Howard Gitlow Professor of Management Science, School of Business Administration, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA Edward Popovich President of Sterling Enterprise International, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida, USAThis article presents an application of the ‘‘Six Sigma’’DMAIC model to G.E.P. Box’s famous ‘‘paper helicopter’’experiment. The define, measure, and analyze phases are pre-sented here, and the improve and control phases are pre-sented in a follow-up article. The intent of this article is topresent the reader with a case study for structuring a ‘‘SixSigma’’ Black Belt project. Keywords  Analyze; Black Belt project; Case study; Define;DMAIC model; Measure; Paper helicopterexperiment; ‘‘Six Sigma’’ management. INTRODUCTION This article presents the define, measure, and ana-lyze phases of an application of the ‘‘Six Sigma’’DMAIC model to G.E.P. Box’s famous ‘‘paper heli-copter’’ experiment (Box, 1992). The intent of this arti-cle is to present the reader with a case study forstructuring a ‘‘Six Sigma’’ Black Belt project. Similarwork has been done with this type of case at the ‘‘SixSigma’’ Green Belt level (Rasis et al., 2002). BACKGROUND Lilliputia, one of the countries portrayed in  Gulli-ver’s Travels  by Jonathan Swift, and a member of theSmall Countries Treaty Organization (SCTO), hasbeen plagued in the last couple of decades by a splinterfaction known as the Lilliputian Freedom Fighters(LFF). The LFF is a violent and hostile faction thatis known, and feared, for their takeovers of cities, aswell as their radical social and political doctrine. Asa result, Lilliputia is in a state of unrest, fearing thenext move by the LFF every minute of every day.In an effort to halt the advancing LFF, EmperorNova, the twenty-second emperor of Lilliputia,approved a budget that allowed for large amounts of money to be plowed into military spending. Primarily,this money was spent on efforts to refine siege tacticsto reclaim lost cities, as well as siege engines. Thiswas highly successful, as the LFF notoriously wouldconquer a city and fortify it into a stone fortress. How-ever, the cost of the siege and battering down the wallswas very high in casualties, time, and money.This led to a novel plan to attack these fortressesfrom the air, to eliminate their chief defenses andexpose their weaknesses, and end the combat as quicklyas possible to minimize the casualties and the costs. Asa result, the Lilliputian National Army (LNA) commis-sioned a new and emerging Army Air Corps (AAC).Early experience with the AAC and their fleet of helicopters showed that this new form of attack wasmuch better than the previous methods. Sieges were # ‘‘Six Sigma’’ is a registered trademark of the MotorolaCorporation.Address correspondence to Howard Gitlow, Professor of Management Science, School of Business Administration,University of Miami, 5250 University Drive, Coral Gables,FL 33124. E-mail: Quality Engineering , 18:413–430, 2006Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLCISSN: 0898-2112 print = 1532-4222 onlineDOI: 10.1080/08982110600875894 413    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   I  n   d   i  a  n   S   t  a   t   i  s   t   i  c  a   l   I  n  s   t   i   t  u   t  e  -   K  o   l   k  a   t  a   ]  a   t   0   1  :   0   8   0   3   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   4  ending far sooner as a result of the air power, and theLFF was no longer advancing, but instead digging infor a long fight. This was very uncharacteristic for themarauding LFF, and Lilliputian spies had been report-ing that it appeared the LFF was building up for alarge-scale invasion. Although the reports were variedin time and numbers, they were from credible sources.Given this information, the Lilliputian NationalDashboard Office was consulted to determine the nextcourse of action to be ready to fight the potential inva-sion, as well as to continue to reclaim Lilliputian citiesand lands from the LFF. The Lilliputian NationalDashboard lists Emperor Nova’s key objectives andindicators, as well as his high-priority projects; seeTable 1. Note that the key objectives and indicatorsthat led to the high-priority projects have been denotedwith bold and italicized fonts. These projects are sum-marized by importance in Table 2.The AAC is the newest addition to the LNA. It isdesigned for rapid deployment of LNA ground forcesand as an attack unit. The only aircraft in service is aline of helicopters, which have not been performingat the levels expected by the senior officers in theLNA; see Figure 1.The National Technical University has performedsome preliminary aerodynamic research on the heli-copters, as well as their flight mechanics. Their findingshave shown that the helicopters are not as welldesigned as the LNA and AAC had srcinally believed.Given the lack of realized value from the helicopters,field personnel have expressed displeasure to their super-iors. The emperor’s education advisor relayed the infor-mation from the university to the military and theemperor. As a result, the commanding general for theAAC decided to champion an effort to improve the heli-copters to increase the morale of his personnel and tocreate a more effective fighting machine for the AAC. DEFINE PHASE The define phase consists of three steps: the busi-ness case, the SIPOC analysis, and the project charter.Each step is presented below. Business Case The business case for the project is built byanswering a series of eight questions that are designedto focus the problems down to a more manageablecollection of information. Question 1: What is the name of the product or process?  Helicopter Production Process. Question 2: What is the aim of the product or process?  To build the best helicopters possible for the Lillipu-tian National Army’s Army Air Corps. Question 3: What is the economic rationale for doing the project?  This question is addressed by a series of sub-questions. Question 3a: Why do the helicopter project at all?  Due to the potential new threat by the LFF, a responsemust be made and it has been determined by thebest strategists and scientists that a helicopter withextended flying time, and resulting in the capabi-lity to launch the complete payload of rockets,is the best military action. Question 3b: Why do the project now?  According to intelligence operatives, there is a crediblethreat of an invasion attempt in the next six totwelve months. Production of new units willrequire an estimated two months. The projectmust start now to have a new design in time. Question 3c: What business objectives are supported bythe Helicopter Construction Project?  The helicopter construction project will help to defendthe Lilliputian people from invasion throughscouting and attack capability. Question 3d: What are the consequences of not doing the project?  Detailed analysis of previous battles shows that airpower is the new driving force on the battlefield,and computer simulations have shown that thecurrent air power of the LNA is insufficient. Question 3e: What projects have higher or equal priority?  Table 2 shows that the helicopter construction processis the highest priority project. Question 4: What is the pain?  Multiple types of pain exist; for example, the deaths of soldiers, fear of national security, a loss of nationalpride, and, possibly, national independence. Question 5: What is the goal for this project?  The project hopes to deliver payloads of 24 rockets inthe course of normal missions for less than theproject budget of 15,000,000 gold florins, plus anadditional 3,300,000 gold florins for the pilot test. Question 6: What is the project scope?  This is answered by the following sub-questions. 414  J. A. Johnson et al.    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   I  n   d   i  a  n   S   t  a   t   i  s   t   i  c  a   l   I  n  s   t   i   t  u   t  e  -   K  o   l   k  a   t  a   ]  a   t   0   1  :   0   8   0   3   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   4       T    a     b     l    e     1 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