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The Main Reasons For Six Sigma Project Failures

Mar 26, 2008
Additionally, since it is quite difficult to determine whether or not a Six Sigma project will deliver the desired results, businesses should never put their guard down until and unless the project is up and running.

Explained below are some of the major factors that are often held responsible for Six Sigma project failures. Businesses need to consider these well in advance if they are to get anywhere near to their stated goals and objectives.

Lack of Proper Communication

Top management may very well understand the importance of Six Sigma projects and may be doing its best to ensure the success of such projects, but if it does not make an effort to get the message through to the employees, they are most likely to think that this is just another quality improvement initiative or simply irrelevant.

Such developments are certainly not conducive for Six Sigma project implementations because ultimately it's the employees who carry out the implementations. If the majority of the employees fail to understand the real potential of such projects, they are highly unlikely to lend their full support and cooperation, something that is vital for ensuring the success of Six Sigma project implementations.

This is why businesses need to get their communications right before starting a Six Sigma project.

Lack of Professional Support

Implementing Six Sigma is certainly not an easy task and often requires the expertise of seasoned professionals whose main job is to provide the necessary guidance to Six Sigma implementation teams. Since most of these professionals demand top-dollar for their services, businesses are sometimes forced to do go on with the implementations without having these leaders in the implementation team.

If the team members are good enough, then the business can surely get what it wants, but if not, then not much can be said about the project's success. However, businesses that do not have the requisite funds to hire Six Sigma professionals need not worry too much because they can always opt for other more affordable options that might be available.

For example, they can opt to provide professional Six Sigma training to their own employees, which will be far more affordable and effective than hiring a Six Sigma professional from outside. Empowering its employees with Black Belts and Green Belts certificates will go a long way in ensuring the success of Six Sigma project implementations, not to mention the huge cost savings that will follow.

There are many other reasons as to why Six Sigma projects sometimes fail to deliver the desired results, but since it's the human aspects that often matter the most, businesses should primarily focus on factors described above.

It is only when the employees are fully motivated, can a business hope to achieve the desired goals and objectives through the Six Sigma project.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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