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Keys To Six Sigma Success

Aug 17, 2007
Six Sigma delivers but its success hinges largely on the seriousness of the organization. Although, it is not as simple and as this, Six Sigma is gradually following a path that its processors took during their heydays. While it is too early to predict the future of Six Sigma, it gradually is causing fewer eyebrows to raise in boardrooms across the world anymore. We will take an insider look at the causes for this and what keys open the door to Six Sigma success, as both are inseparable from each other.

An Insight Into Six Sigma Implementation

Six Sigma requires the organization restructured correctly from top to bottom. From Champions to Green Belts, people are hired or insiders are trained for specific duties. Personnel at each level of the organization have their assigned and well-defined jobs with varying degrees of authorities and powers so that, apart from executing their routine job duties, they are able to effectively solve problems. This is a sticky issue where powers overlap within executive departments. Unfortunately, at times this causes relationships to sour, however unintentionally. The actions of champions, who are supposed to intervene, can be mistaken for intrusion in cross-departmental matters such as this.

It is here that the success of Six Sigma requires total commitment from upper management of organizations. If the tense atmosphere is not remedied, Master Black Belts or Black Belts can get frustrated and fail to concentrate. Further deterioration, whether because of procrastination on the part of Champions or upper management, brings professionals into the fear zone. Consequently, the Six Sigma implementation suffers. The delay in its implementation adds to the already hefty financial bills with results yet to be realized.

Obviously, this pushes upper management into a corner with few options. With the commitment of upper management being challenged, the vision that the organization had fails to gel with the larger scheme of things.

Key To Successful Implementation Of Six Sigma

More or less, it is slow implementation that throws the Six Sigma vision into question. If the first among these is the miscalculation about the different aspects which include the saving potential and implementation timeframe, the intensity with which the implementation is being made comes in a close second.

The Anomaly Of Limited Savings: It is agreed that Six Sigma implementation is a huge expense to organizations, but if companies adopt stringent accounting practices to calculate savings, with tightening of expenditure as may become appropriate, results can be expected to turn around. The expenditures can be calculated just like capital expenditures, and proper adjustments to future budgets must be made. Failing this, savings in terms of money in such cases cannot be expected to be substantial.

The Intensity Factor: If for any reason, there are less stringent implementation methodologies and the process is pushed through without proper training of professionals, you can expect the results to be mediocre. Compromises give way to a slippery slope and ultimately the failure of Six Sigma.
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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