A 'full blown' Six Sigma implementation is not to be treated lightly - because it will have a major impact on a business.
The pros and cons of Six Sigma are generally recognised to be:-
- Provides common goals
- Relentless pursuit of excellence
- Emphasis on flawless execution
- Tough measurement system that makes leaders responsible
- Makes a competitive difference
- Combines problem solving with innovation
- Creates a business culture that motivates teams
- Most Fortune 500 companies in the US use it - to some extent
- Many examples of it saving money
- Very poor success rate in many organisations
- Creates elitism and can be divisive
- Black belts need to be 'full-time' - can slow down initiatives and cause loss of competitive edge
- Evidence that it is just a 'fad' - following industry leaders
- Does not suit all companies - can cause cultural problems
- Overly complex
- Large training investment in tools and techniques, many of which are never used
- Training in process improvement tools is not sufficient
- Focuses on cost rather than value
- 3.4 defective parts per million may be unobtainable
- Starts with 'define' rather than 'check' the system
- Bad news and failures are never publicised.
A Six Sigma best practice implementation includes 'Lean' tools and behavioural change.
See Lean Six Sigma
Make sure you have a good understanding of what 'Six Sigma' is all about before making a decision on whether or not to invest in it. Then, and only then, decide which part or parts of it are going to add real value to your business.
Please contact us if you would like a 'Readiness for Six Sigma' checklist before deciding whether or not to proceed.