I spent the Wednesday afternoon in the Deployment Models breakout session with Bob Crescenzi, from NewPage, Pam Cagle from Wal-Mart, and Stephen Turnipseed from Chevron.
Each company is deploying Six Sigma with a different approach. Bob Crescenzi made a great point kicking off the discussions. He said, There is no vanilla deployment. Top-down, middle-out, or grassroots, I think they all serve Rocky Road at some point!
The most compelling story to me is that of Wal-mart. Pam said they started in February 2007 with no money, no resources, and no curriculum. They developed a training curriculum in-house, piloted it in Canada.
Our responsibility as LSS Leaders is to develop associates, she said. Although Lean Six Sigma is gaining traction at Wal-mart, it is still only used on the corporate level. It hasnt been introduced at the store level yet. So dont expect Six Sigma service from those associates just quite yet :)
The biggest takeaway here is that deployment models abound. There is no one, two or three ways to deploy Six Sigma. Its been said time and time again that top-down deployments are most successful, but that just depends on what your definition of success is.