Is the implementation of an Six Sigma program worth the investment is a small business?

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In terms of a Six Sigma Deployment and Implementation (SSDI), it is a natural tendency for newcomers to infer huge differences between a small and large business.  However, it is quite often the case that several “small businesses” defines a larger corporation.  From this perspective, the process for installing Six Sigma does not change (in principle).  From the birds-eye perspective, we should recognize that any type or size of business must ensure six fundamental things to “get Six Sigma going,” so to speak.

1) Understand and communicate the driving need for and nature of Six Sigma.
2) Establish measurable time-bounded goals for Six Sigma (in the form of metrics).
3) Link the HR reward and recognition system to the Six Sigma metrics.
4) Select the absolute best-of-the-best to fill the roles of Six Sigma.
5) Provide the best possible training and on-the-job mentoring to all roles.
6) Focus most Six Sigma projects on producing short-term results.*

Granted, this guidance is somewhat of an oversimplification, but it does serve to illustrate a simple point – the SSDI plan for a small business is not substantially different from that of a large business.  In the final analysis, the success of Six Sigma is mostly dependent upon knowledgeable leaders – leaders that are always scanning for opportunity, capable of adapting to ever-changing circumstances, have the ability to improvise pragmatic solutions, and are successful at motivating others during the process of change.

* This guideline serves to “keep the idea alive.”  It must be remembered that long-term aims are often lost to poor short-term performance.  That which is done in the short-term is what “keeps the bills paid and food on the table.”  Be advised that long-term vision is often dependent upon the realization of many short-term objectives.

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