Benchmarking results consistently identify examples of Six Sigma success. Even so, getting “naysayers” on board is a continuous challenge. What do you tell them?

Nayism 26: There are so many Six Sigma projects going on that we are getting distracted from core business.

This nayism is frequently heard when Six Sigma gets into full swing with lots of Black Belt and Green Belt project activity. Your first reaction should be to go get data related to the number of projects, people in training, etc. If too many projects get launched in an area at once, it could cause a resource drain. Training schedules and project work need to be well coordinated with department schedules and resources. If after reviewing the data everything looks reasonable, then something else is amiss. What can it be? Here’s what I say . . .

If a department feels that the number of Six Sigma projects is distracting employees from core business then maybe they have picked the wrong projects. Six Sigma projects should not distract employees from core business but instead should focus on high priority items that are critical to business success. Many times when an organization is not completely bought into Six Sigma (aka naysayers), they commission projects that focus on low priority areas. This will create a resource drain and generate lots of complaints because high priority work will still need to be done. Don’t let poor project selection fuel this naysayer’s fire. Work with the leadership team to extinguish the low priority projects and start new ones that focus on high priority items.

Working low priority projects is the root cause of many Six Sigma woes. Keep a watchful eye on project selection and your Six Sigma efforts won’t go “up in smoke.”

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