Over the years I have enjoyed the many articles that have speculated on the future of Six Sigma.This past month I have read three articles in particular that offered differing opinions on where Six Sigma is headed.

According to Thomas Pyzdek, in Cargo Cult Six Sigma. Is the fad fading?:

“As someone who follows Six Sigma news closely, it appears to me that the approach is nearing the end of its lifecycle.”

Thomas Pyzdek is a long time proponent of Six Sigma so it is surprising that he speaks of Six Sigma as a fad, and even more surprising that he alleges Six Sigma is nearing the end of its lifecycle.His evidence is a 10 step description of the lifecycle of a fad and he suggests Six Sigma is following these steps.

Roger Hoerl offers a completely different point of view on the future of Six Sigma in his article, One perspective on the future of Six-Sigma, published in the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage:

“Six-Sigma has maintained momentum for over ten years now, longer than many pundits expected. However, the key question remains: how long will Six-Sigma remain front-page news? The answer is that it will remain front-page news as long as it delivers front-page results.”Hoerl, R. (2004) One perspective on the future of Six-Sigma, Int. J. Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.112–119. PDF

Another recent article by Dr Jiju Antony in IEE Manufacturing Engineer shared Roger Hoerl’s view:

“In my personal opinion, Six Sigma will be around as long as the projects yield quantifiable financial returns to the organizations’ bottom-line.” February/March 2005.Analysis: Six Sigma, A perspective on the future

I am in 99.99966% agreement with these last two articles.Six Sigma will continue as long as the methodology produces results.As long as there are results, companies will talk about them.As long as they talk, I will post the results on the “front-page” of SixSigmaCompanies.com.

Articles and Links

What Is The Future of Six Sigma?, Six Sigma Forum Magazine, November 2001

Six Sigma, Fad or Fundamental,Quality Digest May, 2000

Who Needs Six Sigma, Anyway?, Quality Digest, May, 2000

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