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 hasn’t been introduced at the store level yet. So don’t 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. It’s been said time and time again that top-down deployments are most successful, but that just depends on what your definition of success is.

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