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 5: If Six Sigma helps businesses be successful then why have some businesses that have implemented Six Sigma not done well?

This question is quite typical of questions you get at initial deployment. Skeptics and “naysayers” are always looking for examples to challenge the effectiveness of Six Sigma. It’s important to address these concerns head-on. So, here’s what I say . . .

Six Sigma is a business philosophy and methodology that contributes to a company’s success by providing the organization with new skills and techniques to better achieve their strategic objectives. The Six Sigma methodology does this by looking at processes with a focus towards eliminating defects, reducing cycle time, improving customer satisfaction and bringing the benefits of these changes to the bottom line. Deployed correctly, it also helps redefine the way people think, act and work.It is not itself a ‘strategy’ but a pathway for achieving a company’s strategic objectives.If a company’s strategic direction is off target, Six Sigma may be of little help.

Here’s an example to help further explain this point. If a company wants to make beepers, Six Sigma can helpthem make the best performing and cost effective beeper in the world. But if everyone wants a cell phone, having the best performing and most cost effective beeper won’t help the company’s ultimate business outcome.

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