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