Six Sigma 2.0 Manifesto


July 3, 2012 – The world financial crisis continues. Economists say that a completely new economic reality with new rules of play is inevitable. Economic unpredictability is currently beyond any reasonable limits.

In these conditions, while new economic relationships are being established, it is essential to be ready for any scenario of further development. The only applicable strategy appropriate for companies seems to be the maximization of efficiency of its actual business operations.

During the times of economic growth many companies allowed themselves to close their eyes on the need to increase efficiency. Today even the most successful of them can’t afford to do so. It’s lucky that the potential for improvement is enormous and that there are credible technologies available to unlock it, such as Lean Six Sigma.

At the same time, this potential remains 90 percent unused. There is a number of factors that limit the spread of Lean Six Sigma. First of all, unfortunately, it is due to the fact that the existing knowledge base, methodology and training techniques are way behind the needs and levels of development of modern companies.

We believe that the major issues that slow down the spread of Lean Six Sigma around the world include the following:

1. Insufficient perfection of the basic technology of Six Sigma. The technology itself contains a significant number of internal contradictions and unexplainable reversions that allow the skeptics to doubt the efficiency of the technology as a whole. Among other things, that includes: the 1.5 sigma shift; the difference between the sigma scale in Six Sigma methodology from standard statistics; a 3.4 defects sounds just as strange to outsiders as 1.5 groundsmen; the use of 95 percent probability during statistical analysis, while the goal is Six Sigma, which can only be captured at a much higher level of probability; “whatever-ism” while using the tools; lack of technologies for efficient use of many tools; etc.

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2. Functional depreciation of many tools that were invented back during the pre-computer era; many tools bear the impress of their founders, which makes their use highly subjective.

3. Strictness and lack of flexibility of the major DMAIC methodology. Another problem is that it has numerous apocryphal varieties.

4. Excessive attention to overcoming the desperately complicated technology of statistical calculations and argumentation. It is about time to stop using the Greek alphabet in descriptions of statistical formulas and switch to the new statistical language that would be developed and described in a form that is more similar to the programming languages.

5.Teaching the skills of manual calculation of indicators. There are great statistical software packages in the world that suit any taste and budget. No regular employee can compete with the developers of these packages in either knowledge or understanding of statistics. It’s time to stop teaching the Six Sigma professionals to make calculations manually, using the tables – it’s time to thrust the analysis available in statistical software packages. One simply should learn how to use them professionally.

6.There is too much in Lean Six Sigma. Unarticulated sets of knowledge from various fields of knowledge that have little in common: project management; leadership psychology; team building; statistical analysis methods; Toyota manufacturing system; scientific labor management; total quality management; theory of constraints, etc.

7. Traditional training for Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belts takes too long. As a result, people get pulled from their jobs for a long time, while the knowledge gained evaporates quickly without immediate application. A Black Belt who has little practice quickly becomes a Green Belt, while a Green Belt turns back into a regular specialist. Decrease in the volume of knowledge and in training time are the most important tasks for the successful spread of Six Sigma around the world.

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8. There are lots of problems related to the use of Lean tools in Six Sigma. Simple techniques, such as 5S, provide for a short-term effect followed by a quick return to the previous stage. Complicated tools, such as creation of the one-piece flow and pull systems are impossible to implement without the complete redesign of the enterprise’s organization chart and infrastructure. Moreover, there are no applicable techniques for implementation of these tools within the Six Sigma framework.

9. No applied recommendations for implementation of other tools that are included into the Six Sigma framework have been developed. Tools on leadership development and team building often simply can’t be used for objective reasons. For example, if you don’t have a large pool of specialists in defferent areas, it is virtually impossible to pick the ones with the required set of psychological qualities.

However, all these issues do not drop a shadow over Six Sigma and its role in the modern world. As of today it is the only universal, without any national peculiarities, system for business process improvement in the world, which is obvious from its widespread use around the world: from the United States to China and Southeast Asia, and annual billion-dollar effect that it provides in various business areas.

What is the purpose of this Manifesto?

In 2010 BMGI announced that it is time to shift from Six Sigma 1.0 to Six Sigma 2.0. For some reason, this initiative gained no further development.

But in reality, creation of Six Sigma 2.0 is one of the most relevant issues for the world economy.

  • The methodology, standards and knowledge base of Six Sigma need to be reformed.
  • Universal Six Sigma standards need to be established.
  • Automated Six Sigma tools need to be developed.
  • Last but not least, Six Sigma needs rebranding for the new generation of managers that treat the old Six Sigma as a dinosaur as they will be the managers who will be developing the global economy in the new market conditions.
  • Six Sigma 2.0 should become a viral idea.
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And the solution of such a large-scale task is not a one-man job.

Therefore I would like to initiate the creation of the International Committee for Six Sigma 2.0. Everyone willing to participate in the Committee is invited to send your applications and suggestions to the following address: [email protected]. Foundation of the committee, its charter, goals and tasks, as well as the program for Six Sigma reforming shall be created during the practical work via negotiations. Open website of the Committee will be launched shortly, and everyone interested will have access to the Committee working materials.

Sergey Glukhov
Association Six Sigma

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