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Are you ready for SixSigma?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Are you ready for SixSigma?

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  • #29285

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    All,
    You hear things from time to time and some ring true and some do not. I have seen the question on this sight where people ask about some type of assessment to determine if they are ready to do SS. I never been big on surveys and assessments because in general they are just someone elses opinion (for the most part). If I needed an opinion I would think that the people working for me should be of a good enough quality level that I should be able to ask them (if not I probably have not done my job).
    The point of this. I have heard there are consulting companies out there selling some type of survey or assessment that will determine if you are ready to do SS. It has a price tag (6 figures). That would cover the cost of a wave of training. If you did the training you would not only know empirically if you were ready, it would not be someone elses opinion, and you would know what didn’t go well.
    Questions: Has anyone seen this insanity?
    Has anyone that has ever paid a SS consultant to do a SS survey ever been told they were not ready to do it?(That has to be the dumbest decision anyone has ever made. My guess is they not only sell you SS but will slap on a bunch of other crap on top of it as well. It is like seeing your doctor pull up to the office in a new Porsche. You know there is going to be something wrong with you.)
    From Bagger Vance: “This is getting embarassing.” “No sir, this has been embassing for quite some time.”

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    #74699

    Joy Cowling
    Participant

    I had to respond to this to get it back up the list.  I’m hoping someone will respond that has had this type of thing pitched to them. 
    I agree with Mike and I love the quote!
    (Six figures?????  That’s amazing).

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    #74701

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Joy,
    Thanks for the response. This is one of those things you hear about on a Friday night and it sends your weekend into this giant funk.
    When Mikel called to line up consultants for Allied in 95 I didn’t even understand the job. They had turned how we did business into a product. That was OK. We still did it based on value. You know because you were there and part of it.
    Now we see it presented as a philosophy, lifestyle, etc and that is a pile of crap.
    Barbara, Chuck and I wrote the book on integrating lean and SS because it had become so divisive and should be the exact opposite.
    Now we have the new wave of guru’s who have invented lean & ss when the original Motorola deployment used both as did Allied and GE. What an embarassment.
    Now we have customers blindly following some consulting company off a cliff like lemings paying for some audit to find out if they are qualified to buy their product. This is embarassing from two aspects. One the leadership of a large international company would make such a stupid decision and second that someone would be so focused on their own internal bottom line that they would do this to a customer.
    Glad you responded. I was surprised when there was no feedback. If it wakes up just one company that is considering this inane tactic then it is worth it. 
     

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    #74707

    Cannizzo
    Participant

    Mike,
    To provide some additional feedback to your original post…no, I haven’t heard of consultants charging in the hundreds of thousands for an corporate/culture evaluation.
    I do agree that not every large corporation is ready to implement Six Sigma today, and that some beurocracy needs to be busted in order to make it as effective as possible. Is this what the evaluation does? If so, I think it would be useful if it were in the thousands of dollars, not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    –Carol

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    #74712

    Tamara Matthews
    Member

    Hi Mike,
    Though I have never actually seen one of these surveys that are being sold to companies by consulting firms, I think I can understand the utility of such a tool.  Although my experiences with implementing Six Sigma at my company has been successful, I have spoken with Black Belts at other companies who have tried to implement Six Sigma and failed miserably.  Having seen this, I can say that this failure was usually due to lack of leadership buy-in, having an environment that was slow/resistant to change, as well as several other inherent problems with the business’s infrastructure.  I think it is important for a business to understand its current state and what its risks are before implementing something as big as Six Sigma.  So while this survey system may seem costly, to some businesses the costs of a failed Six Sigma effort could ultimately be even more costly.
     
     

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    #74721

    Joy Cowling
    Participant

    The assessment and subsequent recommendations and coaching should be part of the implementation.  Any good consultant won’t do the implementation without addressing these issues.  If management is interested enough to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the assessment, they must be pretty interested in implementing.  In that case, the money is better spent starting the implementation, which as I mentioned, will INCLUDE the assessment and recommendations.  This shouldn’t be an additional cost.  The only additional cost should be from the necessary leadership classes to get management to where they need to be, if they aren’t already there.
    I would bet that the assessment is just an expensive way for someone to tell you what additional cultural transformation training/leadership training etc. needs to happen to ensure success.  You shouldn’t have to pay for a sales pitch.

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    #74722

    Jack Welch
    Participant

    I still maintain 6S consulting is a cottage industry.  Doesn’t seem any one has opposed this opinion.  But maybe its me the source making the statement as I know I’ve tossed a few curveballs here and there.  And one more thing, “GO RED SOX!!”

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    #74727

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    As far as it being a cottage industry – you probably have not had a response because the comment really doesn’t have any relevance to anything. US industry spends about $60 billion on training per year. There is not any company that holds 1% of the total (my data is a little old so it may have changed some). I believe if you combine the top 5 plyers you still have less than 1%. The entire industry regardless of whether it is SS or anything else is made up of what is called “Two guys in a truck.”
    How that is relevant to this I am not sure. What is your point?
     

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    #74729

    Opey
    Participant

    Red Sox?  I’m still buzzing from the Pats Superbowl win myself!

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    #74730

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Carol,
    I am not sure I agree with the idea of “beurocracy busting.” If you read Watermans book “Adhocracy” he presents an interesting view of it.
    I have to admit it is the part that creates a lot of the deployment issues.
    Thanks.

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    #74732

    Jack Welch
    Participant

    If I had a point……I’d offer it!

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    #74733

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Tamara,
    I like your point about a company should understand its current state. I see two issues with outsourcing it (hiring a consultant).
    1. How well can they really understand it in the short time they are there? At Motorola we did internal audits of our own facilities to the same quality survey we imposed on the supply base. We knew the company and we knew the survey. It was still difficult to be accurate in a full week of 5-6 peoples time.
    2. Rather than spend money on an audit why wouldn’t I want someone trained in OD on staff to work company culture and change issues constantly. If I did feel I needed an audit/assessment prior to a launch I could sub it out to an independent organization who does not sell consulting such as PRO-View (Texas Manufacturing ASSistance Center). They do not do certs or consult. Have them work through the OD person. It just seems more efficent and more reliable.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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    #74744

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    You really shouldn’t seem surprised that nobody is responding to a statement that has no point.
    If you really believe you are throwing curve balls you definatly are flattering yourself.

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