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Downfalls of Six Sigma

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  • #42968

    Erica
    Participant

    Can anyone tell me the downfalls of using Six Sigma?

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    #135919

    TwoCents
    Member

    There are no downfalls to using Six Sigma.  Six Sigma is perfect in every way.
    :)

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    #135920

    Griswold
    Participant

    Downfalls:

    The project is not a Six Sigma project.
    Do not have support from the top down (should be #1).
    You must put careful attention to the people comprising the team.  This is where I’ve seen failures, but not because the Six Sigma process doesn’t work – because you didn’t have the right players. 

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    #135922

    TwoCents
    Member

    On a more serious note…
    There are a few criticisms that I hear a lot with regard to Six Sigma:
    1)  “It takes too long”.  You typically hear this from people who are used to the whiz-bang one week Kaizen event.  The truth of the matter is that, depending on the project you are working on, Six Sigma can seem tedious and relatively long-term, but this is mostly because of the amount of data collection and analysis that typically occurs, which, IMO, is a necessary evil.  If you want to quick answers, don’t work on hard problems.
    2)  “It doesn’t always fit quite right.”  There’s been a lot of thought and work applied [relatively] recently on trying to find new and creative ways to apply Six Sigma to all kinds of things.  Sometimes I think that it’s gone a little too far.  One thing that I recommend…even if you choose to make Six Sigma your bread-and-butter, don’t make it the only thing on the menu.  I say this from personal experience…I worked for a very large corporation (you’d know the name if I said it) who went after Six Sigma and only Six Sigma, and it took them several years to realize that many (if not the majority) of the projects that had been done could have been done more quickly and effectively with Lean or other methodologies.  Six Sigma is, IMO, a powerful strategy, but it’s not right for every situation.  Treating it like it is is the sure way to execute lots of subpar projects and waste a lot of time.
    3) “It’s complicated and confusing.”  Many of the tools are, by nature, things that many people aren’t used to.  Statistics scare people.  They don’t speak the language…and therefore they don’t “get it”.  I think that more is made of this that should be, mostly because of ego, in many cases.  “If it sounds hard than it must be” comes to mind.  The truth is that, particularly with the software that’s out there, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to “get it”…usually you just need somebody to explain it to you effectively.  This is why picking a training provider is so important, and also why picking your initial Belts is important.  You want people who are not only going to be able to “get it” fairly easily, but can also explain it to the rest of the huddling masses and make it make sense as they execute projects.
    There’s my contribution…there’re others, but I’m tired of typing.  Maybe somebody else can kick a few in…

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    #135934

    MAD MBB
    Participant

    There are downfalls to just about everything in life!   Six Sigma tends to get a bad rap…its not that it does not work, it does work if it’s executed properly (its supported by senior leadership, you don’t know the solution, have tons of data and it has a very high pay off).
     
    I was just at one of our plants recently and had a chance to sit down with the plant leadership to look at their current top objectives, activities and projects.  They reviewed the top 20 projects that they were working on.  They wanted me to help them align the right improvement methodology.  Here’s what I found….
     
    -1 was a six sigma project
    -2 were a complex. multi department/ multi site process redesign
    -3 projects were activities or an OBJ (i.e. LEAN Manufacturing)
    -5 were just that leadership needed to make a decision
    -9 were projects that could been done in a Kazien event with a few LEAN tools
     
    So, if you are paying attention that’s 1 project out of 20 where 6S could be used.  The plants original plan was to train 4 BB’s – that would have cost approximately 40k – 60k. They already had one trained BB from another company so; we put him on the 6S project and developed a plan to execute the other projects with in the next 60-90 days.
     
    Anyway I agree with TwoCents & chipgiii
     
    -MAD MBB
     
     
     
     
     

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    #135940

    Mikel
    Member

    What ya mad about anyway?

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    #135949

    Mr. IAM
    Participant

    MADBB
    Since when are complex mutli-site / process design projects NOT a SS project???
    Since when did Lean NOT become part of the SS BOK?
    Signed, Confused Mr IAM.

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    #135952

    MAD MBB
    Participant

    The complex process redesign in question is not a 6S project, because they do not have a process and have no metrics.  It’s a classic throw in over the fence and hope it works.  The plan is once we get a process and metrics in place…we will be able to then move into 6S.  I here yeah…but we are not here yet!
     
    I have found out in my almost 10 yrs in 6S you need to call it what it is!  Other wise everyone, but the seasoned BB’s and MBB’s are confused.  If you just need to identify / remove some NVA in a process you don’t need to spend 15k on training a BB, you give some just in time training on 5 s (or a similar tool) and let the team make the improvements.
     
    The problem with a forum like this is that someone cannot fully understand the bigger picture by reading only a few sentences…and things are taken out of context.
     
    MAD MBB
     

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    #136073

    Zero_Cool
    Member

    Downfall of Six Sigma can be realized if you have ever encounter some obvious scenario below:
    1.0 Utilizing a bunch of dim-witted and obtuse BB on a very simple project with savings $6K to $10K per year.
    2.0 Re-training of fore mentioned BB’s whereas after training still doesn’t know how and when to use Box-Cox Transformation.
    3.0 Having MBB that doesn’t know inferential statistics and hates or more likely afraid coaching dim-witted BB’s.
    4.0 BB’s and MBB’s alike posting on this forum asking stupid questions that are already being taught on thier training as if SS tools are merely new set things.
    5.0 Wookies that wanted SS for certification purposes which are being taught by dim-witted, non- experience BB’s and MBB’s for a sure dollar certification and consultation.
    There are plenty of other obvious signs that you can’t miss out. Just that I’m battered by my laziness and worried to be hit back by my own green light saber. Need to go back in Death Star after my surgery to pick-up some of that droids.
    Zero_Cool 

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    #136077

    Monk
    Participant

    MAD-MBB
    Ultimately the failure of Six-Sigma rests with the Top Management. If the deployment champ. questions.. the project selection, then this issues can be taken care of..but he/she is hell bend to just show the savings part to the Board then you will find that six-sigma is used not as a tool but as a self-promoting tool.
    So the responsibility lies with the Top on how they want to use it, rather then the MBB or the BB..but manytimes, MBB can bring the anomalies to the notice of the deployment champ. and raise an alarm, instead of submitting to the prevailing situation.
    Monk

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    #136080

    April
    Participant

    Great advise !
    So, if you have the right sponsorship from top mgt, the right players in the team and right projects selected, sixsigma cannot fail.
    Great advise ! 
     

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    #136087

    Monk
    Participant

    April,
    Accoding to me..the 3 factors mentioned are the high level problems..and it drills down to ‘ Commitment from the Top ‘….I have been part of six-sigma implementation in 3 organizations and my experience is that even when these factors go wrong..they could be prevented from happening..if top management commitment is the highest.
    So instead of hitting around the bush….just hit the target…that is what six-sigma also says.! Am I right ?
    Monk

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    #136090

    Sorour
    Participant

    I believe everyone involved in Six Sigma is responsible for its downfall from CEO, trainers, consultants, Champions, and Practitioners. We all jump onto something like Six Sigma and start applying in rote manner. We need to look at each project, decide what’s the efficient approach, and apply necessary tools to get desired results.
    Most important aspect of Six Sigma that has been misunderstood is its intent, i.e., to realize a lot of improvement very fast, which is not possible without being creative. Thus rote application of Six Sigma methodology without its intent is not gonna work.
    Paul

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