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Key Success Factors – Six Sigma Deployment

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  • #29053

    Richard Lavertu
    Member

    I am interested in obtaining your ideas and comments regarding Six Sigma deployment. Specifically, I’d like to get a concensus on what we feel are key success factors in deploying a Six Sigma program in an organization. Leadership, link to key business partners and customers, organizational involvement at all levels …
    What are your thoughts on this topic? If you can provide a list with your ranking (#1  being the most important…) I would greatly appreciate.

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    #73469

    Ali Askari
    Participant

    I found this article useful, within that there is a summary on
    Implementation of Six Sigma      https://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c011029a.asp
    check it out.
    Ali Askari

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    #73476

    Stacy Miltiades
    Member

    Dear Richard,
    I view Six Sigma as any other Business Re-engineering effort. Thus, I suggest the key success criteria are the ones that John P. Kotter describes in his book Leading Change:
    Establish  a sense of Urgency, Create the cross-functional team,Develop a vision and an  implementation plan, Communicate the Vision, Change any systems or organization structures that undermine the change, Generate short term wins and Come up with a Continuous improvement plan.
    Sincerely,
    Stacy Miltiades

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    #73481

    Joy Cowling
    Participant

    George Eckes book, “Making Six Sigma Last” is great for this.  He goes into great detail in identifying the key variables for a successful program.  It also gives  an assessment method for gaging your company’s readiness/likelihood of success and gives some strategies for overcoming the most common forms of resistance at different levels of the organization. 
    If you need some information right away, email me directly and I can give you some of the highlights.
    Joy ([email protected])

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    #73492

    Jack Welch
    Participant

    Stacy,
    You are my kind of girl!  A great post!
    Jack

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    #73527

    Terry
    Member

    Stacy, you’re on the right track.  But there’s something that comes before all of this that people skip.  Diagnose your current performance, Define benchmark performance, and take the time to fully understand Gaps and Root Causes between current and desired performance.  What are the largest “pain points” for our customers and the organization?  When you fully understand this, now you can create a real sense of urgency, vision, improvement goals, communicate, form teams, etc.
    Most organizations have great intentions when they begin Six Sigma and Lean initiatives.  But in too many cases, they jump into execution without a well thought out plan.  Their efforts eventually degenerate into a lot of “activity for activity’s sake” that is transparent to the customer, and yields very limited or no results. 
    Terry

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    #73528

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Richard,
    I really debated about getting in the middle of this. I will probably have a minority opinion on this one.
    There are really no key success factors other than understanding the company culture you are dealing with. If you look at three of the CEO’s involved they are very different personalities (Galvin, Bossidy & Welch). They all have very different company cultures. The GE thing is even more complex because each sector is larger than most businesses and they each have their own culture.
    Two quick examples: GE Aircrft Engines led by Ken Meyer who is a retired General. It was surgical. Very precise in its planning and execution. The launch went on time and there were no bodies left behind. Everybody made it regardless of how much effort (no smoke and mirrors stuff) it took to get them accross the finish line.
    Jim Lambert launched at GenCorp. He had led the Allied Automotive deployment. He set improvement targets for the groups that they were accountable for. The programs were not shoved down their throat but offered up as a way to make the targets.
    I listen to all the comments about bottom up. If Welch would have waited to turn GE into bottom up they still wouldn’t have their first class complete.
    There have been several successful Japanese deployments in the “bottom up” culture. We have deployed in a lot of different ways to fit that culture. The bigger companies are somewhat like US companies. There was a smaller Japanese firm that was concerned about a BB failing, the honor issue. We trained the BB witha team of GB all together. They relaxed because it was a lot less stress.
    Your comment asks for consensus on key success factors. If you are a company that must have consensus youa re probably already in a leadership deficit position.Any progress get will be slow with no more assurance of institutionalization than any other process. Actually if you are in a fast moveing technology it will probably put you at risk.
    The common factor between Welch, Bossidy and Galvin. They asked for input but they didn’t abdicate their responsibility as the leaders of the company. They were still in charge.
    If you are looking for the magic potion you aren’t going to find one. The magic is in understanding your own company. What is your culture? What have you tried to implement before? What worked? What failed? If you have not made any changes since the failure you should expect the same results.
    A quote from my mentor John Lupienski, Motorola, Elma, New York, “When culture and initiatives clash, culture always wins.” Maybe not an exact quote but close.
    Good luck.

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